Head Coach Neal Brown (left) and R&L Carriers Bowl MVP Brandon Silvers (right) share one last moment on the field in New Orleans after the Trojans’ 50-30 victory over North Texas.
12 QB Brandon Silvers (6’3, 219, Sr.)
Silvers added onto his passing percentage by completing 24-of-31 passes for 305 yards and 5 total touchdowns (4 rushing, 1 passing). Silvers sprayed the football all over the field from a variety of RPO’s and play actions. He was extremely accurate with his touch on the 9-route (go or fly) in one-on-one match ups, as well as his velocity on the football on speed cuts to convert first downs. The signature play of the evening was when he threaded the needle on a seam throw to Tevaris McCormick for a 59-yard touchdown. NFL teams looking for a quarterback in the later rounds may consider Silvers.
15 WR Damion Willis (6’4, 194, Jr.)
Next man up must have been the motto for junior WR Damion Willis. Willis had a big game in-place of Troy’s leading receiver Deondre Douglas. The 6-foot-4 wideout had his way with North Texas CB Eric Jenkins. He won the 50/50 grabs by utilizing his long frame to catch the ball high and away from his body. He was even impressive on rolling out of his break on speed cuts. With one more season ahead, Willis and Douglas could be one of the better receiver combinations in the Sun Belt next season.
33 RB Josh Anderson (5’11, 255, Sr.)
Anderson is a downhill runner who can absorb contact and keep moving forward. What’s most impressive is how he can bend and drop his shoulder pads to shred tacklers. He has a tendency to cut off his inside foot, which causes him to loose his footing. He could also be considered as a fullback prospect in the 2018 draft.
5 LB Sam Lebbie (6’3, 244, Sr.)
At 6’3, Lebbie presents a long rangy body in the middle of the defense. He runs well sideline-to-sideline; often making it difficult for second level blockers to get their hands on him. There are times where he is too aggressive on his run reads and will overrun his gap control. As a pass defender, he does look for work in his area but will chase the first crosser or jump the first receiver in his area leaving a vacated spot in the zone. We like the way he is utilized as a blitzer. On third downs and sub-packages, he lined up off the edge as a pressure defender. While he doesn’t offer much movement as a pass rusher, he knows how to use his speed and arm length to get offensive linemen out of their comfort zone.
24 Saf Cedarius Rookard (6’1, 210, Jr.)
Rookard is one of the most active defenders on the Troy Trojans defense. He communicates well with the defense and appeared to be the go-to defender to make the calls and checks. He displayed formation recognition and never appeared to be out of position, even with the variety of coverages he played throughout the game. He played both strong and free safety and returned punts as well. The South Carolina native led the team in tackles and deflected a pass that was caught for an interception.
30 DT Jamal Stadom (6’1 ½, 280, Sr.)
Despite being undersized, Stadom shows quickness off the ball. He was disruptive on the snap from any of the defensive line spots he played. He was consistently breaking through double teams and defeating backside cut-offs. Length got to him at times when pass rushing, but he was active enough with his hands and arms to work his way around blocks.
18 CB Blace Brown (6’0, 186, RS-Jr.)
Did not play due to a lower-body injury
38 RB Jordan Chunn (6’1, 235, Sr.)
Sidelined due to lingering knee injury
80 WR Deondre Douglas (6’1, 197, Jr.)
Injured on the opening kickoff
1 WR Turner Smiley (6’0, 193, Sr.)
Smiley can get up to his top speed in a hurry. On a few occasions, he simply won his footraces versus three different Trojan cornerbacks. He also does a good job of gaining inside leverage as he climbs. Because of his ability to press the gas pedal deep, it opened up routes such as the pivot-out and deep comeback. He has an impressive snap and acceleration at the top of his route on deep slants. Needs to continue to work on rolling his speed cuts.
6 Saf Kishawn McClain (5’11, 187, Sr.)
McClain was someone who immediately caught our eye with his willingness to throw his body around versus the run. He was consistent with his force, fit, and alley play versus the run and RPO’s. North Texas used him in situations as a free hat to play the middle hole and the cutback run. On the 59-yard touchdown throw to Tevaris McCormick, McClain struggled to recover on help coverage largely due to the angle he took on a well-thrown football. He consistently defeated blockers when covering punts.
30 K Trevor Moore (5’11, 191, Sr.)
Moore ends his career without ever having missed an extra point attempt. He converted on a 24-yard FG in the third quarter to finish his senior season with 90% field goal percentage. Although he did not record a touchback, his kicks did reach the end zone.
3 RB Jeffrey Wilson (6’0, 194, Sr.)
Did not play due to a foot injury.