Troy announces week one starters/depth chart

Published 11:30 am Monday, August 28, 2023

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The Troy Trojans released the week one depth chart on Monday ahead of Saturday’s season opener against Stephen F. Austin.

On the offense side, the starters are probably as expected for most Trojan fans with Gunnar Watson being named the starting quarterback, Kimani Vidal starting at running back and the trio of Marcus Rogers, Jabre Barber and Deshon Stoudemire starting at receiver. Clayton Ollendieck will also get the start at tight end, while the starting offensive line consists of Derrick Graham at left tackle, Grant Betts at left guard, Eli Russ at center, Daniel King at right guard and Carson Burt at right tackle.

On defense there will be a number of new faces. On the defensive line both AJ Pierce and Luis Medina are listed as starters at one of the defensive end positions, while Buddha Jones will get the start at nose tackle. At the other defensive end position Javon Solomon gets the start. Solomon and fellow All-Sun Belt pass rusher Richard Jibunor have shared the bandit position for the past three seasons but last year, the Troy staff moved Solomon to defensive end more often to get the pair on the field at the same time. That move will now be more permanent.

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Jibunor is once again listed as the starter at bandit, while Terry Thomas will get the start at the weak inside linebacker position. At middle linebacker – replacing All-American Carlton Martial – will be Jayden McDonald and Steven Cattledge sharing the duties there.

Caleb Ransaw – who played cornerback for most of last season – will get the start at spear, while O’Shai Fletcher and Reddy Steward man the starting cornerback spots. At free safety, Dell Pettus will get the start, while Keshawn Swanson and Irshaad Davis will share starting duties at strong safety.

Both Troy native Scott Taylor Renfroe and Zach Long are listed as the starting field goal and kickoff kickers, while Robert Cole has won the battle at punter. Quentin Skinner will once again handle long snapper duties, while Goose Crowder will be the holder on field goals. Enterprise freshman MJ Johnson and Barber will handle kickoff return duties, while Barber handles punt returns.

Troy plays Stephen F. Austin at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2, at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Troy.