Georgia Southern Eagles College Football Preview 2021: Defense
– The offense gets the attention, but it was the defense that took over last year. It led the nation in takeaways, was fantastic against the run, and ended up No. 1 in the Sun Belt allowing 326 yards and 21 points per game. Nine starters are expected to be back to keep is all going, but …
– The few losses are big. Raymond Johnson was the team’s best pass rusher on the line, and leading tackler Rashad Byrd is gone from the linebacking corps along with third-leading tackler Reynard Ellis.
The linebacking corps gets back 275-pound Randy Wade at a hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end spot, and 210-pound senior Benz Josue is a part of the rotation on the outside. On the way is Andrew Johnson from Oregon and Khadry Jackson from North Carolina to be a part of the linebacking corps.
– The secondary should be stellar. Derrick Canteen came up with five picks at one corner spot, Justin Birdsong made three interceptions and 19 tackles from one safety job, and Anthony Wilson is back as the team’s leading tackler with 67 stops.
– The line is great at getting behind the line – and it should be again even without Johnson – with Justin Ellis a potential all-star at one end on the 3-4 and CJ Wright a 290-pound interior playmaker. Throwing in Wade at the Dog position and there’s good size along four spots.