Georgia State is a mostly commuter school located in downtown Atlanta with just over 30,000 students. This year Georgia State will play in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), formerly known as Division I-AA, for the first time in school history. Former Alabama and Georgia Tech Head Coach Bill Curry was hired on June 11th of 2008 to start up the Georgia State program from scratch. In August of 2009 the first Georgia State football players arrived on campus. This year the spring roster includes 71 players. They signed 27 players to scholarship in the 2009 recruiting class and the rest of the group is comprised of 6 transfers and walk-ons. They also landed 23 players in the most recent recruiting class. GSU will play 7 home games this year at the Georgia Dome and also scheduled a game in November with defending National Champion Alabama.
GSU's offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach is John Bond. He has been OC at Army, Northern Illinois (when they had Garrett Wolfe) and Georgia Tech for one year (when they had Tashard Choice). On the defensive side of the football the DC is former East Carolina coach John Thompson. Thompson also worked with Curry at Alabama in 1987 and has been coaching football for over 20 years.
On April 10th the Georgia State football team held an open scrimmage for more than 3,000 fans. There are three Redshirt Freshman Quarterbacks fighting for the starting job. Keltan Hill (a rivals ** recruit from Lithia Springs) went 8 of 14 for 111 yards and 2 TDs. Bo Schlechter (a rivals ** recruit from Belle Glade Florida) went 5 for 8 for 101 yards and a rushing TD. Drew Little (a rivals ** recruit from Henry County) was 6 of 12 for 71 yards. Curry says that he will not announce a starter until they are ready to play games and that they will need all three of these guys to win football games this year. Redshirt Junior Wide Receiver Sidney Hayes (a UCF transfer and former scout.com *** recruit) made some noise with a 54 yard TD pass and totaled 3 receptions for 87 yards. Redshirt Freshman Jordan Giles (a ** rivals recruit from Columbia, South Carolina) was the leading receiver with 5 catches. Redshirt Sophmore TE Emmanuel Ogbuehi also had a productive game with 3 catches and a TD. The top RBs were RS Sophomore Roosevelt Watson (a ** rivals recruit from Lake Worth Florida) and RS Sophmore Malcom Smith.Watson rushed 6 times for 43 yards and Smith ran 6 times for 33 yards and a TD.
On the defensive side of the football the stand-outs were RS Freshman LB Robert Ferguson (a ** rivals recruit from Belle Glade Florida), Junior LB Olufemi Opanubi (a transfer from West Los Angeles College in Culver City, California) and RS Freshman DE Austen Wiley. Ferguson and Opanubi both had interceptions and Wiley had a fumble recovery and 2 sacks.
In August Georgia State will have their full squad and then it's 29 more practices until they play their first game against Shorter College. I think it's safe to say that this will be an interesting ride. If you want more information on GSU Football, Mr College Football (Tony Barnhardt) wrote a column this week about Bill Curry, ESPN the Magazine did some really interesting stuff with Billy Curry and the Georgia State program and you can follow GSU Football at this link.