Valdosta State getting back to National Title?

Who will start at quarterback is the big question but by each practice a decision grows near. / Jon Benson

The Valdosta State Blazers football team has been known time and time again to make the playoffs and bring home a national title. Last year the Blazers were on a mission to defend their national title, but fell short of the playoffs. Today marked the official first practice for Valdosta State in the 2014 season. The biggest question is, who will replace the All-American quarterback Cayden Cochran?

Head Coach David Dean said, "Right now we have two guys with experience from last season and it's going to come down to who will step up and take the leadership role."

Kaleb Nobles, a Fitzgerald graduate is the front runner for the quarterback position who played in games against Delta State and West Georgia last year. The biggest weapon on the offense will be the running game between All-American Cedric O'Neal and running back Austin Scott. O'Neal has 2,173 rushing yards with 20 touchdowns as he heads into his junior year. The wide receivers are the biggest problem for the Blazers. Among the wide outs they have only two seniors who have a combined playing experience of only 50 games during their career.

Coach Dean said, "We are still looking for those younger guys to step up at the wide receiver position."

On defense VSU loses two big linebackers that have made an impact in the Gulf South Conference; Chris Pope and Jeremy Grable. Coach Dean is looking at guys like Rodney Hunter and Justin Williams to step up and be the leader of the Black Swarm Defense. In the secondary they have senior leadership from Isaiah Gresham who enters his senior year.

Valdosta State will open their season at home against Albany State on September 6th at 7:00PM.

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