GSU Spring Game Scouting Report

Thom CunninghamCorrespondent IApril 6, 2009

ATHENS - AUGUST 30:  Running back Leander Barney #15 of the Georgia Southern Eagles hauled in a 34 yard touchdown pass in the 4th quarter during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on August 30, 2008 in Athens, Georgia.  The Bulldogs beat the Eagles 45-21.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

Obviously this article (more of a blog) would only interest those interested in Georgia Southern Football. If you want to take a glimpse at some of the players on the GSU team, here is a quick scouting report on the top five players who impressed me.

5 – Tyler Sumner (WR -6'2/210, RdFr.) – This is a red-shirted freshman who nobody knew heading into this game. He is 6’2, 210 lbs. His route running was impressive, getting behind defenders well and positioning himself for the quarterback to make an easy pass.

He caught two touchdowns that were out of his reach, making it look easy. He lined up as an inside receiver time-to-time, but showed tight end characteristics to his style. He could be a gem and red-zone threat for this offense.

4 – Tavaris Williams (LB -5'11/200, So.) – Another player not too many have heard of, yet. Williams is a 5’11 linebacker from Lowndes County who has playmaking ability written all over him. Williams recorded five tackles (for the white team), so he was facing a majority of the offensive starters.

Williams also had a pick, but it was taken away from him as the play was called dead. Everywhere the ball went, Williams was there. Williams attacked the gaps aggressively and wraps up well. Plain and simple, he is a playmaker, I’m not sure there is another way to describe what I liked about him.  

3 – Leander Barney (WR -5'8/185, So.) & Nick Kyles (WR -6'2/198, Jr.) – Barney seemed to like the transition from running back to wide receiver. He is a dangerous runner in the open field, and he ran the screen pretty solidly. Not to mention he caught a jump ball 34 yards down the field for a touchdown, so he shows sign of being a deep threat.

Nick Kyles didn’t stand out on the stat sheet, but his style of play impressed me. Kyles seemed very aware of the field, which is a quarterback’s best friend on third down situations. Kyles had good positioning on his defenders and separates himself well when the ball is in the air. If he could focus on the ball better as it gets to his hands, he could be a crucial part of this team’s aerial success.

2 – Harland Bower (DE -6'2/240, Sr.)  – His three sacks definitely make him stand out, but there is more. He seems to have a pretty solid leadership role on this defense, and the fact that he is on the defensive line is a plus. He penetrated the gaps extremely well and showed a burst of speed to get to the quarterback.

What is scary is that he wasn’t running full speed into the quarterback, because you can’t tackle the quarterback in spring games. An explosive leader on the defensive line is what this team needs, and I believe Bower brings that.

1 – Lee Chapple (QB -6'1/190, So.)  – This will be Chapple’s first year as the full-time starter (for now). He had an impressive day throwing over 200 passing yards and two touchdowns. His leadership and confidence sets him apart from other quarterbacks. He has the accuracy to hit receivers in the best spot possible and the perfect amount of touch when lobbing it over defenders.

He seems to have a full understanding of the plays and runs them well. He reads the field well, looking at various options and delivers quickly. It seems maturity is something Chapple needs to work on, throwing a pick in the red-zone early in the game, but he is not far from achieving it.

He bounced back nicely after throwing that pick, almost as if it never bothered him. His confidence in everyone around him makes the team better. I like him as a top leader of this football team going into the fall, and if he doesn’t win next year, it will come. He seems like a winner.