Here the AJC lists their 7 most important returners on offense. Taquon Marshall obviously heads the list and is joined by A-Back Qua Searcy, Clinton Lynch, and Nathan Cottrell with B-Backs KirVonte Benson and Jerry Howard and WR Brad Stewart. I have a very different list. I believe that the offense this year hinges on the offensive line. Given that, it’s insanity to not include any linemen. Drop Cottrell, Howard, and Stewart, and put in Kenny Cooper, Parker Braun, and Andrew Marshall. Those will be the key players this year in determining offensive success.
The AJC’s list of key returners on defense is much harder to argue with, but that’s mostly because there are so many fewer returning contributors. The only member of the secondary to make the list is Lamont Simmons which is hard to argue with. He is joined by linebackers Brant Mitchell, Victor Alexander, and Bruce Jordan-Swilling, also hard to argue against. The linebacking corps certainly looks like the best group on this defense. To round it out, the list has linemen Desmond Branch, Anree Saint-Amour, and Kyle Cerge-Henderson. The defensive line struggled greatly this year. In the new 3-4 defense they have a new chance to make a difference this year.
The AJC also has an article on the basketball teams’ two most important returnees. Both Jose Alvarado and Brendan Haywood ended last year with injuries and are in the process of getting back to full speed. You may remember Alvarado fracturing and dislocating his elbow during the game against Duke. He went through a painful rehab process and is glad to be back on the court, although he is still getting back his range of motion and strength. Haywood was sidelined by a stress fracture in his shin. He exceeded expectations as a freshman and looks to be a key player this year. One extra little tidbit in here. Pastner set a goal for each player to make 10,000 3-pointers over the summer. Hopefully this helps our perimeter game a tad.