2017 In A Sentence: A young Redhawk team took some lumps with a tough schedule, finishing 3-8 but establishing themselves with some interesting young players that got a lot of experience in OVC play.
Biggest Shoes to Fill:LB Kendall Donnerson was a monster in SEMO’s linebacking corps, notching 13 1/2 tackles for loss and forming a daunting member of the Redhawk pass rush. Though LB Zach Hall returns and will be the guy opponents key on, replacing Donnerson on the other side is a top offseason priority.
Key Player:RB Marquis Terry established himself as the best running back in the entire OVC last season, rushing for 1,076 yards, scoring 7 TDs and adding 119 return yards and 109 receiving yards. The 5’7, 180 lb senior also proved his durability, rushing for more than 100 yards in his last three games. For an encore, he’ll look to carry the Redhawks to new heights in 2018.
Fearless Prediction: The Redhawks are an intriguing team that could make a move and compete for the OVC title, building off of their offensive and defensive stars. If the rest of the team can coalesce around them early they have a chance – maybe not to unseat Jacksonville State, but to get into the conversation for an at-large bid to the FCS playoffs. They’ll have to beat both Dayton and Southern Illinois on their out-of-conference schedule to have a chance at that.