Special to the Courier
STATESBORO — Georgia Southern head football coach Chris Hatcher and his staff welcomed back to campus Monday the 90-man roster for fall camp.
The student-athletes were to hit the field for the first time on Wednesday morning.
The Eagles have 37 returning letter winners among the 90 reporting to fall camp (13 starters on offense and defense combined), along with 37 redshirt- and true-freshmen.
Wednesday marks the first of 29 scheduled practices before the season opener on Sept. 5 against Albany, N.Y.
According to Hatcher, after the first day of classes on Aug. 17, another 35 student-athletes (redshirts and walk-ons) will join the team and begin practicing.
The coach said five players from the February 2009 signing class will not enroll at Georgia Southern this fall. Taylor Johnstone, Eric Key and Lawrence Martin are going to Georgia Military College while Anthony Brown and Arlestor McKinnon will enroll at Reedley College in California. The third-year head coach anticipates all five to rejoin the program either next fall or the following year.
Hatcher announced three players will redshirt in 2009 due to being academically ineligible. Senior defensive back Carson Hill, along with sophomore wide receivers Chris Teal and Leander Barney will sit out the 2009 campaign. All three will report to practice following the first day of classes.
Hill played as a true-freshman in 2006 and has a redshirt year available. Teal played in 2007 as a true-freshman but missed the 2008 season due to an injury. Barney played last season as a true-freshman and also has a redshirt year available.
Kickoff for the Albany game is set for 6 p.m. at Paulson Stadium. For ticket information call 800-GSU-WINS.
Fall tryouts announced
Students who are interested in trying out for the Georgia Southern football team can pick up information at the Parrish Football Center on Aug. 17. All paperwork must be filled out prior to the tryouts on Aug. 21. For more information contact the football office at (912) 478-5522.