New football recruits create hope for Georgia State Panthers

Georgia State’s latest recruiting class marks the first class under new head coach Trent Miles, starting off a new era of Georgia State football. The class totaled at twenty seven athletes.

Based on the emphasis on recruiting defensive athletes for his first class, Miles has made it a priority to improve the woeful defense from last season. The team gave up nearly 39 points per game along with over 470 yards of total offense.

One of the highlights of this class is a former starter of his at Indiana State, redshirt sophomore linebacker Tarris Batiste. With Batiste’s knowledge of Minter’s defense, he can help shallow the learning curve for other Panther defenders.

Batiste is in a familiar environment, having spent his prep years playing for Cass High in Cartersville which got him noticed in the first place by Coach Miles to recruit him to Indiana State.

The addition of Kight Dallas is a another positive step in the right direction. Dallas turned down an opportunity to play for South Carolina and California to suit up for the Panthers. Miles said he’ll be coming in as a middle linebacker, anchoring the Panther defense. With his combined athletic ability and football IQ it wouldn’t be a shock to see Dallas receive significant playing time.

In addition to linebacker depth,  the defensive line was also addressed. This is exemplified with the signing of Mackendy Cheridor, a defensive line/linebacker combo with imposing length and superior athleticism. Cheridor is expected to start at defensive end for the Panthers in the fall.

The offense wasn’t much better for Georgia State, having scored only 19 points per game and being outscore in total by points by a mark of 191-424. The Panthers averaged a paltry 313 yards of total offense per game, combing 110 rushing yards and 203 passing yards per game.

One of the big offensive issues last season was quarterback play, with Ben McLane and Ronnie Bell throwing for a combined 14 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. To help rectify the situation, Clay Chastain a junior college transfer from Georgia Military College, was recruited and signed by the Panthers. Chastain threw from 1,907 yards and twenty touchdowns and seven interceptions.  Chastain picked Georgia State over Youngstown State, Auburn and Mississippi State.

Georgia State begins its 2013 season August 30th at home against the Sanford Bulldogs.