HERO Sports welcomes you to "Two-a-Days", where we will preview every single one of the 125 FCS programs, with two being released each day from June 18 to August 18 (with the final day having three in one day). Today we give you … Presbyterian.
The Big South (Tied for 4th in MEAC)
COACH: Tommy Spangler – 8th year (46-31 in two stints)
2017 OFFENSE: 16.5 ppg (107th in FCS)
2017 DEFENSE: 29.5 ppg (90th in FCS)
SUM IT UP: Presbyterian is going to be one unique study this year. Last November, the Blue Hose brass decided to go the non-scholarship route — beginning the transition immediately. The plan is to be playing in the Pioneer League by 2021, while honoring the scholarships it currently has with players for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Also, players could choose to move on if they wanted to — which 1st Team Big South RB Torrance Marable did, as he'll now have three years left at FBS Coastal Carolina. DB Rock Ya-Sin also transferred to Temple. On the flip side, the Blue Hose signed more than 60 freshmen this spring to fill the holes on the roster, but endured spring ball with a depleted roster (see Spangler's quote below).
BEST-CASE SCENARIO: Playing Big South programs like Kennesaw State, Charleston Southern and Monmouth this year is going to be an uphill battle. There are some opportunities for wins early in the schedule and there are a handful of starters back in the Presbyterian lineup. However, this eventual move to the Pioneer League was a wise one and the Blue Hose could be contenders early on in that league, especially with this year's signing class. And lastly … a shout out to the guys who stuck around to try to help build (and strengthen) the new direction this Presbyterian program wants to go. There's nothing wrong with transferring either, but the guys who are sticking it out will be the cornerstones of this new movement.
TOP RETURNEE: TE Riley Hilton (HM Preseason All Big South)
THE NEXT BEST: C Eli Teeselink (18 career starts on O-line); DE Gyasi Yeldell (45 tackles); KR/WR Keith Pearson (22.2 yards per kick return); DB Dirk Cureton (42 tackles, 5 PBUs); DE Nick Chiaravalloti (returning starter at LE); OL Tobias Hagins (starter last year)
TOP NEWCOMER: OL Jake Locklear (6-foot-4, 280-pound All Region lineman graded out at 93% in high school).
DID YOU KNOW?: Presbyterian has not only played in-state powers Clemson and South Carolina, it has beaten both schools three times apiece. In fact, Clemson and Presbyterian used to open every season back in the 1940s and 1950s. The last Presbyterian win over Clemson was in 1943, and the last Blue Hose win over the Gamecocks was … oh … about 100 years ago, In 1923 … Do you want another history nugget? Presbyterian beat Havana University (yep, the one in Cuba) 34-0 in 1944.
THE QUOTE: "These guys have not flinched, they have been so awesome as far as coming out here and working and not saying ‘hey, we don’t have the numbers, why are we working?’ We really have worked harder than I think we ever have and for that I am proud. The coaches have done an outstanding job of keeping the guys upbeat. You have to realize that these 42 guys have made a decision to play football for Presbyterian College. When you make that kind of commitment then most of the intangibles are there, they are going to work. I am not saying we have had a perfect spring, we have a long way to go and we know the issue, we don’t have very much depth." — coach Tommy Spangler said during spring drills, with the roster transition taking place
SOCIAL MEDIA SPOTLIGHT
THE HASHTAG: #GoBlueHose
FOOTBALL TWITTER: @BlueHoseFtball
Football Sets Home Game Times … https://t.co/IoNKthO9i3
— PC Football (@BlueHoseFtball) July 6, 2018
FCS QB TRANSFERS: Who Tops The List?
FCS PREVIEWS: The Rest Of The Big South
IND.'s in 2018 (*): Hampton | North Alabama
(*) — Will be in Big South in the near future