Furman head football coach Bobby Lamb announced Monday that true freshman Ray Early will be the Paladins’ opening game placekicker and Chas Short will serve as the squad’s punter.
“Ray will be our kicker this Saturday against Colgate, and Chas will handle punts,” said Lamb following Monday’s practice. “Those guys have had a very competitive preseason, and we have confidence in both of them in all phases of our kicking game.”
In addition to handling placements, Early will also handle kickoffs for the Paladins.
Early, who succeeds Matthew Cesari (11×13 FGs in 2009), converted 13-of-22 field goal attempts and averaged 43.0 yards per punt in his career at Darlington (S.C.) High School. He also recorded 48 touchbacks on 56 career kickoffs during his prep tenure. His great-uncle, Lee Rhame ‘37, was an outstanding running back for Furman and is a member of both the Furman and South Carolina Athletic Halls of Fame.
Short, a junior from Thomaston, Ga., served as Furman’s kickoff man the last two seasons, helping the Paladins rank fourth and third, consecutively, in kickoff coverage. He succeeds Trent Hawk, who averaged 39.8 yards on 44 punts last year.
Early is the third Paladin true freshman since 2000 to capture the squad’s placekicking chores, following Danny Marshall (2000) and Scott Beckler (2004). Beckler completed his career as Furman’s all-time kick scoring leader (314 points), two points ahead of Marshall ( 312 points), who currently ranks second.