Preseason football position preview: Offensive Line

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 is the offensive line.

Departed: Jeremiah Culbreth, Drake Grall, Mitch Matthews Jr., Curtis Rainey

Returning starters: Jakob Cooper, redshirt-senior; Aaron Dowdell, redshirt-junior; Lawrence Edwards, redshirt-junior; Drew Wilson, redshirt-junior

Other returning players: Peyton Backer, redshirt-sophomore; Will Browning III, redshirt-junior; Khalil Crowder, redshirt-freshman; Peyton Johnson, redshirt-sophomore; Caleb Kelly, redshirt-sophomore; Jarrod Leeds, redshirt-sophomore; Derrick Newby Jr., redshirt-senior; Alex Smith, redshirt-junior; Jawaski Webb, redshirt-junior

New players: Griffin Carder, freshman; Verneal Henshaw Jr., freshman; Javonte McGriff, freshman; Aaron Pyron, freshman; Jordan Wiggins, freshman

Outlook: One returner to have some confidence in is Jakob Cooper. The redshirt-senior played in 12 games last season, starting 11 and was on the field for 673 snaps. Jake Edwards is another returner to have faith in, as the UGA transfer played in all 13 games last year, being on the field for 287 total plays. Another returner with experience coming back to the field is Aaron Dowdell, as he played in all 13 games last season, starting 10. 

A loss the Eagles will be suffering is in redshirt-sophomore Brian Miller who recently suffered a hip injury, putting him out for the season. Miller started all 13 games last season, being on the field for 732 plays.

As far as new players go, GS is going to see how the No. 172 offensive guard in the country in the class of 2019, Griffin Carter, translates to the college game. Carter was also named first-team all region and second-team GSWA all state as just a junior in high school.

Overall the offensive line has the returners and the talent to go from good to great, but they’re going to have to buckle down this season. 

Projected starting lineup:

Jakob Cooper (6-foot-3, 295 pounds)

Aaron Dowdell (6-foot-4, 315 pounds)

Jake Edwards (6-foot-4, 300 pounds)

Lawrence Edwards (6-foot-6, 305 pounds)

Drew Wilson (6-foot-4, 310 pounds)

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