2010 Troy Preview – Offense

Posted Jun 5, 2010

CollegeFootballNews.com 2010 Preview - Troy Trojan Offense

Troy Trojans

Preview 2010 - Offense

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What You Need To Know: After finishing third in the nation and fourth in passing, the Troy offense will undergo a little bit of a change under new offensive coordinator Kenny Edenfield. With Neal Brown off to Texas Tech, Edenfield will still try to keep the passing game going with the Sun Belt's best receiving corps and two excellent backs, DuJuan Harris and Shawn Southward, who can catch as well as run well in space. The key will be replacing QB Levi Brown, who bombed away for 4,254 yards and 23 touchdowns, and there's going to be a fight for the job with Jamie Hampton and Corey Robinson battling it out early into the season. The line will be fine even with a few key losses, but it could struggle at guard with star Tyler Clark moving to center.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Dantavious Parker
10-19, 87 yds
Rushing: Shawn Southward
110 carries, 602 yds, 12 TD
Receiving: Jerrel Jernigan
71 catches, 1,101 yds, 4 TD

Star of the offense: Senior WR Jerrel Jernigan
Player who has to step up and be a star: Junior QB Jamie Hampton and/or Redshirt Freshman QB Corey Robinson
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore OT Kyle Wilborn
Best pro prospect: Junior OT James Brown (as a guard)
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Jernigan, 2) C Tyler Clark, 3) RB DuJuan Harris
Strength of the offense: Receivers, Quick Running Backs
Weakness of the offense: Guard, Steady Quarterback


Projected Starter: Junior Jamie Hampton was supposed to be the star of the show in 2008, having waited his turn behind Omar Haugabook, but he struggled when he got his chance throwing nine touchdown passes and eight picks in five games before suffering a season-ending knee injury. With the emergence of Levi Brown, Hampton redshirted in 2009 and is now in a big battle to take over the job. The 6-1, 212-pounder isn't all that big and he's not a high-level college passer, but he's great on the move and brings far more mobility than Brown did.

Projected Top Reserves: Redshirt freshman Corey Robinson is neck-and-neck with Jamie Hampton for the starting job. At 6-0 and 214 pounds, he might not be all that big but he can throw, setting the national high school record with 5,872 yards and 91 touchdowns. Kentucky's former Mr. Football, he's a smart, accurate passer with the speed to make things happen on the move. If he doesn't start, he'll get every chance to win the job if Hampton struggles.

5-11, 208-pound junior Dantavious Parker got his chances this offseason to take over the starting job, but he didn't do enough to get into the race. The clear No. 3 in the mix, at best, he might end up working somewhere else with tremendous speed and running skills. He saw a little bit of time last year completing 10-of-19 passes for 87 yards and running for 154 yards and two scores.

Will Greg Jenkins have to wait a year or can he show more to get into the starting hunt? The dual-threat weapon threw 22 touchdown passes and ran for eight more for Mississippi Gulf Coast CC last year and showed a live, accurate arm. At 6-2 and 195 pounds, the junior is the biggest of the quarterback options and he's potentially the most dangerous if he can be consistent in practices.

Watch Out For … a race. There were four options, and now there are two going into the fall camp. Hampton has to prove he can be consistent as he tries to get over his knee problem. Robinson is the future, and possibly the present.
Strength: Mobile options. Unlike Levi Brown, all four quarterback options are better runners and add more of flash on the move. However …
Weakness: No one can throw like Brown. This is a smallish group of passers who don't have the NFL skills Brown showed off. There's no way the new starter will come close to Brown's 4,254 yards and 64% completion percentage.
Outlook: It'll be an interesting quarterback battle that could continue on into the season. With four viable options, Hampton and Robinson have to shine early on, while Parker and Jenkins have to step up their play late this summer to get a shot of getting back in the hunt. No matter who's starting, the passing game won't be as good but there will be more running.
Unit Rating: 6

Running Backs

Projected Starters: After earning second-team All-Sun Belt honors in 2008 rushing for 1,082 yards and 11 touchdowns, highlighted by a 234-yard effort against Louisiana-Lafayette, senior DuJuan Harris split time last year with Shawn Southward rushing for 583 yards and ten scores. After seeing his workload diminish over the final month of the season, he came back roaring in the bowl loss to Central Michigan running for 112 yards and two scores and catching four passes for 49 yards and another touchdown. At 5-7 and 195 pounds he's not all that big, but he's tough, sub-4.4 fast, and can crank out yard in chunks. While he's dangerous in the open and can catch making 68 career catches for 487 yards and five scores, he only averaged 3.9 yards per run.

After suffering a back problem and missing almost all of 2008, the 5-11, 226-pound D.J. Taylor will serve as a sort of fullback. He only ran eight times for 71 yards, but he was used as a blocker and works well for the ground game. However, he's not a receiver and will only be used for the ground game.

Projected Top Reserves: Stepping up as a true freshman, sophomore Shawn Southward became the team's most dangerous rushing threat averaging 5.5 yards per carry finishing as the team's leading rusher with 602 yards and 12 touchdowns. While he's not the receiver DuJuan Harris is, he has good hands catching 13 passes for 123 yards and is fantastic in the open field. The Sun Belt Freshman of the Year tore off 152 yards against Louisiana-Lafayette and 139 against Western Kentucky, but he only carried the ball ten or more times in four games. At 5-8 and 184 pounds he's small and lightning quick.

While D.J. Taylor might serve as the No. 3 tailback early on, there's a chance for true freshman Mike Smith to be a part of the equation right away. While he's only 5-9 and 180 pounds, he's one of the team's biggest tailbacks and he has the same sort of track star, breakaway speed. A good kick return option with good hands, he could be used in a variety of ways.

Watch Out For … Harris to be the team's leading rusher again. Banged up a little bit, he showed what he could do in the GMAC Bowl after getting a few weeks off. He might not be a 1,000-yard back like he was in 2008, but he should be more effective and should be used more.
Strength: Extreme quickness. Southward can move and Harris has lightning fast wheels. Throw in Smith into the mix and the Trojans have a trio of home run hitters who can crank out big plays in chunks.
Weakness: Strength and power. The little guys are tough, but there's no power outside of Taylor, and he's a limited runner. The holes aren't going to be there like last year, so the backs will have to make some things happen on their own.
Outlook: The quarterbacks will shoulder more of the rushing workload this year, but the running backs are going to have to carry the offense at times. The passing game isn't going to finish fourth in the nation again, so the combination of Harris and Southward will have to combine for around 1,500 yards to carry the attack.
Unit Rating: 6


Projected Starters: Senior Jerrel Jernigan followed up a record-setting 77-catch season with 71 catches for 1,101 yards and four touchdowns averaging 15.5 yards per grab, and now the two-time first team All-Sun Belt star will have to do even more with a new quarterback under center. Only 5-9 and 184 pounds, he's not all that big but he's lightning quick and he's one of the nation's most explosive playmakers as a runner as well as a receiver finishing third on the team with 266 yards with a touchdown averaging 6.7 yards per carry. He caught 13 passes for 203 yards and a score against ULM, but he was most impressive over the final three games roaring for 147 yards against Florida Atlantic, 142 yards and a score against Louisiana-Lafayette, and 154 yards against Central Michigan.

Senior Jason Bruce got a little bit of starting time and was a decent part of the passing game throughout the year finishing with 24 catches for 311 yards and two scores. The 5-9, 159-pounder is a wisp of a target who started out his college career as a JUCO quarterback before converting to receiver. He'll start out at the inside Z position.

6-1, 204-pound senior Tebiarus Gill was a dangerous JUCO player, took a year off, and then became a big-time playmaker a working mostly at the outside X position. Big, strong, and fast, he averaged 12.4 yards per grab finishing second on the team with 47 catches for 581 yards and a team-leading six scores as he grew into a key go-to target on third downs. He wasn't consistent, but he showed he could flourish when everyone is worrying about Jerrel Jernigan.

Senior Austin Silvoy was one of Tim Tebow's top targets in high school, but his main role on the Trojans has been as the holder. He became a part of the passing game last year making 13 catches for 182 yards, and has 35 career grabs for 448 yards and five scores, and now the smart and savvy 6-2, 185-pounder will get a shot to start at the Y.

Projected Top Reserves: Looking to be a major factor right away, and possibly pushing Austin Silvoy out of the Y spot, is Brett Moncrief, a 6-4, 205-pound JUCO transfer who caught 23 passes for 234 yards and two scores for Mississippi Gulf Coast CC. Originally an Oklahoma State Cowboy, the son of former NBA star Sidney Moncrief has size, athleticism, and a world of talent.

When the Trojans use a tight end, 6-3, 233-pound junior Matt Stidham will get the first look. Also expected to be used at times at fullback, he's a physical blocker and has the hands and the skills to be a part of the passing game. His two career catches came in 2008.

Sophomore Josh Jarboe was supposed to be a big part of the passing game last year but he had problems with an ankle injury and only made 15 catches for 248 yards and a score. Explosive, the 6-2, 199-pounder has speed to go along with his size, but he'll have to find a role starting out at the H behind Jerrel Jernigan. Originally an Oklahoma Sooner, he was booted from the team partly due to a bizarre YouTube rant, but if he's healthy, he has the potential to be special.

Watch Out For … Moncrief. Silvoy is a marginal talent, while Moncrief brings size and BCS-level talent to the receiving corps. He's way too good to not be a major part of the equation right away.
Strength: Deep talent. Jernigan might be the Sun Belt's best receiver while Bruce and Gill are devastating running mates. With the return of Jarboe to 100% and the addition of Moncrief, look out.
Weakness: Levi Brown. The Troy passing game always works, but it took flight when Brown was under center. Jamie Hampton and/or Corey Robinson will be fine, but they're not going to be Brown when pushing the ball deep.
Outlook: The receiving corps is the best in the Sun Belt by a ten-mile wide margin. Jernigan will be an all-star again, while Gill and Bruce are fantastic. There's speed, size, depth, and options. The receivers will make the mediocre quarterbacks look better than they are.
Unit Rating: 6.5

Offensive Line

Projected Starters: The line needs to replace a few starters with the biggest hold being left at center with Danny Franks gone. Picking up the slack is Tyler Clark , who like Franks was a first-team All-Sun Belt star. Working at left guard last year, the 6-2, 285-pound veteran has been a regular starter for the last three years and has been tough, physical, and has grown into a great interior pass blocker. Now the senior will be the quarterback of the line.

With Franks moving over, former Florida State Seminole Tyler Graves will step in at left guard. Considered a top prospect after spending time at Pearl River CC, and a special recruit out of Mississippi, his career has hardly gone according to form, but the 6-5, 281-pounder has enough experience to be steady from the start. A disaster in his lone start at right tackle, getting nailed for five penalties, he'll get his shot in the interior.

6-4, 286-pound sophomore Kyle Wilborn was a surprise star last year starting 12 games at right tackle missing one game with an ankle problem. Smart and mobile, he wasn't always a rock but he more than held his own in pass protection and was great for the ground game. A leader, he's the type of player who can be plugged into the spot and not be worried about for the next three years.

At 6-4 and 346 pounds, massive JUCO transfer James Brown is back at left tackle after doing a great job starting every game last year. He doesn't move all that well and gets nailed for holding way too often, but he's a punishing run blocker and should be more destructive with more of an emphasis put on the ground game. The former JUCO all-star was a superstar high school prospect out of Mississippi, where he won the state high school weightlifting title in 2005, but his potential NFL future is at guard.

Junior Micah Grimes was a key backup last year working mostly on special teams and both guard spots. The 6-4, 302-pound veteran will combine for the right guard job and needs to be solid in pass protection to keep the starting spot. He doesn't move all that well, but he's the biggest option for the job and can push people around.

Projected Top Reserves: If it's not Micah Grimes at right guard, it'll be sophomore Jacob Creech, a promising 6-4, 281-pound special teamer who has just enough quickness to be decent in pass protection. He'll be a key reserve at both guard spots and has the frame to be move to tackle if desperately needed.

If 6-6, 315-pound DeMarcus Underwood is fantastic right away, the line could come up with a whole new combination. The JUCO all-star is big, powerful, and decent enough on the move to be used at either tackle spot. The junior will start out behind Kyle Wilborn on the right side, but that could quickly change.

Watch Out For … Clark to be fantastic in the middle. Danny Franks was also a guard who turned into a top center, and Clark is even more consistent. He might take a little while, but he should eventually be great.
Strength: Depth. With the addition of Underwood, the line should be fine even after losing two key starters. The tackles are experienced and established vets while Clark will be great in the middle. The backups might not have logged a ton of time, but there are a few upperclassmen who can fill in if needed.
Weakness: Sure-thing guards. Graves has never lived up to his potential coming out of high school while the combination of Grimes and Creech need to show they can produce in place of Steven Adams, a rock at right guard last year.
Outlook: It's a push to say the line was a disappointment, but it struggled a bit too much in pass protection and it was just okay for the ground game. The loss of Danny Franks takes away a star, but the outside will be solid and Clark at center will be a plus. It'll be a good line, but it'll struggle with its consistency.
Unit Rating: 5

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- 2010 Troy Defense | 2010 Troy Depth Chart
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