I've already hit on quarterback Mike Brown, who returns to school as one of the best players at the I-AA level and a mortal lock for Big South POY. Brown threw the ball 351 times and carried it 160 times last season and somehow managed not to shatter into a thousand pieces in the process. While he did just about everything for that team, he did have some help along the way. Here are some other players to watch come September 3rd:
Wide receiver Chris Summers (6-4, 210) was Brown's favorite target last season; he caught 76 passes for 1,081 yards and 15 (!) touchdowns. No doubt his height paid big dividends in the red zone for Liberty. Summers was a first team all-conference selection in 2010, and like his quarterback, he's a legitimate NFL prospect.
Summers is a fine person, I'm sure, but I was very disappointed to read this:
Which teammate has the funniest nickname and how’d he get it?
The team-mate who has the funniest nickname would have to be Sirchauncey Hollaway, in which we call "Gutta". And no one gave him that nickname. He just called himself that so much that we just starting calling him that as well. He’s from this small town in Florida called plant city where they grow strawberry’s at, so I don’t know how her came up with this name.
A couple things here. Number one, you can't give yourself a nickname. It doesn't work that way. It shouldn't be put up with under any circumstances and should be especially poo-pooed within the context of organized sports, which rely on nicknames for camaraderie and all forms of spoken communication.
Secondly, the guy's name is SirChauncey--you have great material that's been put on a platter for you. That pretty much is a nickname. You're 90% there without having to do anything. There's got to be a Chaucer or a knight or a crusader avenue that contains endless possibilities. "Gutta" -- this is nothing but wasted opportunity and should be discarded. It's like looking right past the gift present in the name "Dick Trickle" and calling the former driver "The Accelerator" or something similar. Just an inexcusable waste.
Anyway, Holloway is another returning skill player, and was the team's leading rusher among full-time actual running backs in 2010. (Brown led the team in carries and yards). When Brown isn't toting it himself, it'll most likely be in Hollpway's hands. He averaged a solid 4.9 yards per carry in limited work (10 carries per game) last season.
On the defensive side, Liberty runs the 3-4, and they can do this because they have nose guard Asa Chapman, who is 6-5 and weighs 380 pounds. Camden Wentz, Duran Chrisophe, Zach Allen--good luck with that, sirs. Liberty has several kids who signed with I-A programs but left for one reason or another (a former 4-star safety just transferred in from Georgia Tech, for example), and Chapman's one of them. He signed with Virginia and later West Virginia before eventually moving on to Liberty.
He proved quite good at being immovable and disruptive last season; I'm no football coach, but since Liberty is replacing both defensive ends, I believe a good strategy would be to run away from the fat man. The yards should come easier that way and the odds of a running back being eaten on any given play decrease significantly.