There’s been plenty of hype about the 16 transfer players that have descended on Alabama State in the last nine months, but only one of them is listed as a starter for the Aug. 31 opener with Jacksonville State.
The bigger news might be the walk-ons, players that showed up in Montgomery with dreams of being a Hornet. Three of them have been the talk of preseason camp and a fourth is a starter.
The fourth, junior defensive end Edward Mosley of Atlanta, arrived at ASU on an academic scholarship and is currently penciled in as the starting defensive end opposite Carlton Jones. That’s a remarkable accomplishment in itself but Mosley has worked hard over the past two seasons to put himself in that position.
The other three have come out of nowhere to move into the linebacker corps, a position where ASU had returning starters with experience.
“Deontrelle Silmon, Nathanial Black and Kourtney Berry are three guys that walked on to the team that every time we’re in our (coaches’) meetings, we can’t believe we had those guys walking on our campus and a scholarship was not in their plans,” head coach Reggie Barlow said. “Those three guys, I’m so proud of their progress and what they’ve been doing for us. And Ed Mosley is another one who’s playing lights out.”
Silmon, a sophomore from Lanett, is currently listed as a second-team outside linebacker after moving from defensive back this season. Berry, a redshirt freshman from Merrillville, Indiana, showed up on campus last year and spent the season recovering from a serious knee injury. He is slated to start the season opener at middle linebacker. Black, a redshirt freshman, is another outside linebacker who will see plenty of playing time on special teams (and some at linebacker in a reserve role) that played at Sidney Lanier.
With so much returning talent on defense, along with six Football Bowl Subdivision transfers that arrived since January, the performance of Silmon, Black and Berry in preseason camp is amazing and another reason why there are high expectations at ASU this fall.