What You Need to Know:
* Georgia State is in its first spring practice under head coach Shawn Elliott Monday with an 8:45 a.m. workout.
* The Spring Game is scheduled for Saturday, April 15 at noon at Grady Stadium in Midtown Atlanta.
* The Panthers return 52 lettermen and 17 starters.
ATLANTA -- Spring practice for the Georgia State football program has just about reached its midpoint as the Panthers continue make strides
under first-year head coach Shawn Elliott and his staff.
"Just make sure we continue to take positive steps in the right direction every day," inside linebackers coach Rusty Wright said after
Thursday's practice No. 7 of 15. "We want these guys to keep practicing the right way and keep playing the right way and then just continue to
build on that every day."
Wright joined Elliott's first staff after spending the last four years at Chattanooga, where he was the linebackers coach and special teams
coordinator. He helped UTC to three straight FCS playoff berths, including 2014 quarterfinals, four consecutive seasons of eight or more wins,
and three Southern Conference championships or co-championships.
Wright's inside linebacker corps includes returning starter Trey Payne, who is Georgia State’s active tackling leader with 196, which ranks
fourth in GSU history. The Panthers also return sophomores Chase Middleton, Charlie Patrick and Ed Curney, who red-shirted last fall due to a
shoulder injury. Former running back Demarcus Kirk is also in the mix at linebacker. But one of the Panthers' biggest losses on defense is
two-year starting linebacker Alonzo McGee.
Wright also serves as the Panthers' recruiting coordinator. Elliott and his staff put together a very strong signing class for 2017, despite
taking over in mid-December, and now they are hard at work on future classes.
"There's a lot of buzz right now," Wright said. "We had over 350 kids at a Junior Day two weeks with almost 600 people total in the President's
Club at Georgia State Stadium. The response was tremendous. That is naturally going to keep building and building. Hopefully by this time in
the next two-three years, we've identified prospects much earlier so we have the opportunity to really pinpoint and target who we want."
Georgia State football will play its first season in the new Georgia State Stadium in 2017, with the inaugural game scheduled for Thursday,
Aug. 31 vs. Tennessee State. Season tickets are on sale now, beginning at $100.
"There's no question Georgia State Stadium helps recruiting tremendously, and that will only get better as we start to play our games there
2017 SPRING PRACTICE DATES (Subject to change)
Friday, March 31, 8:45 a.m.
Monday, April 3, 8:45 a.m.
Wednesday, April 5, 8:45 a.m.
Friday, April 7, 8:45 a.m.
Monday, April 10, 8:45 a.m.
Wednesday, April 12, 8:45 a.m.
Friday, April 14, 8:45 a.m.
Saturday, April 15, BLUE-WHITE SPRING GAME, Grady Stadium, 12 p.m.