Mark Richt’s Canes are faced with unanswered questions heading into fall camp, and need improvement from some unproven players. The answers may have to come from Freshmen, solid leaders, and/or players still developing.
Second year players such as DeeJay Dallas, Jeff Thomas, and Trajan Bandy made game-changing plays in the previous season - and may be forced into a bigger role this upcoming year. With bigger duties needing to be filled, some Sophomores may be up to the task, while some may witness their parts recede.
As we all know, the offensive line is one of the main areas of concern this off-season. Navaughn Donaldson, who started as a Freshman, was tried at right tackle in spring as Coach Searels attempted to solidify the unit. During fall we’ll see how the move pans out, as Donaldson has been trying to improve his quickness to seal the edge.
Donaldon’s growth as a player is vital to the offense’s success; as a slump from him would result in a large hole in the protection.
On the opposite side of the ball, Trajan Bandy will try to keep his starting cornerback position. Gilbert Frierson and D.J. Ivey, both Freshmen, will compete for the starting job; but starting Bandy against LSU is the likely move due to his valuable experience.
Bandy doesn’t possess the same physicality as some other cornerbacks on the roster, but his drive and effort go a long way. With the competition growing, we can hope that Bandy’s edge won’t dissipate.
With all the talent that the Canes have at running back, we can assume that it’ll be run by committee. With addition of Lorenzo Lingard, playing time may be harder to come by for DeeJay Dallas, whose projected to be behind Travis Homer. If the same efficiency isn’t there from last season, his role could be adjusted and lessened.
DeeJay Dallas is a gifted athlete however, and receiving playing time last year accelerated his development. Regardless of where he lines up, he’s a running back who could breakout for a big gain at any moment.
Despite unanswered questions, the the Hurricanes boast a star-studded roster which ranks as one of the nation’s best. If this team executes well, the ceiling is even higher than last season’s.
Which Sophomore Will Surge This Season?
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