State Golden Flashes
Preview 2009 - Offense
2009 Kent State
2009 Kent State
2009 Kent State
2009 Kent State
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Weakness: 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.
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
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
Weakness: 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Weakness: 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Weakness: 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
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.