If spring practice told Harrison anything, it is that the Hoyas have seasoned veterans expected to step up in the fall.
That list is a long one.
The 2018 season was more toned-down for Harrison once superstar quarterback Justin Fields graduated after dominating headlines in 2017. Rising senior Gavin Hall asserted himself as the new field general in 2018 and is expected to continue making that position his own this fall.
Even without Fields, the Hoyas still managed to go 9-3 last season, returning to the Class AAAAAA state playoffs, upsetting Johns Creek in the opening round.
Now that players are a year older and a year more experienced, Harrison has the potential to go even further.
“This team has a lot of experience,” said coach Matt Dickmann, who is entering his seventh season with the Hoyas. “Offensively, we have players who will give you depth at the skill positions. Defensively, we have a strong veteran unit.”
Hall, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound pro-style quarterback, had a productive spring after throwing for 1,467 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2018. He has already received offers from eight Football Bowl Subdivision programs, including Toledo, Central Michigan, Memphis and Southern Mississippi.
Also looking good are Hall's rising senior backfield mates, David Roberts and Brandon Godfrey. Roberts is coming off a breakthrough junior season in which he totaled 1,071 yards and 19 touchdowns on 160 carries.
If there was one slight concern offensively, it would be the lack of depth on the offensive line, but Dickmann said some progress was made this spring. While there still may be questions on the offensive front, the Hoyas appear set at tight end, with rising senior Mason Bollin and junior Bryce Stanfield getting the reps.
The one thing Harrison is addressing on the defensive side of the ball is having to replace defensive back Mario Nunez, who signed with Kent State, and linebacker Will McCarty, who is heading to Georgia Southern.
The rest of the defense, however, with a mix of familiar faces and younger players.
Rising senior defensive ends Cody Gast and Micaiah Bell had good springs, while senior linebacker Ryan Smith is a three-year starter who finished with 123 tackles last season.
“At the offensive line, we don’t have as much depth, but, in other areas, we have more depth with a lot of young guys,” Dickmann said. “Our young guys will have to continue to study and get more reps.”
In regards to special teams, Dickmann said rising junior Christian Lowery is ready to take over kicking duties after being an understudy to Alex Raynor, who will join McCarty at Georgia Southern.