Five Things To Watch At SSU’s Preseason Football Camp
As Savannah State entered preseason practice for the 2012 football season, head coach Steve Davenport and staff hopes his team can improve upon last year’s 1- 10 mark. The team entered camp with a good mixture of players with veterans along with transfers and recent high school graduates. However, a few questions remained about the team as to if they can show some progress in terms of wins. The Tigers play in a tough conference but start the season with a brutal non-conference schedule with back-to-back road games at Oklahoma State and Florida State.
Can The Offensive Line Overcome The Lost of Four Starters?
SSU lost four starters from the offensive line leaving junior Cedric Brown as the lone returning starter. Help was brought in during the off season with the signing of Percy Griffin, Marshall transfer Darrell Martin and juco transfer Caleb Freeman. The faster the group gels as a unit the more productive the offense will be.
Who Will Develop As The Top Backup Quarterback?
Antonio Bostick is the lone quarterback on the roster with any game experience. Bostick worked primarily as a reserve the past two years but does have a few starts under his belt. Should Bostick go down, the staff will have Victorian Hardison, Jake Durham and freshman Leon Prunty to select from.
Who Will Replace Derek Williams?
Derek Williams, a four year letterman who handled the punting and kicking chores, has graduated. Trying to replace Williams will be Savannah native and Memorial Day graduate Kyle Bruce and Preston McCarthy. Bruce punted nine times last season and averaged 35.6 yards a punt and had a long of 53 yards while McCarthy is a transfer from Divison II St. Paul’s College, who dropped athletics a year ago.
Will The Offense Produce Many Points?
It’s no secret SSU has not won many games the past few years. It takes no mathematician to realize that you can’t win if you don’t score. The Tigers averaged 12.5 points a year ago which was an improvement from 2010 when they scored 10.2 points a game. As a unit, the Tigers ran for less than 1,000 yards (975), threw for 15 interceptions and gave up 38 sacks. Improvement is necessary if SSU wants to crack the win column which means the Tigers must establish a running game, protect the quarterback and score points. SSU only scored 50 points the entire first half last season.
How Early Will The Defensive Newcomers make a Difference?
The defense lost several key players to graduation, especially at linebacker and the secondary. Just like the offensive line, the linebackers and defensive backs will need to grow up fast. Notable new players looking to make a difference are linemen Chris Jones, a Illinois transfer, Colorado State transfer Charles Green and Alabama State transfer Derrick Padmore; linebackers Darveon Herron and Anthony Moss; and defensive backs Javon Moore and Somali Smith who both enter SSU from the junior college ranks.