KNOW THE FOE: Troy Trojans

TroyLogo

  • LOCATION: Troy, Alabama
  • HOME FIELD: Larry Blakeney Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium (capacity 30,000)
  • CONFERENCE: Sun Belt Conference
  • 2015 RECORD: 4-8, 3-5 in Sun Belt
  • PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Brandon Silvers, RB Jordan Chunn, OL Antonio Garcia, DE Rashad Dillard, LB William Lloyd, LB Justin Lucas, LB Demetrius Cain
  • HEAD COACH: Neal Brown, 2nd season (4-8)
  • OFFENSIVE COORDINATORS: Kenny Edenfield (2nd season), Matt Moore (2nd season)
  • DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Vic Koenning (2nd season)
  • ASSISTANT COACHES: 
    • Kenny Edenfield, Inside Wide Receivers (9th season)
    • Matt Moore, Offensive Line (2nd season)
    • Vic Koenning, Safeties (2nd season)
    • Bam Hardmon, Defensive Line (2nd season)
    • Al Pogue, Cornerbacks/Recruiting Coordinator (3rd season)
    • Sean Reagan, Quarterbacks/Running Backs (2nd season)
    • Jordan Lesley, Defensive Tackles (1st season)
    • Cornelius Williams, Outside Wide Receivers (2nd season)
    • Jon Sumrall, Linebackers/Special Teams Coordinator (2nd season)

2016 SCHEDULE

  • 9/3 – Austin Peay
  • 9/10 – at Clemson
  • 9/17 – at Southern Miss
  • 9/24 – New Mexico State*
  • 10/1 – at Idaho*
  • 10/15 – Georgia State*
  • 10/20 – at South Alabama*
  • 11/5 – Massachusetts
  • 11/12 – Appalachian State*
  • 11/17 – Arkansas State*
  • 11/26 – at Texas State*
  • 12/3 – at Georgia Southern*

*Conference game

CLASS OF 2016

  1. Kelvin Lucky, DE (Elmore, AL)
  2. Zo Bridges, LB (Opelika, AL)
  3. Dominic Walker, WR* (Orlando, FL)
  4. Sawyer Smith, QB (Cantonment, FL)
  5. Tristan Crowder, OL (Carrollton, GA)
  6. Sam Letton, TE (Marietta, GA)
  7. B.J. Smith, RB (Millbrook, AL)
  8. Tevaris McCormick, WR* (Biloxi, MS)
  9. Kaleb Barker, QB (Decatur, AL)
  10. Michael Robinson, DT (Auburn, AL)
  11. Terrance Corbett, DE (Athens, AL)
  12. Jabir Frye, RB (Pensacola, FL)
  13. Adarius Wesley, WR (Montgomery, AL)
  14. Kris Weatherspoon, S* (Natchez, MS)
  15. Walter Pritchett, LB (Phenix City, AL)
  16. Marcus Webb, DE (Decatur, AL)
  17. Jai Nunn-Liddell, CB (Mableton, GA)
  18. Brandon Niccum, OL* (Justin, TX)
  19. Dylan Bradshaw, OL (Enterprise, AL)
  20. J.L. Gaston, OL (Monroeville, AL)
  21. Baron Poole II, DT* (Decatur, GA)
  22. Jeremiah Jones, S (Bessemer, AL)
  23. Tyler Sumpter, P (Hoover, AL)

*Junior college transfer

Bold indicates early enrollee.

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP – OFFENSE

  • QB – Brandon Silvers (Jr., Orange Beach, AL)
  • RB – Jordan Chunn (R-Jr., Gurley, AL)
  • WR – Emanuel Thompson (Jr., Clayton, AL)
  • WR – Dominic Walker (Jr., Orlando, FL)
  • WR – Tevaris McCormick (Jr., Biloxi, MS)
  • WR – John Johnson (Jr., Troy, AL)
  • LT – Antonio Garcia (Sr., Atlanta, GA)
  • LG – Deonte Crumitie (So., Lake City, FL)
  • C – Brandon Niccum (Jr., Justin, TX)
  • RG – Xavier Fields (Sr., Montgomery, AL)
  • RT – Tyler Lassiter (Sr., Hazel Green, AL)

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP – DEFENSE

  • DE – Rashad Dillard (Sr., Greer, SC)
  • DT – Seth Calloway (Jr., Ariton, AL)
  • DT – Baron Poole II (Jr., Decatur, GA)
  • DE – Terris Lewis (Sr., Linden, AL)
  • LB – William Lloyd (Sr., Rosedale, MS)
  • LB – Demetrius Cain (Sr., Hazlehurst, MS)
  • NB – Josh Marshall (Sr., Lawrenceville, GA)
  • CB – Jalen Harris (Sr., Dothan, AL)
  • CB – Kamryn Melton (Jr., Dothan, AL)
  • S – Kris Weatherspoon (Jr., Natchez, MS)
  • S – Cedarius Rookard (So., Spartanburg, SC)

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP – SPECIAL TEAMS

  • P/K – Ryan Kay (Sr., Jonesboro, GA)

GOOD NEWS

  • The Trojans bring back a lot of experience on both sides of the ball, starting with junior QB Brandon Silvers, who is entering his third year as the starter. Getting running back Jordan Chunn back from a season-ending collarbone injury should help.
  • Troy’s defense looks to be potent in the front seven. They lose pass-rusher Tyler Roberts, but return senior Rashad Dillard (seven sacks) and have improved depth.
  • The Trojans’ offensive line brings back almost everybody, including left tackle Antonio Garcia, an NFL prospect.

BAD NEWS

  • The Trojans are scary thin in some areas, including quarterback, the offensive line, and the secondary. No one behind Silvers has thrown a collegiate pass, and the secondary is breaking in new starters at safety after one presumed veteran, JaQuadrian Lewis, unexpectedly quit the team over the summer.
  • Troy lacks experience at wide receiver, with Emanuel Thompson (28 catches) the only major returning playmaker. Junior college transfers Tevaris McCormick and Dominic Walker enrolled early in the spring to help out. Walker began his career at Auburn.
  • The Trojans need to regain their mojo in late-game situations. They lost four Sun Belt games by 10 points or less in 2015.

VERDICT

The Trojans are making progress under second-year coach Neal Brown. The air-raid offense should continue to be entertaining to watch, and the defense was a pleasant surprise in year one under a new coaching staff. The Trojans are also benefitting from renewed fan support and they have more clout on the recruiting trail these days. Troy is probably at least one year away from being true conference contenders, but they’ll have a chance to push for their first bowl bid since 2010 if they stay healthy.

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