What you need to know ...
The Trojans are going to spread things out with four receivers
in an attempt to do something, anything, to generate more than
15.9 points and 285 yards per game. JUCO transfer QB Omar
Haugabook will look to resuscitate the passing game with a good
group of receivers to work with. Kenny Cattouse leads a quick
group of running backs working behind a big line that has to be
more consistent in all phases.
Passing: Carl Meadows:
80-169, 974 yds, 6 TD, 10 INT
Rushing: Kenny Cattouse
89 carries, 314 yds, 4 TD
Receiving: Smokey Hampton
39 catches, 582 yds, 2 TD
Star of the offense: Senior WR Smokey Hampton
Player that has to step up and become a star: Junior RB
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore WR Darius Williams
Best pro prospect: Sophomore OT Will Chambliss
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Hampton, 2) Cattouse,
Strength of the offense: Wide receiver
Weakness of the offense:
The quarterbacks need to be far more productive after
throwing a mere six touchdown passes and 14 interceptions.
Most importantly, the quarterbacks have to get the offense
moving and put more points up on the board. JUCO transfer Omar
Haugabook is the new starter with a great résumé and a big-time
arm, but Julian Foster, Larry Dockery and Carl Meadows all have
experience and will be ready to step in if needed.
The key to the unit: Consistency. No one could keep
the chains moving last year for four quarters.
Quarterback Rating: 4
- Omar Haugabook, Jr.
The JUCO transfer got the job almost by default. He threw for
over 5,000 yards and 40 touchdowns last year for Dodge City
Community College and should be an immediate upgrade for the
passing attack. While not all that big at 6-1 and 200 pounds, he
has a live arm.
- Julian Foster, Soph. - 63-112, 56%, 797 yds, 5 TD,
4 INT, 52 carries, 24 yds
Foster stepped in when the offense was dying in the middle of
the season and led the team to a win over Florida Atlantic with
271 yards and three touchdown passes. He was more accurate than
expected and showed off a little bit of his mobility. He'll be
the number two man early on and will get a little bit of playing
time to stay sharp.
- Larry Dockery, Jr.
The former JUCO transfer saw a little bit of action completing
six of 14 passes in the loss at Missouri. Interceptions were his
big problem in high school and in junior college, and now he has
to prove he can be consistent enough to deserve more of a loss
for the starting job.
- Carl Meadows, Sr. - 80-169, 47%, 974 yds, 6 TD, 10 INT,
1 rushing touchdown
Meadows was the starter over the first half of last season and
did next to nothing. He has one of the best arms of the team and
knows the offense, but he wasn't accurate, threw too many
interceptions, and had a hard time putting points on the board.
To be fair, he was the starter against the best teams on the
The Trojans have to replace Joel Whinghter who carried the
ground game at times and averaged 5.6 yards per carry. There's
plenty of speed with Kenny Cattouse, Xavier Walker and Tim
Bolton all quick enough to be dangerous, but it would be nice if
one back could emerge from the pack and be the go-to guy. It
would be nice to have a 100-yard back to rely on if the passing
game struggles like it did last season, so the hope is for
Cattouse to be strong from the first carry.
The key to the unit: The average has to get over four
yards per carry with more than the six rushing touchdowns of
Running Back Rating: 5
- Kenny Cattouse, Jr. - 89 carries, 314 yds, 3.5 ypc, 4
TD, 6 catches, 75 yds, 12.5 ypc
A speed back who tore off 109 yards in the win over North Texas
and 89 yards and two scores against UL Lafayette. He has a
little bit of pop at 5-10 and 207 pounds and needs to break off
more big plays after only averaging 3.5 yards per carry with a
long run of 16 yards. Expect him to be used more as a receiver.
- Fullback Anthony Jones, Soph. - 36 carries, 188 yds,
While not a true fullback at 6-2 and 198 pounds, Jones is a
decent blocker and one of the better athletes in the running
back corps. He'll be used more as a north-south runner and as a
receiver who'll get the ball on the move in space.
- Xavier Walker, RFr.
A tough 5-10 and 185 pounds, Walker can do a little bit of
everything. He has the best hands in the backfield and will be a
key receiver as well as a the number two back.
- Tim Bolton, RFr.
Recruited as a safety as well as a running back, the speedy
Bolton will be the third man in the mix and should add even more
flash than the rest of the fast backs.
- Fullback Sean Dawkins, Sr. - 76 carries, 285 yds, 3.8
ypc, 5 catches, 9 yds, 1.8 ypc
One of the team's top runners over the last few seasons, Dawkins
gets work as a between-the-tackles rusher as well as a
blocker. At 225 pounds he's the team's biggest back and will be
used for his power.
This should be one of the team's strengths if someone can
spread the ball around. Smokey Hampton is a good number one
target who should take the heat off everyone else. Josh Allen,
Toris Rutledge and Gary Banks are talented veterans who should
all have a few big moments, and speedy Darius Williams could be
the team's best home run hitter by the end of the year.
The key to the unit: All the experienced talents have
to be involved with someone breaking from the pack and being a
sure thing playmaker on key downs.
Receiver Rating: 5
- Josh Allen, Jr. - 14 catches, 121 yds, 8.6 ypc, 1 TD
Allen wasn't bad over the early part of last year before falling
off the map over the second half of the season. He'll be used on
the inside at the H position with the toughness to handle the
- Smokey Hampton, Sr. - 39 catches, 582 yds, 14.9 ypc, 2
The former JUCO transfer went from being a decent reserve to the
team's top receiver highlighted by a ten-catch day against
Missouri. A great deep threat at the X with good athleticism and
route running ability, Hampton should be in the hunt for All-Sun
Belt honors with improved play from the quarterbacks.
- Toris Rutledge, Sr. - 17 catches, 284 yds, 16.7 ypc, 3
He has all the tools to be one of the team's top receivers, but
he has yet to explode. He didn't catch a pass over the opening
two games and then was a steady target the rest of the way. At
6-2 and 199 pounds, he has the size to go along with good deep
speed with a team-leading (at least among the regulars) 16.7
yards per catch.
- Gary Banks, Jr. - 25 catches, 293 yds, 11.7 ypc, 2 TD
The former quarterback and former Chicago Cub, Banks is a strong
receiver who looked like a natural finishing up last year as the
team's second best receiver. He has to be more of a deep threat
and more of a playmaker with the ball in his hands.
- Martin Teal, Sr. - 6 catches, 75 yds, 12.5 ypc
The 6-4, 207-pound junior is also one of the fastest players on
the team. He'll start out at the Y position battling Toris
Rutledge for the starting job, but he could also end up seeing
time at the outside X position.
- Darius Williams, Soph. - 3 catches, 129 yds, 43 ypc, 2 TD
Williams only caught three passes, but he made them all count
catching one pass for 37 yards against Cal Poly, one for 51 yards
and a touchdown against FIU and one for 41 yards and a touchdown
against Florida Atlantic. He has 4.3 speed and should be a major
factor on the outside.
The line struggled way too much in all phases last season
allowing 38 sacks and doing next to nothing for the running game.
There's too much size and too much experience to expect another lousy
year with sophomores Will Chambliss and Chris Jamison looking like
rising stars and several decent seniors filling in the gaps. The backups
are bigger than the starters in almost every spot, so there should be
several good options to play with.
The key to the unit: Do one thing really well. The
Trojan line needs to have something it can rely on and has to do more to
let the average skill players operate.
Offensive Line Rating: 5
- OT Will Chambliss, Soph.
The 6-6, 292-pound sophomore take s over for Zarah Yisrael
at right tackle. He's one of the team's strongest players with All-Sun
Belt potential if he can grow into a consistent pass blocker.
- OG Kirbie Bodiford, Sr.
Bodiford went from being a decent reserve to one of the team's steadiest
starters getting the starting nod from start to finish at right guard.
While he's not the biggest lineman on the team, the 287-pound senior is
one of the most experienced and physical.
- C Zach Yenser, Sr.
The team's long snapper turned into the starting center at the beginning
of last year after injuries hit James Gardner. Now it'll be a battle for
the spot in the middle with the 280-pound Yenser needing to use his
toughness to keep the gig.
- OG Chris Jamison, Soph.
Jamison took over the starting job at left guard early on when Zarah
Yisrael moved to tackle and never let it go. He's an athletic 285 pounds
with great technique. He should be a fixture for the next three years.
- OT Rob Austin, Sr.
Austin went from tackle to tight end and back to tackle again. While not
all that big at 267 pounds, his athleticism is enough to make him a
solid pass blocker.
- G Danny Franks, RFr.
One of the team's strongest players, the 6-4, 320-pound Franks
brings more size at right guard than the 287-pound Kirbie Bodiford.
- T Kenny Griffin, Sr.
The 315-pound senior saw a little bit of starting time before suffering
a knee injury. He'll be a key blocker using his 315 pounds to rotate
with the 267-pound Rob Austin at left tackle.