One thing became apparent after Georgia State wrapped up its spring camp on Friday with the annual Blue-White Game. The Panthers should be able to run the ball as well as anyone in the Sun Belt Conference this fall.

With all-conference running backs Tucker Gregg and Jamyest Williams playing little in the spring game, GSU took the opportunity to show off junior Marcus Carroll and incoming freshman K.Z. Adams. Their presence, along with a solid showing by some of the younger offensive linemen, indicates the Panthers will again favor the run, just like coach Shawn Elliott likes it.

“It’s become a very, very competitive backfield,” Elliott said. “I don’t know how it’s come to where it is, but that backfield is as special as I’ve been around in a long, long time. I’m talking from top to bottom, it’s as good as it can be.”

Carroll, from Hapeville Charter, was named offensive MVP of spring camp. Adams, a speedster from West Columbia, S.C., was named offensive newcomer of the spring.

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Georgia State Panthers running back Marcus Carroll (23) runs the ball during the Georgia State Panthers 2022 spring game on Friday, April, 2022, in Atlanta. Branden Camp/For The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Branden Camp

Georgia State Panthers running back Marcus Carroll (23) runs the ball during the Georgia State Panthers 2022 spring game on Friday, April, 2022, in Atlanta. Branden Camp/For The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Branden Camp

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Georgia State Panthers running back Marcus Carroll (23) runs the ball during the Georgia State Panthers 2022 spring game on Friday, April, 2022, in Atlanta. Branden Camp/For The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Branden Camp

Credit: Branden Camp

Adams showed off on a couple of long runs, set up a touchdown with a 39-yard carry and scored on a 4-yard run to help the Blue team to a 24-7 win over the White squad at Center Parc Stadium.

“Amazing,” quarterback Darren Grainger said when asked about Adams. “Different guy. Just to see that kind of talent and that kind of plays being made as a freshman. We’re excited to see him here for the next four years.”

Outside linebacker Jamil Muhammad said, “When I knew K.Z. was on my team (for the spring), I knew he was going to make a difference. He’s special, man.”

Elliott said, “I think in our opening scrimmage he ran for like 285 yards. He has already come on to a very, very competitive backfield.”

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Georgia State Panthers wide receiver Ja'Cyais Credle (8) is taken down by Georgia State Panthers cornerback Jaylon Jones (27) during the Georgia State Panthers 2022 spring game on Friday, April, 2022, in Atlanta. Branden Camp/For The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Branden Camp

Georgia State Panthers wide receiver Ja'Cyais Credle (8) is taken down by Georgia State Panthers cornerback Jaylon Jones (27) during the Georgia State Panthers 2022 spring game on Friday, April, 2022, in Atlanta. Branden Camp/For The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Branden Camp

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Georgia State Panthers wide receiver Ja'Cyais Credle (8) is taken down by Georgia State Panthers cornerback Jaylon Jones (27) during the Georgia State Panthers 2022 spring game on Friday, April, 2022, in Atlanta. Branden Camp/For The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Branden Camp

Credit: Branden Camp

Georgia State gave out other awards at halftime: safety Makkah Jordan, defensive newcomer; Gregg and Muhammad for offensive and defensive “Workout Warriors;” Thomas Gore, defensive MVP; long snapper Seth Glausier, special teams MVP; Tristan Lyon, academics; and Bob Murphy, MVP trainer.

Three quarterbacks got to play. Mikele Colasurdo went all four quarters for the Blue team and threw a couple of touchdowns, one to Cadarius Thompson and one to Kellan Autenrieth. Grainger played almost the entire first half before giving way to Memphis transfer Keilan Brown.

“When you’ve got the teams split up, you’ve got marginal positions at tight end, wide receiver and back, so did didn’t push the ball downfield throwing all that often,” Elliott said. “It’s about what we were expecting, hand the ball off and get a couple first down.”

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A young boy watches the Georgia State Panthers 2022 spring game from the sidelines on Friday, April, 2022, in Atlanta. Branden Camp/For The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Branden Camp

A young boy watches the Georgia State Panthers 2022 spring game from the sidelines on Friday, April, 2022, in Atlanta. Branden Camp/For The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Branden Camp

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A young boy watches the Georgia State Panthers 2022 spring game from the sidelines on Friday, April, 2022, in Atlanta. Branden Camp/For The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Branden Camp

Credit: Branden Camp

The defense had its moments, too. Muhammad, Gore and Tre Moore provided pressure on the quarterbacks. Jontrey Hunter and Chris Davis Jr. both had interceptions and Justin Abraham recovered a fumble.

Otherwise it was a quiet, laid-back way to end the season. There were dozens of prospects in attendance. Kids were running on the field before and after the game. And Elliott’s dog, Charlie, was getting a heavy dose of back rubs and head pats.

“Overall it was a great spring,” Elliott said. “We’ve gotten better as a football team. I think each position has answers to questions that we had going in. We finished up very strong and now we focus on finishing this semester strong academically and getting ready for a great summer and preparing for the University of South Carolina on Sept. 3.

How many days is that, coach?

“One hundred and fifty-five,” he said. “I figured we count down everything. It doesn’t matter.”