The regular season is over for the Tigers as they prepare for another BCS game. It is time for a postseason edition of Up Downs.
In this TCI feature each Sunday we will look at the players moving up and those that are moving down. Which players are elevating their game and their position on the depth chart?
Isaiah Battle – The time is now for Isaiah Battle. Battle finished the season as the starter at tackle and finally showed the consistency that staff has been awaiting the past few games. With Timothy ending his football career and Thomas playing his final game in the Orange Bowl Battle will have to be the guy heading into 2014.
Shaq Lawson – The Tigers have another defensive end that will be a major weapon for the next few years. The freshman All-American had an outstanding freshman year. If Vic Beasley moves on to the NFL after this season Shaq will inherit the starting position. Lawson is ready for the challenge as he showed this season.
Jayron Kearse – With the injury to Travis Blanks, Jayron siezed the opportunity at safety. Kearse played well coming down the stretch and showed that he can be a playmaker on defense. One of the big questions in the offseason will be where Jayron plays next season. Will he start at safety in 2014 or move to SAM? One thing we know is that he will start and be one of the leaders of the defense going forward.
Jay Jay McCullough – The coaches gave Jay Jay some time in the backfield the final few weeks of the season during practice and we saw the results in that one drive against the Citadel. McCullough is a weapon with the ball in his hands, whether at tight end or in the backfield. The staff will work in the offseason to see how to get Jay Jay more touches next season.
Shaq Anthony – With the departure of Gifford Timothy from football and Brandon Thomas heading to the NFL, Shaq will be one of the favorites to compete for the starting tackle position next year. Shaq actually started a few games this year, but will need to take his game to the next level in the offseason to seize the opportunity.
Gifford Timothy – Earlier this month Giff informed Dabo that he was done with football. Knee injuries have hampered the offensive tackle and he decided it was time to give up the game he loves.
Travis Blanks – The season ended early for Travis after a knee injury. Blanks played well at times this season, but did not have the season some expected as the former 5-star recruit made the move from Nickle/Hybrid to safety. Kearse showed improvement at safety as he got more snaps and continues to come on strong. Once Travis returns from injury the staff will have some to make some decisions about whether Blanks and Kearse both stay at safety or if Kearse moves to SAM or Blanks back to Nickel/Hybrid. Wiggins will also be part of this conversation.