State Golden Flashes
Preview 2007 - Offense
2007 Kent State Preview
2007 KSU Defense
2007 KSU Depth
2006 CFN Kent State
What you need to know:
The Kent State offense was all pass,
no run in 2005 (and it was really no run). It was all
run, little pass in 2006. Now the ground game should be even
stronger with the 1-2 rushing punch of Eugene Jarvis and Greg
Keys along with the mobility of QB Julian Edelman. Four starters
return to a line that needs to be better in pass protection, and
a go-to receiver has to emerge with the loss of WR Najah Pruden.
In the end, it'll all come down to Edelman. If he's playing
well, the offense will shine.
Passing: Julian Edelman
134-242, 1,859 yds, 10 TD, 11 INT
Rushing: Eugene Jarvis
185 carries, 798 yds, 3 TD
Receiving: Eugene Jarvis
16 catches, 126 yds, 0 TD
Star of the offense: Junior QB Julian Edelman
Player that has to step up and become a star: Junior WR
Unsung star on the rise: Redshirt freshman WR Aaron
Best pro prospect: Junior OT Augustus Parrish
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Edelman, 2) RB Eugene
Jarvis, 3) Parrish
Strength of the offense: Running back, experienced line
Weakness of the offense:
Projected Starter: In one of the minor surprises
of the season, JUCO transfer Julian Edelman took over
early on and turned the team around. He's not all that big at
just 6-0 and 195 pounds, and he threw 11 interceptions, but he
showed a decent passing touch completing 55% of his passes for
1,859 yards and the touchdowns. The key to his game is mobility,
finishing second on the team with 658 yards and seven
touchdowns. Con consistency will be the key for the dual-threat
junior, while cutting down on his interceptions is also a must.
He has to return healthy from off-season shoulder surgery, but
he's expected to be more than fine come fall.
Projected Top Reserves: With former starter
Michael Machen off to Baylor, the backup situation needed some
work. Sophomore Anthony Magazu had a nice spring getting
most of the work with the first team with Edelman out.
passer who brings more to the air attack than Edelman, and he
could see time as a change-of-pace on pure passing downs. Also
battling for time will be sophomore Darren Rogers, a
former receiver who caught 12 passes for 146 yards last season.
Don't expect him to throw too often if he gets in the game; he's
Junior Jon Brown is the most experienced of the
backups having seen starting time two years ago, but he'll
likely be the fourth man in the mix.
Watch Out For ... Magazu to see time here and there
to get more of a passer in the lineup. Edelman can throw, but
he's the franchise and he has to stay healthy. The coaching
staff will come up with a little bit of a rotation and get their
star out in garbage time.
Strength: Backups. Magazu proved this spring that
he can play, and Rogers will be an interesting option if he gets
in the game. Brown has as much experience as you could ask for
from a number four.
Weakness: Bombing the ball. Magazu is a passer, but he's not
necessarily a bomber who'll push the ball deep time and again.
KSU has efficient passers, but don't expect much field
Outlook: Edelman is the type of quarterback who
can carry an entire offense all by himself with his legs as well
as his arm. Now that he has a year of experience, he should be
even more of a weapon. The backup situation went from shaky to
solid this spring, but the more Edelman is in the game, the
Projected Starter: Sophomore Eugene Jarvis
is only 5-5, but he proved he could be a workhorse with two
games with 30 carries or more (KSU won them both) and 798 yards
with three touchdowns on the year. He's a shifty little speed
back who can zip through the line and is great at getting to the
outside. Also a receiver, he was third on the team with 16 grabs
for 126 yards. While he can create space for himself, he's
better when he gets room to run and gets a chance to make
defenders miss in the open field.
Projected Top Reserves: Former defensive back
Greg Keys made a huge splash this spring showing the power
the running game had been missing. At 6-1 and 201 pounds, he can
pop between the tackles and has the speed to break off a few big
runs when he gets into the clear.
Also in the hunt for the
number two job will be senior Jon Drager, a good backup
option who appeared to be on his way to becoming the team's main
man before knee injuries hit. He got a little bit of work last
year rushing for 115 yards and three touchdowns.
Watch Out For ... Keys. The running game didn't have
a true second go-to option behind Jarvis, and now there's
someone else to help out with 7-10 carries a game.
Strength: Options. Keys isn't a bruising power
back, but he gives the running game a different look. Jarvis can
fly, and Drager can do a little of everything. There could be a
good rotation if needed.
Weakness: Sure-thing power. Yeah, Keys should be that guy for
the hard yard here and there, but there isn't a fullback in the
offense and there isn't anyone who's guaranteed to always move
the chains on a short-yardage play.
Outlook: After finishing dead-last in the nation
in rushing in 2005, the Golden Flashes turned it around in a big
way finishing third in the MAC and 39th in the nation
averaging 158 yards per game. Having a running quarterback like
Julian Edelman is responsible for that, but the emergence of
Eugene Jarvis was also big. Now that Keys appears to be an
option, the Golden Flashes have three good backs to keep things
Projected Starters: With Najah Pruden gone, it'll
be up to junior Shawn Bayes to be the main man after
catching just six passes for 75 yards last season. He's not huge
at 5-10 and 181 pounds, but he's tough and can move. Able to
play inside or out, he'll start at the X and be expected to grow
into more of a deep threat.
Senior Cameron Bobb has been
around long enough to be a major factor, but he has to get
healthy after playing in just four games and making two catches
for 23 yards. With the speed to play on the outside, he'll end
up trying to become a big target at the Y. At 6-5 and 198
pounds, he creates matchup problems.
At the inside Z position
will be sophomore Phil Garner, a tough little target who
caught six passes for 75 yards as a reserve as a true freshman.
He'll be a short-to-midrange receiver.
Tight end is set with the
return of senior Tom Sitko, a good veteran who caught 14
passes for 222 yards and a touchdown. The former quarterback
isn't necessarily going to flatten anyone as a blocker, but
he'll make a few big plays with his athleticism.
Projected Top Reserves: Bayes is set at the X, but
redshirt freshman Aaron Robinson will make a push for
time. One of the rising stars in spring ball, he's a
good-looking young playmaker who'll end up seeing time somewhere
in the corps.
5-7, 146-pound sophomore Coleman Lynn is
mostly a special teamer, but he's also a potential playmaker on
the inside. Coming off a knee injury that kept him on the
sidelines, he'll now play behind Garner at the Z.
ready to make an impact right away will be true freshman
Rashad Tukes, a 6-3, 181-pound speedster who'll start out
pushing for time at the X and will likely be a part of the
rotation in several spots.
Behind Sitko will be 6-5, 224-pound
redshirt freshman Jonathan Simpson, a big receiver who'll
have to grow into a blocker.
Watch Out For ... this to be a complimentary
receiving corps to the running game. Kent State isn't going to
be a passing team with Julian Edelman under center, so the
receivers have to make plays when they're available.
Strength: Youth. With good incoming freshmen and
only one senior in the wide receiver mix, this will be a corps
that'll grow over the next few years.
Weakness: A number one receiver. Najah Pruden was everything to
the receiving corps and now someone else has to emerge. Can
Bayes be that guy? Is Robinson ready to blow up? Someone has to
be the go-to target.
Outlook: Finding steady playmakers will be job
one. It'll take several receivers to generate production with a
deep threat or two needing to come to the forefront early on.
Being amazing isn't necessary; just keeping the chains moving
is. There aren't any sure-thing all-stars, so expect a different
main man in every game. Having a veteran tight end like Sitko
Projected Starters: The veteran line should be
better with four returning starters. The one newcomer to the mix will be
6-4, 270-pound sophomore Pat Reedy, who spent his true freshman
year as a key reserve. He's a decent athlete who needs to be solid in
Helping Reedy out on the right side will be 6-4,
305-pound senior Joe Marafine after growing into the job last
season. A veteran at both tackle and guard, he'll be expected to become
an even bigger run blocker at right guard.
Junior Joshua Perry is
back in the middle and should be a strong anchor. He moves extremely
well for a 285-pound blocker. The left side is set led by junior
Augustus Parrish, a 6-7, 315-pound rising star who struggled with
his consistency in pass protection but got better as a run blocker.
300-pound senior Shawn Donaldson will once again man the left
guard spot where he grew into a solid run blocker. He has enough
starting experience to become a force to operate behind.
Projected Top Reserves: 6-2, 300-pound senior
Kiff Kinkead spent two years as the starting center before moving to
guard. While he could move back inside if needed, he'll start out behind
Donaldson on the left side.
Senior Travis McGraw was expected to
grow into a regular starter before tearing up his knee. At 6-5 and 320
pounds, he's a big option behind Parrish on the left side.
Watch Out For ... the line to grow into a strength as
the year goes on. There's good cohesion up front with everyone knowing
their roles. This group has been around for a while and has grown into a
Strength: Experience. Not only are there four
starters, but several reserves have starting experience and should be
able to step in if they don't push for starting jobs. Four of the top
reserves are seniors.
Weakness: Pass protection. While this is a good run blocking
line, keeping the quarterback clean has been a big problem. To be fair,
the sack total was a bit misleading last year with a mobile quarterback
in Julian Edelman getting stopped behind the line a bit too much when he
tried to run. Even so. the line has to be far better in passing
Outlook: After a year of injuries and a variety of
problems, the line had a good 2006 coming together to become far
stronger for the running game. Now the line has to take another step in
the overall production considering all the returning experience. Coming
up with a decent rotation to get several young players time to develop
more depth for 2008 will be vital.