2007 Kent State Preview - Offense

Posted Jun 18, 2007

Preview 2007 Kent State Golden Flash Offense

Kent State Golden Flashes

Preview 2007 - Offense

- 2007 Kent State Preview | 2007 KSU Defense Preview
2007 KSU Depth Chart | 2006 CFN Kent State Preview 

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.

Returning Leaders
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 Shawn Bayes
Unsung star on the rise: Redshirt freshman WR Aaron Robinson
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:
Wide receiver


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.

A solid 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 a runner.

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. 
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 stretching.
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 better.
Rating: 6

Running Backs

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.
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 moving.


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.

Seemingly 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.
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 will help.

Offensive Linemen

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 pass protection.

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.

6-4, 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 good unit.
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.
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 situations.
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.
Rating: 5


Related Stories
2007 Kent State Preview
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jun 18, 2007
2007 Kent State Preview - Defense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jun 18, 2007
2007 Kent State Preview - Depth Chart
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jun 18, 2007

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