Best Liberty Offensive Player
WR Antonio Gandy-Golden, Jr.
The 6-4, 220-pounder was passes over in the recruiting world as a relative late bloomer production-wise, but he started to look the part at the end. He stepped up right away as a freshman and became part of the rotation, and then last season he blew up, leading the team with 69 catches for 1,066 yards and ten scores. A matchup problem, he’s got a huge catching radius to go along with enough deep speed to stretch the field. Best of all, with this deep receiving corps, he doesn’t have to do it all alone.
2. QB Stephen Calvert, Jr.
3. WR B.J. Farrow, Sr.
4. OG Dontae Duff, Jr.
5. WR Damian King, Sr.
Best Liberty Defensive Player
DE Juwan Wells, Sr.
The 6-2, 255-pounder might fit as a big inside linebacker who thumps everything against the run and gets into the backfield from time to time.
However, he’s a solid defensive end who turned in back-to-back all-star seasons, coming up with 5.5 sacks as a sophomore, and last season generating a team-leading 74 tackles with 4.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss. Always pressuring the quarterback and always in the backfield, he’s too quick for most tackles – he’s a hybrid who’s in the right spot.
2. S Jeremy Peters, Sr.
3. LB Brandon Tillmon, Jr.
4. S Rion Davis, Jr.
5. DT Tolen Avery, Sr.
Key Player To A Successful Season
RB Frankie Hickson, Jr.
The rest of the offense is in place with a high-powered passing game, four starters up front, a great receiving corps, and Stephen Calvert back under center. Now the Flames need a running game, and Hickson will get the early shot.
The 5-8, 200 pounder is a terrific kick returner, and was second on the team with 375 rushing yards and two scores. He needs to grow into a reliable receiver, and has to be ready to handle the ball close to 200 times on the year.
Key Game To The Liberty Season
Old Dominion, Sept. 1
The Monarchs are going to be solid. They’ve got enough returning to rebound from a mediocre season to be in the hunt for bowl eligibility, but that means they need to come up with what they’ll think is a layup against Liberty.
However, the Flames – after beating Baylor to start out last season – can establish themselves as a dangerous team to deal with right out of the gate. With their experience returning and their firepower with the passing game, they should be just good enough to be a problem for everyone on the slate except for Virginia and Auburn. Win this, and it’ll make a wee bit of a national splash.
2017 Liberty Fun Stats
– Missed Extra Points: Liberty 5 – Opponents 1
– 3rd Down Conversions: Liberty 44% – Opponents 34%
– Total Offense: Liberty 4,941 – Opponents 4,934