2009 Kent State Preview - Offense
Kent State RB Eugene Jarvis
Kent State RB Eugene Jarvis
Posted Jun 1, 2009

CollegeFootballNews.com 2009 Preview - Kent State Golden Flash Offense

Kent State Golden Flashes

Preview 2009 - Offense

- 2009 Kent State Preview | 2009 Kent State Offense
- 2009 Kent State Defense | 2009 Kent State Depth Chart
- 2008 KSU Preview | 2007 KSU Preview | 2006 KSU Preview 

What you need to know: The tremendous running game that finished 16th in the nation and first in the MAC, thanks to 1,370 yards from QB Julian Edelman, will change up now that it's Giorgio Morgan under center. There needs to be more of a passing game, but that will only happen if the receivers are far better with Kendrick Pressley and Derek McBryde needing to become stars. The ground attack will still be the bread-and-butter with diminutive star Eugene Jarvis and Andre Flowers working behind a veteran line with four starters returning. As long as Jarvis is healthy, this will be one of the MAC's most dangerous offenses, but it can be special if Morgan is great.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Anthony Magazu
11-23, 205 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Eugene Jarvis
165 carries, 801 yds, 9 TD
Receiving: Eugene Jarvis
25 catches, 273 yds, 1 TD

Star of the offense: Senior RB Eugene Jarvis
Player who has to step up and become a star: Sophomore QB Giorgio Morgan
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore WR Kendrick Pressley
Best pro prospect: Jarvis
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Jarvis, 2) OG Michael Fay, 3) C Chris Anzevino
Strength of the offense: Running game, Veteran line
Weakness of the offense:
Wide receiver, Backup linemen


Projected Starter: Sophomore Giorgio Morgan had seen starting time in 2007 and looked like a future star with a good passing arm and decent mobility. He wasn't going to beat out Julian Edelman for the starting job, and he was coming off a knee injury, so he ended up redshirting and is coming back to be the main man for the next three seasons. At 6-4 and 207 pounds, he's a tall, strong passer and he can run, too. He's not going to move like Edelman, but he'll take off from time to time.

Projected Top Reserves: Senior Anthony Magazu was supposed to be the third man in the mix going into last year, but he ended up becoming the No. 2 option. While he saw time in five games, he struggled completing 48% of his throws for 205 yards and a touchdown. Now he's being given every chance to win the starting job. Staying healthy is an issue after missing all of 2006 and suffering an ankle injury two years ago, but the 6-3, 199-pounder has the mobility and the experience to do a little of everything for the offense.

Moving into the No. 3 quarterback job to add a Julian Edelman-like rushing element to the equation is Sal Battles, a 5-11, 215-pound sophomore who was a wide receiver and special teamer last year. Very quick and with a nice arm, he'll be a dangerous option if needed.

Watch Out For ... an ongoing battle. Morgan looks the part and should end up being the starter, but Magazu is just good enough to provide a push all year long. Both quarterbacks will end up playing.
Strength: Time in the system. Morgan and Magazu have each been groomed over the last few years to be ready to shine now. While neither one has enough experience to be completely comfortable, they're as ready as two options can be.
Production. Neither one set the world on fire this offseason and neither one has taken the job by the horns. Morgan will have to show early on that he can keep the chains moving and put points on the board, or Magazu will quickly find meaningful playing time.
Outlook: While Julian Edelman will be missed, Morgan could turn out to take the offense to another level once he figures out what he's doing. He needs time and room to make mistakes and play through them, but how much of a leash will he get? The coaching staff needs win right now, and there might not be much in the way of patience with a decent option like Magazu waiting in the wings.
Rating: 5.5

Running Backs

Projected Starter: Senior Eugene Jarvis appeared to be ready for a huge 2008 season, but he had problems with an ankle injury early on and finished with 801 yards and nine touchdowns after tearing off 1,669 yards and ten scores in 2007. When he got healthy he roared with a four score day against Miami University and a 185-yard day against Temple. Only 5-5 and 170 pounds, he's surprisingly tough for his size and is unstoppably quick with breakaway speed and great hands as a receiver. Even in though he was dinged up for more than a quarter of the season, he still caught 23 passes for 273 yards and a score. He'll be the focal point of the offense from the start and is within range, if he can stay healthy, of 5,000 career rushing yards.

Projected Top Reserves: Junior Andre Flowers didn't exactly blow up when he got his chance last year, but he was solid in place of Eugene Jarvis. He was the team's third leading rusher for the second year in a row finishing with 319 yards and a touchdown, but he only carried the ball eight times over the final six games. At 5-11 and 211 pounds he's a bigger option who provides a bit more power to the running game, but he has to get back healthy after being hurt this spring. 

True sophomore Jacquise Terry was able to get in right away and see a little bit of playing time rushing for 170 yards and a score highlighted by a 60-yard day against Akron. Even though his longest run was just 16 yards, he's a home-run hitting threat with tremendous speed. At 6-0 and 180 pounds, he's a slippery runner who should be a big-time producer soon.

Moving over from the H-Back role is junior Alan Vanederink, a spot starter last year who caught nine passes for 164 yards and a score. He's 5-10, 188 pounds, and can move, and while he will see time as a receiver out of the backfield, he'll be a runner. It's his natural spot; he was a start high school running back.

Watch Out For ... Jarvis to make a sleeper bid for a 2,000-yard season. The line is experienced and strong and the passing game should be improved enough to open things up. If Jarvis can stay healthy, he'll put up monster numbers.
Strength: Speed and quickness. There's no one quicker than Jarvis, while Flowers and Terry have tremendous deep speed.
Power. When a 5-5, 170-pound back is your best short yardage option, there's no power running game.
Outlook: With running QB Julian Edelman gone, the ground game will fall more on the backs. If everyone can get and stay healthy, this will be the MAC's most dangerous backfield with Jarvis a mortal lock to lead the league in rushing if he doesn't get dinged up, and Flowers and Terry good backup options. 
Rating: 8


Projected Starters: Split end Shawn Bayes was the only receiver who did much of anything last year and was the only deep threat. Now it'll be up to Derek McBryde, a 5-11, 186-pound senior to take over. Little used early on, he became a part of the mix over the second half of last year making 11 catches for 142 yards in five games. He was also used on kickoff returns where he averaged a decent 20.6 yards per try. He has the deep speed to stretch the field, but now he has to show he can produce on a regular basis.

5-10, 175-pound sophomore Kendrick Pressley will get a long look at the Flanker spot after catching nine passes for 57 yards in his two games of work. He appeared to be on his way to a great season before suffering a broken ankle, but he's back and ready to be the team's most dangerous receiver. The one-time Virginia Tech Hokie is the team's most talented receiver, and he should show why early on.

After missing almost all of last season with an ankle injury, 6-3, 227-pound senior Jameson Konz is back in the fold after getting a fifth year of eligibility. He was originally a linebacker, making 43 tackles in 2007, and now he'll take his 4.4 speed to an H-Back role where he should grow into a reliable target once he gets healthy. He had problems with groin injury this spring, but he should be ready for the start of the season.

Back as the starting tight end will be Jonathan Simpson after a decent year making eight catches for 104 yards and two scores. The 6-5, 237-pound junior could've been a linebacker when he came to KSU, but he should turn into a solid receiver now that there will be more passing. He's a strong blocker. 

Projected Top Reserves: The coaching staff is looking for more out of the receiving corps, and 5-11, 182-pound senior Phil Garner needs to answer the call The team's leading receiver two years ago, he only made 17 catches for 192 yards last season forcing the coaching staff to try to find more gamebreakers. He wasn't even listed on the post-spring depth chart, but his status will quickly change come fall.

6-1, 178-pound freshman Tyshon Goode could turn out to be the answer to the team's issues. The two-time New York all-state running back was a nice get for the program with tremendous quickness and toughness. He'll see time right away at Split End in a rotation with McBryde.

Former defensive back Sam Kirkland moved to wide receiver last year but made a minimal impact catching seven passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns. At 6-1 and 188 pounds, he's one of the team's bigger receivers and he showed late last year the potential to do far more this season with an 18-yard scoring grab against Bowling Green and a touchdown a week later against Temple.

Watch Out For ... a lot more from the receivers. The coaching staff is making a concerted effort to find more big plays and get more from a corps that was mediocre over the last few years. Having a passer like Giorgio Morgan under center will help, and new speedsters in the rotation will be a major plus.
Strength: Quickness. McBryde, Goode, Pressley and Kirkland are all speedy, small receivers who should be able to do more with the ball in their hands. They haven't been a big part of the attack yet, but that will change.
Proven production. Garner will be back in the rotation, but he's the leading returning wide receiver catching 17 passes last year. The receivers have to do far, far more to open things up for the running game.
Outlook: The KSU receiving corps is the equivalent of pressing a reset button. The coaches want more from a receiving corps that didn't do nearly enough last year. Pressley and McBryde will be interesting players who'll see bigger roles, while Goode could quickly become a star.
Rating: 4.5

Offensive Linemen

Projected Starters: Four starters return to the line with the one loss a huge one. Gone is All-MAC star Augustus Parrish at left tackle and in steps Kent Cleveland, a 6-4, 294-pound redshirt freshman. He's a big, promising all-around blocker who's expected to be a fantastic run blocker. Can he be a consistent pass protector? In time, yes. He'll eventually be an all-star, but it might not happen until 2011.

Sophomore Michael Fay stepped in and started every game at left guard last season, starting out as an undersized, athletic blocker. Now he's a big, athletic blocker getting up to 294 pounds on a 6-4 frame. Now he has to learn how to play and block bigger, but he's a good one to work around. He has tremendous upside.

Back at center after starting every game is Chris Anzevino, a 6-2, 308-pound sophomore who stepped up over the summer of last year and didn't let go of the job. Very big and a great run blocker, he'll be the anchor of the front five for the next three years and will be one of the team's strongest forces.

6-4, 270-pound junior Pat Reedy went from being a decent backup to a promising starter late in 2007 and a steady producer last year starting every game at right tackle last season. He got better and better as the season went on and he should be a solid pass protector. He's a good athlete for his size and he's one of the team's most experienced blockers.

Senior Mike Roder came in from the JUCO ranks and was an instant starter at right guard. A great recruit, the 6-4, 302-pounder filled a need and was polished right away. While he can move relatively well, he's not the best athlete, but he's a rock of a run blocker who'll pound out the hard yard whenever needed.

Projected Top Reserves: A good backup for the last few years, senior Dante Campbell will be at right guard again playing behind Mike Roder. The 6-1, 284-pounder stepped in and started at Temple and can move outside to tackle if needed. He's one of the team's strongest players and can step in and start whenever needed.

In the battle to replace Augustus Parrish at left tackle is Josh Kline, a 6-3, 289-pound redshirt freshman who'll start out working behind Kent Cleveland. A star high school wrestler, he's a mauler who should be able to step in and produce.

Watch Out For ... the left tackle job. Everything else on the line is set, and now it'll be up to a pair of redshirt freshmen to step up at the all-important position. If Cleveland and Kline can produce, this could be the MAC's best line.
Strength: Run blocking. Having a running quarterback like Julian Edelman last year helped, and a great group of running backs who need a little hole to blow through is a plus, but the line is big and can generate a push.
Proven backups. It'll take a few underclassmen and unproven career reserves to step up if injuries strike. There are good prospects waiting in the wings, but this is a great line that could be a major strength if everyone can stay healthy.
Outlook: The line paved the way for the MAC's best running game, and while it struggled a bit in pure passing situations, it wasn't all that bad considering all the new starters thrown to the mix. Now the KSU line welcomes back four starters to a young group that will be good this year and fantastic next season.
Rating: 5.5