As the college football world tries to get back to normal, Liberty will turn its attention to preparing for what will hopefully be a full 2020 season.
Coming off the program’s first ever bowl game, the Flames must replace several key contributors from the 2019 campaign.
Liberty will need a few players to step into more prominent roles to hit the goal of a second consecutive bowl game and here are three who might be flying a little under the radar.
We all got to know Shedro Louis’ name as a true freshman as he took over as the team’s primary kick returner in 2019. He finished the season with 662 kick return yards and 1 touchdown on his 24 returns.
Louis looks to reclaim his throne as the team’s kick returner and will also vie for the top punt returner, but its his potential on offense that puts him on this list.
He originally came into the program as a wide receiver and finished with 4 receptions for 33 yards last season, but the 5’8″, 175 pound product of Immokalee, Florida has been moved to the running back room during the offseason.
Louis is a threat to take go the distance anytime he touches the rock, and he is certain to get much more opportunities in 2020 on offense. As the team looks to replace Frankie Hickson’s 187 carries and 1,041 rushing yards, Louis stands to get some of that work.
Despite finishing his freshman season with negative punt return and rushing yardage totals, Louis still finished 4th on the team in all-purpose yards behind Antonio Gandy-Golden, Hickson, and Joshua Mack. We could see him end 2020 as the team’s leader in that category.
Another offensive weapon that will see a large increase of opportunities in 2020 is tight end Johnny Huntley. After transferring from Colorado as a wide receiver, Huntley was forced to sit out the 2018 season as he redshirted. When new head coach Hugh Freeze arrived on the scene, Huntley was quickly switched to the tight end room.
We all know how much Freeze likes to utilize the tight ends in his offense, and now that AGG is no longer a part of Liberty’s offense, look for the tight ends to be utilized much more beginning in 2020 and Huntley will be the biggest benefactor.
The 6’3″ redshirt-senior, finished last year with 11 receptions for 196 yards and 1 touchdown, and he led the team with 90 receiving yards, including a 57 yard touchdown, in the Cure Bowl win over Georgia Southern. His first quarter touchdown were the first points on the board, giving the Flames the lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
With Gandy-Golden’s 1,396 receiving yards out of the picture, we could see Huntley lead the team in receiving in 2020.
On defense, Liberty will move on with the absence of four who signed with NFL teams as undrafted free agents, and one of the names we will see emerge in 2020 is Juawan Treadwell.
Treadwell is a 6’0″, 185 pound JUCO transfer who attended Independence Community College. The 3-star rated defensive back chose Liberty over offers from Akron, Old Dominion, SMU, South Alabama, Southern Miss, and Temple, and he is the younger brother of former Ole Miss (under Hugh Freeze) and current NFL WR Laquon Treadwell.
This past season at ICC, Treadwell recorded 57 tackles, 10 pass breakups, and 1.5 tackles for loss in 10 games. Originally from Crete, Illinois, he joined Liberty’s program this past spring and took part in the 5 spring practices before the final 10 were canceled.
Treadwell will be expected to make an immediate impact this fall in the secondary at one of the safety positions, and he could emerge as one of the leaders of the defense.