|« Big men on campus hope to plug holes in the JSU Tiger defense||Big Green working machine: East grad stays busy in Ivy League »|
Coastal Carolina’s Childers shows versatility in scrimmage
Senior Jamie Childers continued to look sharp Wednesday in his effort to close the gap in Coastal Carolina’s two-man quarterback competition.
But his most impressive moment during the Chanticleers’ morning intrasquad scrimmage came on the receiving end as he hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from junior Aramis Hillary, showing play-making speed after catching a low pass around the 30-yard line and cutting up field.
“He can play quarterback, tight end and wideout,” offensive coordinator Kevin Brown said of Childers’ versatility. “[Defenses] really have to kind of be generic with their calls because [with] Jamie, we can go into our two-tight-end set, we can break out the four wides. He’s really valuable for us as an offense.”
Which raises the question of how much his value at tight end will affect his chances in the competition for the starting quarterback job?
“It will factor in some, but we’re going to play the best guy at the quarterback because that trigger man is very important,” Brown said. “So we’re going to play the best guy back there, and we’ll see what happens. If it’s Jamie, it’s Jamie. If it’s Aramis, it’s Aramis. We’ll see what happens the next week.”
Hillary, who entered camp with the edge in that competition and presumably remains the favorite for the job, finished 5-of-8 passing for 110 yards and the long touchdown pass Wednesday, while Childers went 7 of 9 for 59 yards.
Childers was slowed through the first part of camp with shoulder soreness, and Brown said he will let the quarterback competition play out a little longer before finalizing a decision.
“We’re going to let them kind of get equal reps these next couple practices and see what happens,” Brown said. “Jamie’s starting to get back healed up, so we’ll get some equal reps, kind of … start gearing them toward our game plan for Furman and see what happens.”
As for his versatility and what he expects for the season, Childers said he is fine with whatever decision is made.
“Whatever the coaches feel like would give us the best chance to win, that’s what I look forward to doing this year,” he said.
The Chants’ first-team defense continued its impressive preseason with a strong showing Wednesday morning, forcing three-and-outs on its first two series and holding the offense to a failed 46-yard field goal attempt the next time.
It finally gave up some points – a 37-yard field goal – as the scrimmage shifted to overtime situations with the offense starting 25 yards from the goal line.
Still, defensive coordinator Curtis Walker wasn’t ready to give the veteran-laden unit too much praise.
“We’re not totally where we need to be,” Walker said. “We’ve got some holes that need to be filled a little bit quicker, we have some coverages that we’ve got to be more quick on as far as a unit, so again, they have made a few plays but not near enough for us to be where we want to be at the end of the year.”
Jones scores twice
Sophomore running back Aaron Jones scored two short-yardage touchdowns in the scrimmage and could be in line for frequent goal line work this season as the biggest of the Chants’ top three contenders for carries.
“It always feels good, but whenever the offensive line looks good, we look good,” Jones said. “So as a whole, I feel as if the offensive line did it today. And if they do it, we all do it.”
Jones, who is listed at 6-feet and 230 pounds, averaged 5.8 yards per carry last season in 26 touches as a true freshman.
“He’s kind of our big back back there,” Brown said. “Like coach [David] Bennett always says, we’ve got to get him running lower. If he ever runs behind his pads, he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with. But when he stands up, he’s just like he’s a 180-pound back.
“So we’ve got to get his shoulders down and running with that lean. When he gets that down, he’s a tough back.”
Overall, Brown said, there still is not much separation between juniors Marcus Whitener, Jeremy Height and Jones for that starting running back job, and the position could likely be one by committee this season.
“All three of those guys … they’re toting the rock pretty good,” Brown said. “I thought they made some good, tough runs today. We really tried to put an emphasis on the running game today and our play action. I thought we ran the ball a little better. …
“So I feel like we’ve got three good quality backs that have got some game experience.”
By Ryan Young, The Sun News