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A whole new backfield

During yesterday’s press conference in the Sebo Center BG coach Gregg Brandon unveiled the depth chart to start the 2007 season.

The suspense of knowing who would start at quarterback and running back is finally over. Tyler Sheehan will start the season under center, and lining up behind him at tailback will be true freshman, Willie Geter.

After Eric Ransom came onto the scene in spring football, it seemed like the Falcons would have a three-man battle at the tailback position.

Only then it was Dan Macon who was the third back in the equation. Now Macon will get reps as a receiver behind Freddie Barnes since Geter has burst onto the scene.

“[Geter] earned it, [he] had a great camp,” Brandon said.

Geter will not necessarily take reps away from Bullock or Ransom though. The three of them all bring different styles to the Falcon offense.

“Our challenge is to get all of those guys on the field at the same time or two of the three on the field at the same time because of the kind of speed it gives [us],” Brandon said.

His coach isn’t the only guy he’s impressed. His linemen didn’t even expect to see him play a lot since they already had depth at tailback. Now he’s starting in their first game against a Big Ten defense.

“He’s really been a big surprise,” said center Kory Lichtensteiger. “Willie came in and started getting reps with the twos and then the ones and he definitely earned it.

“He’s quick.”

Sheehan’s promotion isn’t as much of a shock since he’s been the leading candidate since late in the spring. It does come as a small surprise though as incumbent starter Anthony Turner was just one player on a team that lost eight games last season.

The offseason has allowed Sheehan to grow though and he caught the attention of his coaches somewhere along the way.

“He became an accurate passer. The type of thrower I need to run the offense,” Brandon said. “He just manages things really well for us, knows the system and is able to spread the ball around.”

Sheehan won’t step into the same shoes as Turner did last season. Turner was stepping into the light as record-setting quarterback Omar Jacobs was stepping out of it and into the NFL.

Brandon still thinks Sheehan has the pressure on him to perform at the elite level that Jacobs and Josh Harris did before him.

“Until somebody does better then it will go away,” Brandon said.

“All our quarterback needs to do is win a championship. That’s it.”

That might be a tall order this season. Most of last season’s successful teams are returning key players. The MAC East is especially strong now that Kent State and Ohio are in the mix. That leaves five teams including BG, Miami and Akron.

“It’s a lot more of an even playing field. There’s not going to be a week this year where there’s an easy win,” Lichtensteiger said. “We’re definitely going to need to show up to every game.”

Whatever the case, Sheehan is the starter and that’s the team’s goal.

“It doesn’t have anything to do with yards, touchdowns and all that stuff, just lead the team to the MAC Championship,” Brandon said. “That’s what a quarterback does.”

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