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Jackson State vs. Hampton
Last game: Season opener. JSU defeated Grambling 42-31 in SWAC Championship.
Sunday: vs. Hampton in MEAC/SWAC Challenge at Orlando, Fla.
Radio: JSU Network (WOAD-1300 AM)
The biggest name on the offensive side of the ball is a player who was kicked off his football team last November. Former Tennessee running back LaMarcus Coker, the 2006 Southeastern Conference freshman of the year, transferred to play with the Pirates this season. Hampton will break in a new quarterback after returning starter T.J. Mitchell was ruled academically ineligible for the 2008 season. Sophomore Herbert Bynes is expected to start despite playing in just three games last year.
The defensive line figures to be the top unit for the Pirates with the addition of transfers Chris Baker (Penn State), Kendrick Ellis (South Carolina), James Ingram (West Virginia) and Bryant Miller (Auburn).
The rest of the defense should be improved with even more Division I-A transfers - cornerback Ricardo Kemp (Tennessee), linebacker Brandon Peguese (South Florida) and linebacker J’Courtney Williams.
Former defensive coordinator Jerry Holmes replaces Joe Taylor, who won three consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championships from 2004-06, as head coach. Taylor took the Florida A&M job after going 6-5 in 2007.
By Kareem Copeland