The Bearkats’ line-up picture for their 2014 season opener in one week at Eastern Washington is beginning to clear up.

Jared Johnson is now the Sam Houston’s starting quarterback with Don King III as the backup. Both are red-shirt sophomores who saw action as reserves last year for the Bearkats’ 9-5 FCS playoff team.

"The thing I love about Jared is if he doesn't make a play, it doesn;t bother him," head coach K. C. Keeler said. "He has made a lot of progress in preseason camp."

Seniors Keshawn Hill and Ridgeway Frank are listed one and two, respectively, at running back. Hill has rushed for 1,396 yards and 16 touchdowns the past three seasons. Frank carried 84 times for 337 yards and five touchdowns in 2010 and 2012 but missed the 2013 season with an injury.

Sam Houston looks to have an ample corps of receivers with returning players Chance Nelson, Gerald Thomas, Ricky Smith, Stephen Williams and Yedidiah Louis and newcomers Kiante’ Griffin, Derreck Edwards and Jeffrey Thomas all expected to see action.

Shane Young and Reagan Henderson at tight end will be a big part of both the Bearkat running and passing games.

Tackles Casey Devries and Brandon DeWitt, guards Donald Jackson III and Bridge Blount and center Zachary Stevens will be the starting offensive line.

Sam Houston’s defensive line play has been a highlight of preseason camp with Mouf Adebo, Gary Lorance and Sione Latu back as returning lettermen.

Myke Chatman and Tristan Eche have been impressive at linebacker. Top returning players in the defensive secondary at safties Michael Wade and Desmond Fite and cornerbacks Darion Flowers.

The No. 14 ranked Bearkats take on No. 1 rated Eastern Washington Saturday at 2:35 p.m. Huntsville time in the FCS Kickoff to be televised by ESPN.

The contest will open the 2014 NCAA college football season.

"There's still a lot of work ahead of us this week to get ready for Eastern Washington," Keeler said. "Now we need to make that next big jump. It’s just seven days until we play.”

Sam Houston opens its 2014 home schedule Saturday August 30 with a 6:30 p.m. Bearkat Orange Out contest versus Alabama State.

Sam Houston is one of only three FCS programs to earn NCAA Division I playoff berths each of the past three seasons. The Bearkats reached the FCS National Championship game in Frisco in 2011 and 2012. Eastern Washington won the FCS Championship game in Frisco in 2010.

Bearkat alumni and fans across the state and the nation are scheduling FCS Kickoff “Watch Parties” for the August 23 SHSU versus EWU showdown. See this link for  list of watch parties and locations.

Use this link to purchase Sam Houston football tickets.