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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Georgia Southern
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  Wylan Free takes longer than most people to list siblings. He's got a long roll call with four brothers and five sisters. "I'm right in the middle," said Free, who has a twin sister, Kyja. Free also has been right in the middle of the action this fall practice at defensive back for Georgia Southern, where he transferred this summer after five years at Fresno State. The graduate transfer has one season of eligibility remaining, and the early returns are impressive. Here, Free is very quick when handling a task. "He's had two picks in two days," new head coach Clay Helton said Thursday after the second team practice.

Free intercepted a pass on Saturday as well. "He's somebody when we signed him, we actually said this kid can probably play all five positions in a nickel package," Helton said of the three cornerback and two safety roles. "He's very versatile. We started out over the summer looking at him at corner, got some work there. "Now we're looking at him at safety and he really has gone out there and made some plays on the back end. He's very rangy. He's got great length, great speed and great ball skills. Has a knack for coming down with the ball." Free, at 6-2 1/2 and 180 pounds, is taller than most of the defensive backs and gives the Eagles someone to match up with big receivers on the opposite side. It's a role he handled with Fresno State, where he started 22 of 43 games played from 2018-21 after redshirting in 2017. - Savannah Morning News


rSr/2023 CB Wylan FreeGeorgia Southern
News Source: Savannah Morning News
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  Derrick Canteen can remember the last time he felt this healthy - which is a good thing in this context, but it came after a bad thing. "I'm 100% healthy," the redshirt junior cornerback said Wednesday on the first day of fall practice for the Georgia Southern football team. "The last practice was 2021, early in the season going into FAU - that was the last time I could say that." Canteen had trained hard to follow his breakout season of 2020, when he was a Freshman All-American and All-Sun Belt Conference first team after tying for the FBS lead and tying a program record with six interceptions. He had practiced and prepared for the second game of the 2021 season on Sept. 11 at Florida Atlantic, where he recorded one tackle before tearing his pectoral muscle and missing the rest of the season.

Though he was around the team on the sidelines, Canteen was missed greatly on the field as the Eagles' defensive secondary suffered though numerous injuries, inconsistent lineups and inexperienced players pressed into service. The team's overall struggles in a 3-9 campaign were reflected in the defense. Georgia Southern ranked 126th of 130 FBS teams, having yielded 3,474 yards, 289.5 per game, and 28 passing TDs. "It was all a learning experience," said Canteen, an Evans High School graduate. "We had young guys. We had different people at different places, but it was a learning experience. I think what we learned from last year, we'll carry to this year." - Savannah Morning News


rJr/2024 CB Derrick CanteenGeorgia Southern
News Source: Savannah Morning News
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  2022 PRESEASON RAY GUY WATCHLIST: Anthony Beck II - Georgia Southern,...Beck is a big redshirt senior (6-4, 245) who has been a punter and holder since his record-setting prep career at South Effingham High in Georgia. He also played high school quarterback and linebacker. In five games at quarterback he threw for 643 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 233 yards and three more scores. In five games as a linebacker, he had 23 tackles, three sacks and a fumble recovery. Beck II also made three field goals. After redshirting in 2018, Beck II has been Georgia Southern’ s punter and holder, with a three-year total of 183 punts, an average of 4.32 yards, ten touchbacks, 61 inside the 20, 80 fair catches and 38 longer than 50 yards. Last season was by far his best when he set a school record with a 45.0-yard average … Also had a school-record 17 punts of 50 yards or longer … Had 23 punts downed inside the 20 as opposed to just two touchbacks … Also had 29 punts fair caught. - Georgia Southern Football

rSr/2023 P Anthony Beck IIGeorgia Southern
News Source: Georgia Southern Football
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  With the kickoff of the 2022 football season 40 days away, the Georgia Southern Athletics Department has announced its plans to celebrate 40 years of Eagle football in the modern era. Georgia Southern began playing football in 1924 as Georgia Normal School but suspended the sport after the 1941 season due to World War II. The Eagles resumed playing as an NAIA independent in 1982, and the first year of NCAA unclassified play was in 1983. In 1993, Georgia Southern joined the Southern Conference and began transitioning to the FBS in 2013 before beginning play in the Sun Belt Conference in 2014. The Eagles have won six NCAA Division I-AA national championships, 11 conference titles and three bowl games in their 40 years of uncompromised excellence. The Eagles will open the season on Saturday, Sept. 3 at home against Morgan State. - Georgia Southern Football

rSr/2023 QB Kyle VantreaseGeorgia Southern
News Source: Georgia Southern Football
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  2022 PRESEASON RAY GUY WATCHLIST: Anthony Beck II - Georgia Southern,...A second-team All-Sun Belt selection in 2021...Named to Phil Steele's and Pro Football Network's second-team All-Sun Belt squad...Started all 12 games as the punter and holder...Saw action on 114 special teams plays...Set a school record with a 45.0-yard average for the season...Also had a school-record 17 punts of 50 yards or longer...Had 23 punts downed inside the 20 as opposed to just two touchbacks. - Georgia Southern Football

rSr/2023 P Anthony Beck IIGeorgia Southern
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  2022 PRESEASON DOAK WALKER AWARD CANDIDATE: Jalen White (Jr.), Georgia Southern,...In 2021, running back Jalen White (6-0, 215) played in all 12 games … Played 201 total snaps (170 on offense, 31 on special teams) … Carried the ball 68 times for 383 yards and four touchdowns … Had a long run of 59 yards … Had four carries for 12 yards in the opener against Gardner-Webb … Carried the ball four times for 12 yards at Florida Atlantic …In 2020, White played in 12 games … Saw action on 114 total snaps (35 on offense, 79 on special teams) … Carried the ball 20 times for 86 yards … Had a tackle on special teams … Saw brief action on special teams against Campbell and Louisiana … Played five special teams plays at ULM - Georgia Southern Football

Jr/2024 RB Jalen WhiteGeorgia Southern
News Source: Georgia Southern Football
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  Sun Belt Football Media Day is only a few days away and the conference has announced that Georgia Southern football student-athletes sixth-year athletes Kyle Vantrease and Dillon Springer will accompany head coach Clay Helton to the 2022 Sun Belt Media Day. The event is now held over two days in New Orleans with the Sun Belt East Division going on Tuesday. The 2022 Sun Belt Football Media Day will be held in person on Tuesday, July 25 and Wednesday, July 25 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. The event will be broadcast on ESPN+ with a morning session from 9 a.m. to noon CT and an afternoon session from 1:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. CT. Two student-athletes from each of the 14 programs will join their head coach for an open media session. - Georgia Southern Football

rSr/2023 QB Kyle VantreaseGeorgia Southern
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  2022 PRESEASON DOAK WALKER AWARD CANDIDATE: Gerald Green (Jr.), Georgia Southern,... Last season running back Gerald Green (5-9, 195, full name Gerald De'quanjay Green) played in 10 games, starting two … Played 156 total snaps (151 on offense, five on special teams) … Had 75 rushes for 423 yards and five touchdowns on the season … Carried the ball 11 times for 72 in the opener against Gardner-Webb … Also had a 16-yard reception … Saw limited action at Florida Atlantic, carrying the ball just once … Had eight carries for 20 yards at Arkansas … Had a big game against Louisiana, rushing for 186 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries … Had five rushes for 15 yards and a touchdown against Arkansas State … Had five carries for 33 yards and a 10-yard catch at Troy … Had five carries for 13 yards at South Alabama … Carried the ball 11 times for 54 yards against Georgia State … Had seven carries for 23 yards against Coastal Carolina … Carried the ball nine times for 9 yards in the win at Texas State and had a tackle on special teams before leaving with an injury … Missed the final two games. - Georgia Southern Football

rJr/2024 RB Gerald GreenGeorgia Southern
News Source: Georgia Southern Football
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  Georgia Southern's J.D. King was making a run to an outstanding season in 2020 when it was cut short by a torn ACL in his left knee in the seventh game. A combination of a power and speed back with the ability to run inside and outside the tackles, King still earned All-Sun Belt Conference honorable mention honors. King had surgery and rehabilitated the knee, missing spring and fall practice sesssions. After sitting out the first three games of the 2021 slate, he made his return on Sept. 25 against Louisiana.

King saw only limited action, appearing in four games and was able to redshirt and plan a return for a sixth year this fall. That plan has changed, as King announced on his Twitter account Tuesday that he has retired from playing football. "It is with a humble heart that I would like to announce my retirement from the game I love," the post read. "My body and my mind tell me it is time to take my next step in life." He played in 12 games in 2019, starting six, and made All-Sun Belt honorable mention after tallying 804 yards and eight TDs on 185 carries. King started the first seven games in 2020 before the knee injury against Troy cost him the remainder of that contest and the next six. He finished with 116 carries for 625 yards and five TDs. - Savannah Morning News


rSr/2023 RB J.D. KingGeorgia Southern
News Source: Savannah Morning News
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  Clay Helton took stock of the team when he was hired to be Georgia Southern's new head football coach last November. Helton reviewed film and observed the Eagles for four games that finished a 3-9 campaign in 2021. He then took over the program and watched players grind through nine weeks of strength and conditioning, and five weeks of spring practice culminating with the spring intrasquad game April 23. Asked recently which players stood out most, Helton said without hesitation that on offense it was the wide receivers.

The same position group that was basically an afterthought in 2021 in the Eagles' run-heavy offense. All receivers on pass plays - including tight ends and running backs - totaled just 141 receptions for 1,765 yards and a mere five touchdowns (four by tight ends) last season. "People came up to me after the spring game and go, "Coach, we didn't know these guys. We looked at the roster and some of the guys had been there three years," Helton recalled with a chuckle. Khaleb Hood, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound rising senior, is perhaps the best known of the group with team-highs of 41 catches for 497 yards last season. He didn't score a touchdown. - Savannah Morning News


Jr/2024 WR Khaleb HoodGeorgia Southern
News Source: Savannah Morning News
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  The Georgia Southern football team wrapped up their 2022 spring football season with the annual Blue/White game Saturday afternoon at Paulson Stadium. First year head coach Clay Helton got his first opportunity to hit the field with the Eagles with a good crowd on hand as around 4,000 fans came out and saw the Eagle offense put up over 700 yards of offense and 51 points as the White team beat the Blue team 51-28. Leading the offense was Buffalo transfer quarterback Kyle Vantrease who was 16-25 for 217 yards and one touchdown.

Vantrease feels the team has taken huge steps in the right direction and is excited about wrapping up spring and getting to know his teammates better. "This being my sixth year I know what we need next and that is bonding," said Vantrease. "Over the summer and into summer workouts that is the most important thing. A team that is connected is going to be a dangerous team. On the filed we just need more reps, but off the field is what is important right now." On the field Vantrease spread the ball around nicely with Houston transfer Jeremy Singleton getting the most targets (10) and receptions (6). Derwin Burgess led the way in yardage with three catches for 80 yards, while Khaleb Hood had three receptions and Sam Kennerson had the lone touchdown pass from Vantrease. - Savannah Morning News


rSr/2023 QB Kyle VantreaseGeorgia Southern
News Source: Savannah Morning News
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  2021 ALL-SUN BELT HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES): DL - Justin Ellis (RS Sr., DL - Roswell, Ga.),...Earned honorable mention All-Sun Belt accolades from the conference...Started all 12 games...Played 608 total snaps (567 on defense, 41 on special teams)...Led the defensive line with 37 total tackles...Included in that total were 7.5 tackles for loss and five sacks...Also had four quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and a pass breakup. - Georgia Southern Football

rSr/2023 DE Justin EllisGeorgia Southern
News Source: Georgia Southern Football
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  2021 ALL-SUN BELT HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES): WR - Khaleb Hood (Jr., WR - McDonough, Ga.),...Started all 12 games...Played 772 total snaps (657 on offense, 115 on special teams)...Led the Eagles with 41 catches for 497 yards for an average of 12.6 yards per catch...Also had 13 rushes for 77 yards and a touchdown...Was the primary kickoff return and punt return man. - Georgia Southern Football

Jr/2024 WR Khaleb HoodGeorgia Southern
News Source: Georgia Southern Football
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  2021 ALL-SUN BELT HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES): OL - Aaron Dowdell (Super Sr., OL - Fairburn, Ga.),...Played in and started all 12 games at left guard...Played a team-high 848 total snaps (792 on offense, 56 on special teams). - Georgia Southern Football

rSr/2022 OG Aaron DowdellGeorgia Southern
News Source: Georgia Southern Football
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  2021 ALL-SUN BELT HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES): RB - Logan Wright (RS Sr., RB - Jacksonville, Fla.),...Earned honorable mention All-Sun Belt accolades from the conference...Played in all 12 games, starting seven...Played 547 total snaps (490 on offense, 57 on special teams)...Rushed 150 times for 793 yards and eight touchdowns...Also had 17 catches for 180 yards, averaging 10.6 yards per catch. - Georgia Southern Football

rSr/2022 RB Logan WrightGeorgia Southern
News Source: Georgia Southern Football
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