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2007 Troy Preview - Offense
Posted Jul 24, 2007

Preview 2007 Troy Trojan Offense

Troy Trojans

Preview 2007 - Offense

- 2007 Troy Preview | 2007 Troy Defense Preview
2007 Troy Depth Chart | 2006 CFN Troy Preview 

What you need to know:
Spread it out with four wide receivers, let Sun Belt Player of the Year Omar Haugabook throw to the open guy, hope it all works. This isn't an explosive attack, and it won't be for a while with a mixed bag of talents on the front line trying to fit the puzzle. The running backs are fine with the return of Sean Dawkins helping out Kenny Cattouse, and Gary Banks and Mykeal Terry lead an inexperienced receiving corps that'll be fine. But it's all up to Haugabook. He's the difference between a second straight Sun Belt title and a losing season.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Omar Haugabook
241-393, 2,401 yds, 21 TD, 17 INT
Rushing: Kenny Cattouse
168 carries, 810 yds, 4 TD
Receiving: Gary Banks
68 catches, 603 yds, 8 TD

Star of the offense: Senior QB Omar Haugabook
Player that has to step up and become a star: Junior OT/OG Chris Jamison
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore WR Cornelius Williams
Best pro prospect: Junior WR Gary Banks
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Haugabook, 2) Banks, 3) RB Kenny Cattouse
Strength of the offense: Haugabook, running backs
Weakness of the offense: Offensive line


Projected Starter: Former JUCO transfer Omar Haugabook was the big pickup of the Sun Belt season, and he didn't disappoint adding some desperately needed pop to the passing game completing 61% of his passes for 2,401 yards and 21 touchdowns. However, the senior had big, big problems with interceptions throwing 17 with 16 in 11 games. While not known for being a runner, he turned it up a notch in the final two games of the year with 111 yards against FIU and 92 in the New Orleans Bowl win over Rice. With his experience and all-around skills, he'll be the lead runner in the Sun Belt Player of the Year race. He won it last year.

Projected Top Reserves: Walk-on Tanner Jones has pushed himself into the number two job showing off a variety of skills. The 6-2, 200-pound redshirt freshman is a good runner with a nice arm, and now he has to progress enough to be considered the main main going into next year.

Sophomore Jonathan Chandler isn't all that big and isn't the best of runners, but he has a decent enough arm and skills to compete all year for the number two spot.

Watch Out For ... a battle all season long for the backup job. It's not even close to being solidified with a mad, year-long scramble on to see who'll replace Haugabook next year.
Strength: Haugabook's leadership. After the way he rallied the team, and the season, with the Sun Belt title and a bowl win, this is truly his team now. He's good enough to carry the offense by himself at times.
Weakness: Experienced reserves. There aren't any. Chandler completed two of two passes for -1 yards in his three appearances. That's about it.
Outlook: Omar Haugabook is the key to the Sun Belt season. As long as he stays healthy and is productive, Troy will be the main contender for the title. He can't press and he must cut down on his interceptions. Getting the backups quality live reps (and not just in garbage time) will be a must.
Rating: 6

Running Backs

Projected Starters
A decent running back situation got a whole bunch better with the return of 225-pound senior Sean Dawkins after missing all of last year with a broken foot and an injured knee. Part fullback and part halfback, he's a between-the-tackles runner who brings a linebacker-like mentality to the running game. He's not going to bust off any home runs, but he'll get the hard yards.

Also back is leading returning rusher Kenny Cattouse after running for 810 yards and four touchdowns. It took a while for him to get going, but he eventually became a major player in the Sun Belt highlighted by a 172-yard, two-touchdown day against UL Lafayette and 107 yards and two scores against Arkansas State. He has good quickness and can run inside or out, but he's not necessarily a speed back. He can catch a little bit even though he isn't a consistent runner after the grab.

Projected Top Reserves: 190-pound sophomore Justin Brooks had a nice first year running for 72 yards and three touchdowns saving the day against UL Monroe. He has a good mix of power and speed and will quickly play more of a role in the rotation, even if he has a hard time beating out Dawkins for carries.

185-pound junior Xavier Moreland was originally considered just a special teamer and defensive back, but he'll start to see a little bit of work in the rotation with too much speed to keep off the field. He's a smart player who'll find time as long as he learns to be more of an inside runner.

Sophomore Josh Brownell is another good-sized, physical back who can pound away for a few carries here and there.

Watch Out For ... Dawkins to bring another element to the mix. With more power and a veteran set of legs, he should combine with Cattouse to crank out a big rushing year.
Strength: Power. There are several interchangeable big backs who can all run up the gut and grind out yards.
Weakness: Speed backs. Cattouse can move a little bit and several young backs can move, and Moreland can flat-out fly, but there isn't a proven outside-the-tackle runner who can get to the corner and turn it. That could quickly change if Moreland turns into a runner.
Outlook: The more Omar Haugabook doesn't have to run, the better. While he's dangerous out of the pocket, the more Cattouse and Dawkins can combine for carries (preferably over 200), the better. It won't be the best running game in the Sun Belt, and there will be times when there's no production whatsoever, but it'll be a good enough attack to keep the pressure off the passing game.
Rating: 5


Projected Starters
Two key starters return to the receiving corps to provide key targets for Omar Haugabook led by leading receiver Gary Banks and third leading receiver Mykeal Terry. Terry's the speed receiver averaging 17.7 yards per catch on 27 grabs with five touchdowns. He was non-existent over the first half of the year before blowing up in back-to-back weeks catching 11 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns in wins over Florida Atlantic and Arkansas State. Now the junior has to be consistent on the outside.

Banks is a former quarterback, and a former Chicago Cub, who was surprisingly steady season, finishing with 68 catches for 603 yards and eight touchdowns. While he has to the size and speed to make big plays, he was mainly a possession target averaging a mere 8.9 yards a catch.

Sophomore Cornelius Williams will get the start at the inside Y position after a great spring. At 6-1 and 180 pounds, he's a decent-sized receiver who comes from Hoover High in Alabama wining four state titles. In a limited role as a freshman, he made six catches for 32 yards.

Also in the starting mix in four-wide sets will be sophomore Andrew Davis, a 5-9, 165-pound possession target who made 18 grabs for 130 yards and two touchdowns on the inside. He has the speed to make deeper plays; now he has to do it.

Projected Top Reserves: Sophomore Justin Bray and senior Clarence Denmark join Terry on the X as the speed receivers who'll have to stretch the field a little bit more. Denmark has never been able to harness his tremendous speed and become a complete receiver failing to make a catch last year, while Bray only average 3.9 yards on his ten grabs with a touchdown.

Senior Gerald Tate is another speed receiver who hasn't made a whole bunch of speed plays with just one catch for nine yards last year. Senior Josh Allen isn't going to start any time soon, but he's a tough veteran who'll make the hard catch inside every once in a while at the Y unless 6-3, 180-pound redshirt freshman Austin Silvoy takes all the work away.

Watch Out For ... more deep passes. Troy averaged a lousy 9.9 yards per completion with a controlled passing game that focused on keeping things moving. Now the offense has to rely on Terry, and some of the other speedsters, to make bigger plays.
Strength: Banks. Everyone inexperienced corps needs one guy who will always make catches and can always be counted on for five catches a game. Banks is the guy who'll always get open when Haugabook needs him to.
Weakness: Experience. Terry didn't do anything until late in the year and there's no one else of note outside of Banks who has produced on a consistent basis. The entire corps will be a work in progress to find playmakers to help out Banks and Terry.
Outlook: Haugabook will have to make everyone better. Banks can't be the only target and Terry has to be a consistent deep threat. More players need to get involved in the four-wide set and they must start producing yards after the catch. Basically, there has to be more overall pop, and it should be there if the untested prospects like Bray and Williams start to shine.
Rating: 5

Offensive Linemen

Projected Starters
Only one true starter returns up front, and that's junior Chris Jamison at either right guard or left tackle. He's 6-3 and 285 pounds with good athleticism for a Sun Belt guard, but he's not an all-star and he's not exactly the type of blocker to revolve an entire line around. He could move back to his guard spot if needed having been moved around a bit in spring ball.

For now, 6-6, 292-pound junior Will Chambliss will handle the guard job while Jamison will move to tackle. Chambliss is a strong player with good skills, but now he has to put it all together. He doesn't have the speed or athleticism to play tackle and is more suited for the inside.

6-4, 320-pound redshirt freshman Danny Franks will take over for long-time starter Zach Yenser after being a jack-of-all-trades backup. He's extremely strong, is one of the team's biggest players, and, of course, versatile.

JUCO transfer Dion Small was moved around in spring ball and will likely settle in at right tackle bringing decent feet and experience at Georgia Military Academy. At 6-3 and 280 pounds, he has good size and should be a fixture. 6-5, 298-pound sophomore Steven Merkel is a big body at right guard and will have to grow into the job. On a line full of question marks, he's the biggest X factor.

Projected Top Reserves: Most of the top projected backups weren't around for spring ball. The real talent comes this fall when 6-7, 335-pound freshman Jamarr Thompson shows up to battle for the left tackle job. He's big, extremely mobile, and a great get for the program.

6-4, 300-pound freshman Micah Grimes is another top tackle prospect who could quickly change the pecking order. He's ready right out of the box with size, strength and talent.

JUCO transfer Windham Rotunda is a 310-pound mauling guard, while 290-pound freshman Tyrell Curtis will push hard for time from day one at one of the guard spots, likely on the right side.

Watch Out For ... everything to change dramatically between now and the start of the season, and changed again by mid-year. Write the depth chart in pencil.
Strength: Youthful talent. The coaching staff did a great job recruiting bringing in a nice haul of prospects to eventually form a tremendous front wall. There's good size all across the front.
Weakness: Experience. How is there going to be any continuity from one game to the next when there'll be so many changes and so many variables? It might take a while for things to jell, and that could be a major problem with Arkansas, Florida and Oklahoma State up early.
Outlook: Give it time and things should be fine. There's size, talent and more size, and as long as the right pieces are in place by late September, the front five should go from being a major concern to a plus.
Rating: 4.5


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