By Jeff Petty
A lot of things are still uncertain for the Yellow Jackets going into the off season. One thing is for certain. In a season or two, they will be the team to fear in the Mountain East.
The Yellow Jackets finished the football season with a record of 6-5, their first winning season in almost 10 years. It was the first year for head coach John Pennington, along with a coaching staff that includes defensive coordinator George Shehl and running backs coach Quincy Wilson.
We have also seen the rise of Calil Wilkins, promising new weapon in the backfield with 6.1 yards average per touch, coupled with five rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns.
Sophomore wide out AJ Barrett recorded 409 yards receiving and five touchdowns. Khave Konteh will be key to the 2018 Yellow Jacket defensive corners. Defensive lineman Brandon Dickerson will be coming back on fire next season after being out for this entire season.
Wide receiver Quinton Gray had an eventful year, with 15 touchdowns and 982 yards receiving. Gray broke the school records in career receiving yards and touchdown catches.
Quarterback Matt Kinnick was the centerpiece of this entire Yellow Jacket team. He was, without a doubt, the leader of the locker room. He passed for 28 touchdowns for 2,923 passing yards. Kinnick finished his career with 75 passing touchdowns and 10,199 yards passing, and nine rushing touchdowns for 679 yards.
The Jackets set records in pass completions, passing yards, total offense and total offense. They were the number one red zone offense in the MEC. Number 9 in 3rd down conversions. Number 15 in total offense.
Here’s to year two Coach Pennington.