Yes, it’s been a long offseason. And still there’s … /checks countdown clock … 73 days to go till kickoff.
So how about a quick refresher on what we know – who’s coming back.
Appalachian State will return five starters on offense and seven on defense in 2011, from an FCS quarterfinalist team that finished 10-3.
Of players not listed as No. 1 on the depth chart, safety Dominique McDuffie has 17 career starts as a safety and three at cornerback; linebacker Justin Lloyd has been a starter in 11 games; running back Cedric Baker has three career starts; and linebacker Demery Brewer has two starts at defensive end.
By means of comparison, last season’s team returned 16 starters, nine on O and seven on D.
The known knowns on offense include Walter Payton finalist DP, First Down Ben Jordan, Weapon X Travaris Cadet and Mr. Fantastic Brian Quick. Two seniors, Orry Frye and Matt Ruff, anchor the line.
The known unknowns? Eight of the projected starters are freshmen and sophomores. That’s alotta youth.
Most of the defense is back and, on paper, more experienced (Nine of projected starters are juniors or seniors). Due to some new scheming though, they’re gonna be an unknown unknown.
The schedule is encouraging. Va Tech is coming off its own Michigan impersonation last season, and it ain’t gonna be feelin’ too compassionate to the original Alltime Upsetter. Expect one heck of a punch.
Two on paper gimmies follow, with A&T and Savannah State in Boone.
Learning curves don’t come better prepared.