2019 Fall Camp Preview: Offensive Line
2018 was a good year for the GSU offensive line to build on going into 2019. The Panthers showed the most consistency in the starting lineup and performance in the offensive trenches they had in years – so there’s no surprise the running game took the leap that it did, popping up more than 60 yards per game.
The OL group loses a leader in four-year starter at center/guard Gabe Mobley, but retain big talent in returning left tackle Hunter Atkinson and left guard Shamarious Gilmore – the surest bets on the roster to make a Sun Belt all-conference team at the end of the year. Those two have been steady contributors to the team since arriving in Atlanta and they need to be at their best to protect the blind side of Dan Ellington. The GSU quarterbacks were sacked 25 times in 2018, a number they’ll look to improve on this season to keep their quarterback safe. Especially with the potential reality of a shorter depth chart at QB, Dan’s health is paramount to Georgia State’s offensive success in 2019.
Up the middle, Malik Sumter settled into the center role in the second half of 2018, and his progress in his first full year in the position will be something to watch. There are no returning starters on the right side of the line, but there will be plenty of options on offer for new OL coach Thomas Austin. Coach Elliott’s recruiting classes have been heavy (no pun intended) on the trenches – offensive and defensive – and this should be a year where any of the sophomores or freshmen on the roster get their chance to succeed at right guard or right tackle. The early clubhouse leaders seem to be Pat Bartlett and Travis Glover, but it’s still up in the air who lines up there in Knoxville to start the season.