Citadel football coach Kevin Higgins held his first weekly news conference of the 2013 season on Monday. Some quick hitters heading into Saturday’s opener vs. Charleston Southern:
– There are six freshmen on The Citadel’s two-deep, all in backup roles – center Ryan Bednar, fullback Tyler Renew, wide receivers Rudder Brown and Jorian Jordan, tight end Nick Jeffreys and linebacker Tevin Floyd. Speedy slotback Devan Robbins is not on the two-deep, but is likely to see action, Higgins said.
“We haven’t had a guy as fast as Devan since Kevin Hardy,” said Higgins. Hardy, a 4.3 runner, is still in camp with the Giants.
Walk-on freshman WR Taylor Kimball, who earned the fifth WR spot, has a bruised shoulder and won’t play against CSU.
– The battle for the starting punting job between redshirt freshman Eric Goins and true freshman Will Vanvick will continue this week. Goins is a little ahead, according to Higgins, who said he won’t hesitate to start Vanvick if he’s ahead at week’s end.
– Linebacker Carson Smith, who dislocated his ankle during fall camp, recently had surgery and will almost certainly redshirt this season. He’ll have two more years to play.
– Higgins said “we feel real good” about some new schemes introduced on offense, including one-back sets from the shotgun and I-formation sets to complement the triple option.
– Higgins pointed out that with an 11-game schedule, class starts on a Wednesday and the team has an extra weekend to go through a mock scrimmage before starting game week. With a 12-game schedule like this year’s, the Bulldogs actually are still in camp mode. They held their mock scrimmage last Wednesday. “It’s different, because classes start on Wednesday and two days later you’re playing a game,” he said.
– QBs Ben Dupree and Aaron Miller focused on improving their speed during the off-season, and Miller — listed at 6-0 and 220 pounds — looks a bit trimmer. “We hope on Saturday night everyone sees them as being a step faster than they were in the past,” Higgins said.
– On the offensive line, sophomore Sam Frye won the starting job to replace departed All-American Mike Sellers at center. “We think the line has jelled nicely,” Higgins said. “(Tackle) Devin Bice missed some time with a minor injury, but we think he’ll be back and ready to go.”
– On the defensive front, Higgins said junior Cam Mobley (6-0, 270) had a very good camp and could start alongside all-SoCon tackle Derek Douglas. Mitchell Jeter and Colin Parsons also are ready and Higgins said “We have a little more depth than I anticipated, especially inside.”
– At the ends, Bay Amrhein, Justin Oxendine and sophomore Mark Thomas (6-2, 210) are set for a three-man rotation. “Thomas is a special athlete and is getting bigger and learning to play the run much better,” Higgins said.
– Behind fifth-year corners Brandon McCladdie and Sadath Jean-Pierrre, redshirt freshman Cody Richardson has stepped up and will play on special teams and as a backup.
– At linebacker, Rah Muhammad is back at OLB and Carl Robinson at ILB after season-ending injuries last year. Sophomore James Riley has stepped into Carson Smith’s spot at ILB. If freshman Tevin Floyd can’t play vs. CSU, junior Ian Thompson will be the third inside LB.
– On special teams, Austin Wiles has gone from snapper to holder, with redshirt freshman Hunter Morris taking over the snapping duties.
– Radio stations this season:
CHARLESTON 1450 AM WQNT (flagship station)
CHARLESTON 910 AM WTMZ (select broadcasts ONLY)
GREENVILLE 660 AM WLFJ
GREENVILLE 92.9 FM WLFJ
COLUMBIA 1470 AM WQXL
COLUMBIA 95.9 FM WQXL
ORANGEBURG 100.3 FM WORG
SUMTER 1240 AM WDXY
SUMTER 105.9 FM WDXY
FLORENCE 1230 AM WOLH
FLORENCE 98.9 FM WOLH
LAKE CITY 1260 AM WHYM
KINGSTREE 1310 AM WDKD
– Some great names on the list of honorary captains for Saturday’s season opener:
Tony Skole ‘90
Judson Boehmer ‘93
Everette Sands ‘93
Garrett Sizer ‘93
Maurice Johnson ‘96
Alvin Brown ‘97
Stanley Myers ‘97
Maurice Drayton ‘98
Jason Barley ‘99
Mario Richardson ‘99