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TROY Team Report
The Trojans' most pressing need in the spring and leading into the 2008 season was settling on a starting quarterback.
Sophomore Jamie Hampton emerged the winner when spring drills culminated after he beat out sophomore Jonathan Chandler, sophomore Tanner Jones and junior Levi Brown.
However, the position remained a question mark. Two-time all-conference quarterback Omar Haugabook has graduated after shattering virtually every Troy passing record.
The good news is Troy has a very experienced offensive line and an outstanding receiving corps.
While Hampton's play will obviously be crucial, the key will be his ability to make good decision, avoid and let his playmakers do just that.
The Trojans had a first-round NFL draft pick in defensive back Leodis McKelvin, but the secondary should be outstanding. In fact, Troy's defense will likely be the key in whether it competes for the Sun Belt title.
Troy tied with Florida Atlantic for the league title last year, but by virtue of its loss to FAU, it didn't earn the league's automatic bid to the New Orleans Bowl.
The goal will be to return to the New Orleans Bowl, and the Trojans figure to have the talent to be in the hunt.
--No team in the Sun Belt has more offensive production to replace in 2008 than the Trojans. Departed quarterback Omar Haugabook threw for 2,975 yards and 18 touchdowns last season and rushed for 617 yards and 11 touchdowns.
--Junior LB Boris Lee should be one of the league's best at his position in 2008. He led Troy with 82 tackles last season and also had two interceptions and three fumble recoveries.
--WR Jerrel Jernigan -- He had a very solid freshman season, but with his tremendous speed and more experience, could be one of the most explosive wideouts in the Sun Belt.
--RB DuJuan Harris -- The Trojans lost three-year starter Kenny Cattouse, but Harris had a very good spring and earned the starting job.
--QB Jamie Hampton -- The Trojans had a four-player battle for the starting quarterback job, and the sophomore emerged as the starter.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Jamie's the guy coming out of spring. If the season started today, he'd be the starter." -- Troy offensive coordinator Neal Brown, referring to sophomore Jamie Hampton, who earned the starting quarterback job in the spring.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
2008 OUTLOOK: The Trojans lost a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, including standout quarterback Omar Haugabook and defensive back Leodis McKelvin, who was drafted in the first round at No. 11 overall by the Buffalo Bills. The good news is Troy has recruited well and has a lot of experience and young talent returning. The key will be at quarterback where sophomore Jamie Hampton earned the job in the spring.
SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: The Trojans have a very good offensive line, led by senior Dion Small, junior Danny Franks and senior Chris Jamison. The receivers are outstanding, and Troy is deep at the position. Sophomore quarterback Jamie Hampton earned the starting job in the spring and will certainly be under the microscope as he replaces Omar Haugabook, who was a two-time all-conference player.
SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: Troy's strength should be its defense. The line is anchored by seniors Kenny Mainor and Brandon Lang, and the linebackers are outstanding, led by junior Boris Lee. The secondary, despite losing first-round NFL Draft pick Leodis McKelvin also should be outstanding. Seniors Sherrod Martin and Terrence Moore lead a fast and physical group.
SCOUTING THE SPECIAL TEAMS: Junior Sam Glusman and freshman Michael Taylor battled for the place-kicking duties in the spring, but Glusman was later arrested on burglary charges. Freshman Will Goggans and Glusman were competing for the punting duties as well. Troy lost one of the nation's top returners in Leodis McKelvin, a first-round NFL Draft pick. Sophomore Jerrel Jernigan and DuJuan Harris are the leading specialists returning this fall.
--OL Jacob Creech, DL Brandon Boudreaux and DB Kejuan Phillips were all grayshirts in 2007 and went through spring drills.
--DL Brandon Lang battled a knee injury last season but should be at 100 percent in the fall.
Previous Report: 03/26/2008