Liberty football enjoyed a successful inaugural FBS season with a 6-6 2018 campaign. Under first year head coach Hugh Freeze, the Flames have concluded spring ball and now all the attention is clearly on the 2019 season. Liberty returns many of its skill position weapons on offense as well as many key contributors on defense which will be added to when all of the new signees arrive on campus this summer.

Let’s take a look at what the depth chart could like like when Liberty kicks off the 2019 season by hosting its first ever P5 opponent Syracuse.


Starter: Buckshot Calvert
Backup: Johnathan Bennett

Buckshot is entering his 4th season as Liberty’s signal caller, and despite having a brand new coaching staff and new offense that will not change for his senior season. With Mason Cunningham transferring, true freshman Johnathan Bennett is poised to be the backup and could even see some playing time in spot duty this fall. Landon Brown is currently 3rd string, but he will be pushed by Henry Van Dellen.


Starter: Frankie Hickson
Backup: Peytton Pickett
Backup: Joshua Mack

This is one of those positions where the starter almost doesn’t matter. Hickson, who missed all of spring practice with an injury, rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2018 and is expected to be 100% healthy by fall camp. Pickett provides a chance of pace back that will get most of the work on short yardage and goal line situations. The rest of the running back position is deep and talented as Maine transfer Joshua Mack, Frank Boyd and Troy Henderson will all be fighting for carries. Mack was the leading FCS rusher in 2017 before transferring to Liberty and expectations for him have been through the roof. He showed flashes during spring ball, but we will see if he will be able to crack the weekly rotation with a healthy Hickson and Pickett in the fall.


Outside Starter 1: Antonio Gandy-Golden
Backup: Noah Frith
Backup: JT Wood

Outside Starter 2: Khaleb Coleman
Backup: Kevin Shaa

Slot Starter: Damian King
Backup: DJ Stubbs
Backup: Shedro Louis

The receiving core was banged up all spring practice making it very difficult for the new coaching staff to get a really good gauge on what the talent base is at the position. If the group stays healthy, they could be very product in Coach Freeze’s offense. Replace B.J. Farrow and essentially everyone else is back.

Obviously, AGG is the leader and go-to receiver as he looks to continue to build onto his NFL draft profile. Coleman showed flashes as a redshirt-freshman in 2018 and he should be poised for a breakout this season. Shaa, Frith, and Wood have all proven capable as we saw last season when the Flames faced several injuries at the position.

In the slot, Damian King returns and we all know how deceptive he can be in space. Stubbs has also proven his ability, as he got a lot of reps in 2018 when King missed time with injuries. True freshman Shedro Louis impressed during the spring game and the coaching staff is very high on him. He will also have a chance to make an impact in the return game.


Starter: Chris Barrett
Backup: Johnny Huntley
Backup: Jerome Jackson

The big question mark at tight end is Zac Foutz after his arrest and suspension. He missed the end of spring ball but is still on the team. Will he miss any game time? Coming in as a JUCO transfer last year with high expectations, Chris Barrett underwhelmed. He got a lot of reps with the first team during spring ball and will be in the mix. Huntley, who sat out last year after transferring from Colorado, moved from wide receiver to tight end after the coaching change. Expect to hear his name in the passing game frequently in 2019.


LT Starter: Tristan Schultz
Backup: Brendan Schlittler

LG Starter: Ethan Crawford
Backup: Damian Bounds

C Starter: Thomas Sargeant
Backup: Jonathan Graham

RG Starter: Dontae Duff
Backup: Cooper McCaw

RT Starter: Sam Isaacson
Backup: John Kourtis

The entire starting right side of the offensive line from 2018 returns, but Tristan Schultz could move from right tackle to left tackle. Crawford, Sargeant, Duff, and Isaacson also provide considerable returning experience to the unit behind new offensive line coach Sam Gregg. 3-star JUCO transfer Maisen Knight is expected to come in and immediately challenge for a starting position, most likely at left tackle. Jacob Bodden, Henry Chibueze, Jonathan Graham, John Kourtis, and Brendan Schlittler are all one year removed from coming in together as freshmen. The previous coaching staff considered this unit to be crucial to the future of Liberty’s offensive lines. It may be another year before some of these names begin making significant contributions.