Preseason football position preview: Slot, Tight End and Wide Receiver

Ryan Kostensky and Kaitlin Sells

The George-Anne will be previewing each position group leading up to the start of Georgia Southern football season, Aug. 31. Next in the series of previews are the wide receivers, tight ends and slot.

Slot

Departed: Scoobie Ford.

Returning starters: Wesley Kennedy III, junior; Malik Murray, redshirt-junior.

Other returning players:  NaJee Thompson, sophomore.

New players: Khaleb Hood, freshman; Darius Lewis, freshman.

Outlook: While the Eagles only return a few slotbacks from the previous season, they do return some marquee talent. Wesley Kennedy III splits time as a slotback and running back, but with J.D. King ruled eligible it wouldn’t be surprising to see Kennedy III at other positions. Junior Malik Murray showed flashes of brilliance in 2018, and will look to continue that success come 2019.

Kennedy III played a big role in the GS offense last season, appearing in all 13 games and amassing a total of 416 plays. The junior was named a 2018 All-Sun Belt Conference Honorable Mention, as well as 2018 All-Sun Belt Second team according to Southern Pigskin and Pro Football Focus.

Sophomore NaJee Thompson is also one to keep your eye one. While Thompson only accrued nine total offensive snaps in 2018, he did so with flash. The sophomore had a 22-yard reception against Sun Belt foe Coastal Carolina, while showing off his athleticism as a special teams-specialist.

Projected two deep:

Wesley Kennedy III (5-foot-10, 180 pounds)

Malik Murray (6-foot, 180 pounds)

Tight End

Departed: Ellis Richardson.

Returning starter: Cam Brown, redshirt-junior.

Other returning players: D.J. Butler, redshirt-sophomore; Emory McKenzie, redshirt-junior; Jeremy Smith, redshirt-sophomore.

New players: Javain Boykin, freshman; Trace Dorminy, freshman; Chase Hancock, freshman; Beau Johnson, freshman.

Outlook: Losing Ellis Richardson will have an impact on the Eagle offense, but they’ve got tons of potential and talent to replace him. 

Cam Brown is one returner to look out for as he played in all 13 games last season as well as starting four. He caught one pass on the season for a touchdown and logged two tackles.

One to be excited about is Emory McKenzie, who is eligible to play after having to sit out last season per NCAA transfer rules. McKenzie originally started at Furman where he played in 11 games as a true freshman and recorded three tackles. He then transferred to City College of San Francisco where he played in three games to log 31 tackles. When McKenzie first transferred he was expected to play in the position of inside linebacker, but was moved to tight end following spring practice.

Projected two deep:

Cam Brown (6-foot-2, 235 pounds)

Emory McKenzie (6-foot-two, 235 pounds)

Wide Receiver

Departed: Obe Fortune, Marcus Rogers, Juanyea Tarver.

Returning starter: Colby Ransom, redshirt-senior.

Other returning players: Darion Anderson, redshirt-junior; Dexter Carter Jr., redshirt-junior; Mark Michaud, senior; Mills Ridings, redshirt-freshman; Jallah Zeze Jr, redshirt-freshman.

New players: Quincy Darnell, freshman; Tremaine Osborne, freshman; Drew Rutledge, freshman; Emil Smith, freshman.

Outlook: Colby Ransom is no stranger to the field for the Eagles as the redshirt-senior played in all 13 games last season, starting 12 where he was on the field for 375 total plays. He had six receptions for 102 yards and logged two touchdowns. Ransom had a long reception of 58 yards. 

Another returner to be ready for is Darion Anderson. Anderson played in all 13 games last season and had four catches- three going for touchdowns.The redshirt-junior was on the field for 298 offensive plays where he logged a total of 160 receiving yards.

Projected two deep:

Darion Anderson (6-foot, 195 pounds)

Colby Ransom (5-foot-11, 195 pounds)

Ryan Kostensky, The George-Anne Sports Reporter, [email protected]

Kaitlin Sells, The George-Anne Managing Sports Editor, [email protected]