Players I’m most interested in seeing in game 1

by Sep 2, 2023Football

Photo credit: Charlotte Football

Today feels like Christmas to this big kid

Excuse me, BIFFMAS.

We’ve been waiting for this moment to get here since November 15th, 2022, when Bruce Feldman broke the news on Twitter that Biff Poggi would be hired to replace Will Healy and become Charlotte’s third head coach.

With so many new players on the roster, it’s easy to gloss over returning guys, so lets dive in to some players I’m excited to see in action versus South Carolina State.

Jalon Jones, Quarterback
I think many will agree, outside of the offensive line, QB is the biggest question mark heading into the season. Jones — a phenomenal athlete — is in his last season of eligibility. With that, you want to see a guy that makes great decisions with the ball, and to act decisively. I fully expect Jones to use his athletic prowess often in the ground game, given Charlotte a dynamic on offense that we haven’t seen in a while. Chris Reynolds was mobile, but Jones’ ability to run is on another level.

Defensive Secondary
Charlotte’s secondary graded out as the 2nd word pass coverage team in the country last year, per PFF. In 2021, the Niners were bottom 10 in the country. There are at least 7 or 8 new names in the secondary we could see play today. This unit needs several guys to step up and perform. Being average as a unit would be a massive improvement. A pass rush can certainly help the backend as well.

Jonny King, Center
This one isn’t sexy, but it’s absolutely critical for Charlotte. King is experienced, seeing 500+ snaps last year, but less than 10% of those were at Center. I’ll certainly be watching the middle of the OL to see how well they perform.

Kyle Cunanan, Kicker
He’s a true freshman out of Arizona, and beat out graduate transfer Jake Larson from Richmond. Cunanan’s performance so far earned him a scholarship coming out of fall camp. Would love to see him get a couple opportunities to kick before we head up to Maryland next week.

Michigan Trio
Eyabi Okie, Julius Welschof and Nikhai Hill-Green all followed Biff Poggi to the 704 from Ann Arbor. Welschof was recently listed on The Athletic’s Freak List. Okie was listed as one of the top 100 most impactful transfers (#95 overall) in college football by The Athletic. Hill-Green was primed to be a starter at Michigan before an injury sidelined him all of last season.

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