“We have what we needed to complete our spring competition,” Elliott said. “They’re going to go out and have fun and hopefully put on a show, score some points. Hopefully we get some turnovers and defensive saves, score some field goals and extra points, shake hands with some rookies, love some fans and get it done.
The Panthers fire most of the starters from the 2021 team that went 8-5 and won the Camellia Bowl. These veterans will play a few shots, but most of the time will go to those who came forward when they had the chance during the GSU talent search spring.
“We had a really good spring, and we had the opportunity to give some youngsters some rehearsals,” Elliott said. “And when I say reps, I’m talking about a substantial number of reps. And the improvement is evident from Day 1 to where we are now. Every day you could see someone improving and enjoying the opportunity to intervene.
Quarterback Darren Grainger, a challenger last spring after being traded from Furman, is installed at No. 1. Grainger took the starting job in Week 3 and established himself as a two-way threat . He said he felt more comfortable and ready for a bigger role.
“I’m more vocal with my teammates,” Grainger said. “It’s my show now and just to be able to talk and communicate with my guys on this level and make sure we don’t have any confusion.”
Elliott said Grainger enjoyed another season in the system.
“He understood the concepts that we’re trying to introduce to him,” Elliott said. “His throwing game has improved and his knowledge of the running game has improved. He’s really, really mature and ready for a big season.
Georgia State saw many offensive and defensive players improve their position during spring camp.
Three of the defensive brights this spring have been defensive end Jeff Clark, nose guard Thomas Gore and outside linebacker Jamil Muhammad.
“These guys worked hard and really upped their game,” Elliott said. “Jamil has really stepped up, and I feel like he’s going to be one of the dominant rushers we have. He works hard, he’s a great leader for us, and he does things with purpose. .
At tight end, a spot left slim by the graduation of Roger Carter, the Panthers saw the rise of sophomores Kris Byrd and Ahmon Green. They will get most of the playing time behind sixth-year senior Aubry Payne.
The Panthers have a pair of returning all-conference running backs in Tucker Gregg and Jamyest Williams, but much of the spring was spent getting reps for Marcus Carroll, who could likely start for many Sun Belt teams. .
“He can be the headliner for us offensively,” Elliott said. “He had a phenomenal spring. It’s hard to believe we have so many talented ball carriers, and one in four or five, they’re all playmakers. That’s good for a head coach who likes to run the game a bit. »
More depth was also established on the experienced offensive line. Bryson Broadway, a transfer from Eastern Illinois, will start at right tackle, and Montavious Cunningham, a redshirt freshman from Clarke Central, will start at left tackle. Avery Reece had a good spring at center.
“Broadway really stepped up,” Elliott said. “He has a great spirit. He is really competitive. He is knowledgeable and athletic. It’s exciting to bring him here in a group that already has a lot of experience.