The Georgia Southern football team that takes the field on Aug. 31 against Savannah State in the 2013 season opener, won’t likely resemble the squad that has practiced throughout the spring and took the field last Saturday for the Blue/White scrimmage.
The depth chart is far from ready, and it’s not because the Eagles are expecting to see a lot of early contributions from this year’s signing class. It’s because so many starters haven’t been healthy enough to practice.
“We’re probably a good month away from everybody getting back to health and having a group we feel good about,” GSU head coach Jeff Monken said Tuesday after practice. “There are others who will take the summer and right up until fall. But if everybody is healthy, the guys we have, we feel very good about our depth.”
The Eagles are down to their final spring practice, which takes place at 3:45 p.m. today at Beautiful Eagle Creek.
“Hopefully the one practice we’ve got (today) and the 29 we’ve got in the fall before we play Savannah State will have us prepared,” Monken said.
Nobody who missed spring camp due to injury will lose their 2012 spot on the two-deep — most likely.
“Jerick McKinnon, Dominique Swope, those guys are going to be pretty tough to beat out,” Monken said. “If somebody beats them out, I think we’ll be in pretty good shape.”
As for the guys who have been practicing, Monken has one word to describe them.
“Resilient,” he said with a laugh. “There were over 25 guys out of practice again (on Tuesday). We had two guards — Darien Foreman and Dorian Byrd, who’s a tackle. It’s not like we don’t have enough guys, we’ve just got a lot of guys who are hurt.”
It’s worked out well for guys who didn’t start in 2012, who have had plenty of time to practice with the ones and twos.
It’s also helped Steve Willliams, a safety who transferred into the program in the offseason from Pittsburgh.
“It’s just been different,” Monken said. “There’s kind of a starting-over feeling, and that’s not bad. It’s great for these guys we’ve got to get an opportunity.”