With the 2011 college football season approaching, the Big South Conference begins its daily preview of each team in the reverse order of the predicted order of finish in the Conference standings. Today: Presbyterian College, which will open its season at home for the first time since 2005 when the Blue Hose host No. 8 Wofford at 1:30pm on Saturday, Sept. 3.
Head Coach Harold Nichols, who begins his third season with the Blue Hose noted when fall camp started he was "excited for our young football team. We've had a great off-season and a good spring. We have a lot of great energy on our team and some good senior leadership and I'm ready to take the field."
Below is a position-by-position look at the 2011 Presbyterian College Blue Hose:
Look for Max Travis, Billy Kaylor and Blake Dowd to be impact players in the offensive line and provide leadership on the field ... They've seen a lot of minutes for the Blue Hose the last couple of seasons ... PC will count on them along with Stephon Williams and Evan Merritt ... Coach Nichols will also be looking for some of the younger guys to step up, like Tim Fowler, Murphy Frankhouser and James Festa, who all made great strides this past spring, to add some depth and get the Blue Hose going ... The offensive line was a work in progress in the spring and will really have to come together in the fall pretty quick ... Some freshmen are coming in that could figure in at some point in the season after getting acquainted with college football ... Coach Nichols is really excited about the newcomers and with the addition of Coach Todd Varn, they should learn the ropes pretty quickly.
PC has made a lot of steps forward since last year ... Patrick McKoy will be relied on heavily for leadership amongst the receivers ... He worked hard over the summer to make improvements in his consistency and will look to make great strides this season ... PC will also be looking for big things from Michael Ruff, as well as from Anderico Bailey, who has battled injuries but is healthy and ready to go ... Arthur Williams, as a true freshman last season, did some good things for the Blue Hose and runs well for his size ... PC also signed some new kids looking to make impacts on the field, like J.T. Palmer, Toby Antigha, Jeremiah McKie and Matt Rogers.
Joey Gilkey returns after seeing a lot of minutes as a true freshman and will take a more predominate role on the team ... Newcomer Bobby Henderson will see significant action ... PC is relatively young at tight end but there are several kids with ability, the key will be transferring that to the field.
One of the strengths of the football team is at the quarterback spot ... Both Brandon Miley and Ryan Singer performed very well this spring ... Miley is a great competitor who is a really good leader and does the right thing all the time ... Singer, towards the middle of last year, came in and saw some minutes, and did some great things on the field ... Both will compete for the starting nod during preseason ... the competition between quarterbacks will only make the position stronger and end up benefitting the entire football team.
Lance Byrd, a junior, battled some injuries last year but is ready to come back strong this season, along with Seth Moreland ... A lot of ability among the two, they will be looked to be the leaders on the field ... PC has some really talented incoming freshmen, like Demarcus Rouse, Cameron Jones and Breyon Williams ... The Blue Hose have a lot of guys that can run and are versatile as well.
Brian Davis and Derren Evans will provide leadership in the defensive line this season and will have a great year ... Xavier Boatwright made big steps forward last year, along with Keyadd Miller ... Josh Polk and Kyle Sharman are two guys that will figure in as well ... Bryan Shepherd played a little last season and will add depth ... Logan Daughtrey and Tyler Scott are newcomers and will figure in as well ... The defensive line has some numbers to work with and has lots of players with ability and the opportunity to step it up in 2011.
CeeJay Harris, who started last season, returns as a senior, along with Joe Wideman, who battled some injuries in 2010 ... They will be the leaders heading into the season ... They've both played a lot in the inside linebacker position, along with Montel Hughes, who played a lot of minutes as a true freshman ... Isaiah Lynn will add depth as well as newcomers Alonzo Jackson and Donnelle Williams ... The solid numbers will add some healthy competition for playing time with several players looking to step up.
L.J. Perry was a true freshman last year and really learned on the job ... He is a dynamic and exciting player and can do a lot of things for PC ... Greg Palmer will join him, who was a redshirt-freshman last season ... Those guys are both young and have played many minutes so the Blue Hose expect big things from them.
The secondary starts and stops with Justin Bethel ... He's been an All-Conference performer for the Blue Hose and was a team captain as a junior ... Bethel is a tremendous athlete who has played some corner and free safety and will be a big factor for the success of the program ... Damon Lawrence will also be a big leadership guy for PC as well ... Matthan Burton started last year as a strong safety and did a really nice job, look for him to have a solid sophomore campaign ... Cedric Byrd, Antarius Terrell and Jimmy Pruitt will figure in along with newcomers Nick Newton, Cory White, Kevin Crawford and Rickey Floyd.
All-Conference Patrick Morgano returns looking for more consistency at the punter position ... He has tremendous ability and leg strength ... The key will be at long snapper, where PC will be looking at several candidates this fall to take on that role ... Aaron Mayes has done a lot for the Blue Hose with kick-offs and field goals ... Jeremy Tommie redshirted last year and will compete with Mayes for playing time ... Special Teams is a work in progress but looks to do good things this season.