Quarterback - The Savage Storm lose last years starter, Brandon McCain (HM LSC North). He was third in the LSC last fall in passing efficiency, trailing only Billy Malone and Keith Null, and had a 22-6 TD/Int ratio. Returnees Bo White and Dallas McCutcheon struggled a bit in limited playing time last fall.
Defensive Secondary - Cameron Sparks (2nd LSC North) and Craig Andrus (HM LSC North) are gone. Bernard Daniel and Johnny Seals (both 2nd LSC North) do return, but SOSU will rely on young players to provide depth.
Defensive Line - Two full-time starters (Alex Moore and Dexter Elliott, both HM LSC North) and one part-timer (Brad Chessir) are scheduled to be back. De'arteuy Jones and Lionel Gillespie also played alot last year.
Linebacker - Noe Lopez (HM LSC North) and Eric Favors both return, but will be seniors. Not a lot of experience in the backups.
Offensive Line - Seven linemen are back that started at least 4 games. Jerrod Anderson (1st LSC North), Josh Aleman (HM LSC North) and Rick Rudolf are seniors, so the Savage Storm need to be looking to the future.
Wide Receiver - Daniel Nichols and Jerrod Temple (both 2nd LSC North) lead the returnees. Another senior-heavy group (top 5 in receptions will be seniors).
Running Back - Baylen Laury (1st LSC North) returns, as do Marcus High, Daryl Carey and Jonathan Larkin. The only senior in the group is High.
The offense returns just about everyone, with the glaring exception at QB. SMU transfer, Logan Turner, could fill that spot and give the Savage Storm the best offense in the LSC North. WRs Billy Allen and Dexter Richmond are two to watch when this year's seniors have moved on. Same scenario at offensive line, with David Hernandez and Josh Higgins being two highly touted prep stars. Not as many highly touted defensive recruits, but DL Colby Long and DB Vincent McDaniel were ranked by several scouting services.
LSC Ranking - 6
Overall Grade - B+
The Savage Storm closed out 2008 strong, winning their last 4 games, and 5 of the final 6. Not all of the wins were dominating, with three of them by one score or less. Coach Richards was able to address the biggest immediate need at QB, and brought in some talented high schoolers, most of whom (if not all) will not be counted on to contribute much this year. We will not be surprised to see additional transfers announced before the 2009 first kickoff.