AT A GLANCE
POSITION COACH: Eman Naghavi (first year at GSU)
RETURNING STARTERS: Senior G Pat Bartlett*, junior T Jonathan Bass*, super-senior G Shamarious Gilmore*, junior T Travis Glover*, senior C Malik Sumter*
RETURNING CONTRIBUTORS: Sophomore OL Trey Bonner, sophomore OL Cameron Golden, sophomore OL Ronald Folkes, redshirt freshman OL Chandler Durham, sophomore G Luis Cristobal, sophomore C Avery Reece, junior T Despelado Alexandre, senior OL Ben Chukwuma, redshirt freshman OL Mason Cook, redshirt freshman OL Jonathon Brawn
NEW NAMES: OL Cameron Dye, OL Marquez Bargman, OL Montavious Cunningham (all freshmen)
KEY LOSSES: Freshman OL Jeff Miller (transfer portal)
* =projected starter
Protecting the quarterback is one of the most important parts of football, and Georgia State has got the talent and stability on the offensive line to do it. Starting with the stability, the combination of Pat Bartlett, Jonathan Bass, Shamarious Gilmore, Travis Glover and Malik Sumter started and played together in every single game during the 2020 season, with one exception – Despelado Alexandre’s season-opening start at right tackle against Louisiana. To the talent, Gilmore and Sumter headline the group, as both were All-Sun Belt Conference selections for their work during the 2020 campaign. They helped anchor an offensive line which gave up only 12 sacks all season. The team had at least 0 sacks in four of the Panthers’ 10 games. All five members were a part of the record-setting 2019 season as well. Bass’s spot at left tackle was taken up by Hunter Atkinson back then, but this crew has plenty of experience together and will use that going into 2021.
Not only does Georgia State have talent and stability along the offensive line, but with the likes of Alexandre, Avery Reece – a former tight end – and Luis Cristobal waiting in the wings at either guard or center, the Panthers have built a lot of depth at the position. Alexandre, Reece and Cristobal will look to spell the starters in a pinch should they be called upon. The Panthers are not far removed from a three-year stretch in which they allowed, on average, 22 sacks a season. Before that, in another three-year stretch, they averaged giving up 32 sacks a season. The recent trend of Georgia State quarterbacks having mobility has helped bring those numbers down, but the stability and talent on the offensive line of late has helped the Panthers become great at protecting the QB.
Next up: Running Backs