Bill Connelly at SB Nation published his returning production percentages to preview his 130 team previews, which are just around the corner. In short, he looks at how much each outgoing (graduating, NFL Draft prospects, transfers that he could find) player produced at their respective positions, does a math thing, then reports a giant list of numbers to say: “Team X is losing/keeping such and such percent of its production from last year.”
By no means is this the end-all, be-all for any argument. If anything, please treat these numbers as good icebreakers to get us talking about the 2019 season while it’s still negative twenty degrees outside.
Read the list of MAC teams on his post below.
|OFF RET||Rk||DEF RET||Rk||TOTAL RET||Rk|
Broncos lead the country
WMU’s notable departures (all left via graduation unless noted otherwise): WR Keishawn Watson (transfer), RB Jamauri Bogan, OC John Keenoy, DT Ken Finley, DE Eric Assoua, S Davontae Ginwright (transfer), RT Zach Novoselsky | 85% return
Western Michigan leads the country in this figure with 85% of last year’s production still coming back this year. Jon Wassink will be back for his third year as the starting quarterback (and Kaleb Eleby at No. 2, of course), LeVante Bellamy comes back as the MAC’s leading returning rusher of the 2018 season (94.5 yards per game), Jayden Reed and Dee Eskridge star as returning wideouts. John Keenoy is the big name departure on the O-line, but if you want to give any credible attention to how good a lineman is based on playing time, graduated right tackle Zach Novoselsky played in 44 career games and has been the starter for the last two seasons.
Defensively, WMU loses Eric Assoua and Ken Finley along the defensive line, but other than that the Broncos are in great shape. Sure, it’s a lot of returning pieces on what was a bad defense last year, but things can change, especially with Lou Esposito replacing Tim Daost as defensive coordinator.
*scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll* damn, Buffalo
Buffalo’s notable departures: QB Tyree Jackson (NFL), WR Anthony Johnson, K.J. Osborn (transfer, Miami-FL), WR Charlie Jones (transfer), DE Chuck Harris, LB Khalil Hodge, OC James O’Hagan, CB Brandon Williams, LB Jordan Collier, CB Cameron Lewis, S Tatum Slack, DT Justin Brandon | 43% return
By no means does seeing Buffalo [WAAAAY] down on the list isn’t a surprise — this is just the first time I’ve seen a stat put that kind of number on the situation. The first four Buffalo players from last year’s team that come to mind are all gone. To name a fifth, you were probably looking for Chuck Harris or James O’Hagan. Or Khalil Hodge. Or George Rushing.
Or Cameron Lewis. Brandon Williams.
To best highlight who are coming back: sophomore running backs Jaret Patterson and Kevin Marks were great surprises last year. Tyler Mabry returns as an All-MAC tight end for his senior year. Aside from O’Hagan, all of the other starters from last year will be back, and three will be seniors (RG Tomas Jack-Kurdyla, LG Paul Nosworthy, LT Evin Ksiezarcyk). (FWIW- NIU hired away Buffalo’s O-line coach).
James Patterson is the big name on this side of the ball. It’s good to see twin brothers — James and Jaret — to join the team and dominate as true freshmen. Anyway, James is the team’s returning leading tackler (58.5) and returning leading run-stuffer (10). I’m burrying the lede here: James forced four fumbles, which, hopefully, can be an early trend for his career. Joey Banks is a good safety to return, as is Tyrone Hill.
More MAC notes
Kent State’s notable departures: RB Justin Rankin (transfer, NW Missouri State), RB Raekwon James, WR Johnny Woods, LB Jim Jones, DE Theo Eboigbe, CB Darryl Marshall, DL Jordan Silva, NT Kalil Morris, S Juantez McRae, DE Connor Parks (transfer, Florida A&M) | 79% return
Ball State’s notable departures: QB Riley Neal (transfer, Vanderbilt), RB James Gilbert (transfer, Kansas State), WR Corey Lacanaria, DE Sean Hammonds (transfer), WR Justin Gibbs (transfer, Austin Peay) | 75% return
The Cardinals lose more piece on offense than it does its defense, but 1. Drew Plitt’s been a pretty impressive QB as a backup, 2. Ball State’s fine at running back and 3. the defense was really impressive until the final third of the season began. Not sure if the last point was supposed to be optimistic or not, but I think there’s enough potential to be had on this side of the ball.
NIU’s notable departures: DE Sutton Smith (NFL), WR D.J. Brown, WR Jauan Wesley, CB Tifonte Hunt, CB Jalen Embry, DE Josh Corcoran | 70% return
I mean. Sutton Smith. That’s pretty much where the other 30% went.
CMU’s notable departures: CB Xavier Crawford (NFL), CB Sean Bunting (NFL), LB Malik Fountain, DE Mike Danna (transfer), LB Alex Briones, LB Trevor Apsey, DE Mitch Stanitzek, DL Nathan Brisson-Fast | 62% return
Last year, CMU had an awful offense and a pretty dangerous defense. This year, they return 83% of the offense and 62% of the defense (which is No. 124 nationally!).
Expect A LOT of new faces to see the field this year.
Miami’s notable departures: QB Gus Ragland, RB Alonzo Smith, WR James Gardner, RB Kenny Young, LB Brad Koenig, DB De’Andre Montgomery, DB Josh Allen, LB Junior McMullen, DL Pasquale Calcagno | 57% return
Seeing a 57% return here is the most fitting figure for Miami, since it’s perpetually a 5 and 7 team anyway.
BGSU’s notable departures: WR Scott Miller, LB Brandon Harris, S Marcus Milton, DB Montre Gregory, DL Jonah Harper, WR Deric Phothavong | 56% return
Most of BGSU’s turnover rate is on defense (42%, No. 120) and that’s, to be honest, not that big of a deal. The Falcons wanted to retail Carl Pelini, which they did until they didn’t. Now he’s at Youngstown State again.
Akron’s notable departures: LB Ulysees Gilbert, DE Jamal Davis II, LB Brian Bell, DT Brennan Williams, DT Brock Boxen, WR Kwadarrius Smith, RB Van Edwards, WR Mykel Traylor-Bennett | 55% return
Toledo’s notable departures: WR Diontae Johnson (NFL), WR Cody Thompson, WR Jon’vea Johnson, RB Art Thompkins (transfer, UConn), LB Richard Olekanma, DL Tuzar Skipper, S Josh Teachey, DT Reggie Howard, CB Ka’Dar Hollman, LB Tyler Taafe | 54% return
Ohio’s notable departures: QB Quinton Maxwell (transfer), RB A.J. Ouellette, RB Maleek Irons, WR Papi White, WR Andrew Meyer, LG Joe Lowery, LT Joe Anderson, LB Evan Crouch, S Kylan Nelson, LB Tyler Gullett, DL Kent Berger, TE Connor Brown | 52% return
EMU’s notable departures: DE Maxx Crosby (NFL), DE Jeremiah Harris, QB Tyler Wiegers, RG Jimmy Leatiota, OC Dakota Tallman, LG Jeremy Hickey, NT Tyler LaBarbera, LB Kyle Rachwal, RB ian Eriksen, CB Ross Williams, FS Justin Moody, WR Blake Banham, LB Jaylen Pickett | 51% return