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Keep your enemies close: Kent State Golden Flashes

Kent State was 2-10 in 2018, but showed flashes of brilliance because of these two key players.

NCAA Football: Kent State at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Who are the best players on the team Wisconsin is playing in any given week? We aim to find out and give you mini scouting reports on them so you can sound smart talking to your friends by saying “well, actually...” and then whatever smart thing we tell you. You’re welcome in advance for being the go-to friend in your group for your Kent State football knowledge.

It was a rough season for the Kent State Golden Flashes in 2018. After a 2-10 2017 the Flashes followed up with...a 2-10 2018. HOWEVER, there was a clear improvement under new head coach, and former Wisconsin Badger, Sean Lewis. While the record may have been the same, the play on the field was much better. If Kent State can get improved production from these two players, three wins aren’t out of the realm of possibilities.

Best Offensive Player: QB Woody Barrett, junior, No. 15

Some may remember this name as Barrett was a former four star recruit that began his career at Auburn and held multiple offers from the likes of Texas, Alabama and yes, Wisconsin. At 6’2” 236 pounds and a ton of athletic ability Barrett appeared to have the potential to be the Tigers next Cam Newton. However after struggling to develop and falling on the depth chart Barrett went the JUCO route and returned to FBS football at Kent State last season.

Barrett is the definition of a dual threat quarterback as he threw for 2,339 yards and 11 touchdowns, while also rushing for 503 yards and seven touchdowns. With Barrett’s size and speed he has the ability to escape the pocket and make plays with his feet, but his pass accuracy has been his weakest trait. He completed just 58% of his passes in 2018. While Barrett certainly has room for improvement, that doesn’t change the fact that he will be the main staple in the Kent State offense this fall.

Best Defensive Player: CB Jamal Parker, senior, No. 7

Jamal Parker was a strong force at the cornerback position last year for the Golden Flashes. He registered 83 tackles which was third on the team, and paired that with two interceptions and seven broken up passes. At 5’9” Parker is a on the smaller size for cornerbacks, but he makes up for his lack of size with the ability to make plays on the ball and in the backfield. Anytime a cornerback is third on the team in tackles it means he’s got a motor that gets to the football and Parker shows that a lot on film.

Parker has started 29 games for the Golden Flashes, making him one of the more experienced corners not only in the MAC, but throughout the country. If he is able to replicate his production it should help improve a unit that ranked 93rd in passing yards allowed a season ago.