August 20, 2014

The Palmetto Pigskin Tour visits with the Furman Paladins (AUDIO)

Reese Hannon (L) & Marcus McMorris

Reese Hannon (L) & Marcus McMorris

Furman was back in familiar territory last season, atop the Southern Conference standings.  The Paladins tied UT-Chattanooga and Samford for the league title last season and made it to the second round of the FCS playoffs before losing to eventual national champion North Dakota State.

Bruce Fowler goes into his fourth season with 15 returning starters including quarterback Reese Hannon.  The junior from Greer passed for 1748 yards and 7 touchdowns with only 5 interceptions.  Also returning is thousand yard rusher Hank McCloud.

Defensively the Paladins will be led by defensive end Gary Wilkins and and linebacker Marcus McMorris.  Wilkins had 79 tackles with 5.5 sacks last season and McMorris totaled 113 tackles.

The Paladins open the season at home August 30th against Gardner-Webb then play three straight on the road including their SOCON opener in week two at Mercer where they will face former Furman coach and quarterback Bobby Lamb.

AUDIO: Furman coach Bruce Fowler on SportsTalk [7:17]

AUDIO: QB Reese Hannon & LB Marcus McMorris preview the upcoming season [4:36]

Swinney and his quarterback have their sites set on Georgia (AUDIO)

Cole Stoudt

Cole Stoudt

The Clemson football team is in full Georgia mode now.  The Tigers are gearing their work towards the season opener at Georgia a week from Saturday.  The game will mark the debut of Cole Stoudt as the Tigers’ starting quarterback.

He has waited in the wings behind Tajh Boyd the last three seasons and now Dabo Swinney and Chad Morris have given him the keys to the offense.

Of course, waiting in the wings now is true freshman Deshawn Watson and he, too, will see the field.

The Tigers practiced Tuesday afternoon and Swinney and Stoudt talked with the media after the workout.

AUDIO: Dabo Swinney reviews Tuesday’s practice [15:32]

AUDIO: Cole Stoudt on getting ready for Georgia [3:25]

#STRecruiting: USC lands a commitment from junior linebacker JaCorey Morris

JaCorey Morris

JaCorey Morris

Junior linebacker JaCorey Morris (6-2 215) of Grove Hill, AL visited USC in June after being contacted by Gamecock linebackers coach Kirk Botkin and Tuesday decided he’d seen enough and committed to the Gamecocks.  He’s USC’s second commitment for the 2016 class.

Botkin learned about Morris from a friend who lives not far from Clarke County High School.  Morris’ coach, Keith Kelley, contacted Botkin and set him film.  Kelley and Morris then went in for a visit in June after first attending  a camp at Clemson.

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#STRecruiting Bullets: WR Tyron Johnson; DE Quandeski Whitlow; PG CJ Williamson

Tyron Johnson

Tyron Johnson

2015 WR Tyron Johnson of New Orleans reported his top 10 schools today as Clemson, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, LSU, Georgia, Florida State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Florida and Tennessee.

He did not list them in order but in a subsequent interview he called Clemson his favorite.

USC commitment DE Quandeski Whitlow of Opelika, AL was offered by Mississippi State over the weekend.

6-6 PG CJ Williamson of Orlando has set his Clemson official visit for September 22nd.

He will visit Virginia Tech September 12th and Texas Tech October 18th.

Those are his three finalists.

The Palmetto Pigskin Tour drops in on The Citadel and new coach Mike Houston (AUDIO)

Justin Oxendine (L) & Aaron Miller

Justin Oxendine (L) & Aaron Miller

There’s new leadership in The Citadel football program, and it appears the Bulldogs are in good hands.  Mike Houston was hired after Kevin Higgins left for Wake Forest, and considering the Bulldogs were a triple option team, they couldn’t have made a better higher.

Houston transformed Lenoir-Rhyne from a D-2 bottom feeder to the national runnerup last season.  His version of the triple option accounted for over 5500 rushing yards setting a NCAA record for all divisions.

And he’ll have a highly capable quarterback to run the show in senior Aaron Miller of Clover.  After serving as Ben Dupree’s backup for three seasons, Miller is now ready to run the offense himself.  In his career, Miller has thrown for 1038 yards and rushed for 772 yards and 11 touchdowns.

All SOCON defensive line selection Justin Oxendine will head up the defense which will operate from a 4-2-5 and 3-4 look.   Last season he had 11.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.

The Bulldogs open their season at home August 30th against Coastal Carolina then travel to Florida State in week two.  Their SOCON opener will be October 4th at Wofford.

AUDIO: New Citadel coach Mike Houston on SportsTalk [8:27]

AUDIO: QB Aaron Miller and DL Justin Oxendine preview the season [6:20]