From coach to QB: Former South Carolina graduate assistant Zeb Noland expected to start for Gamecocks

Former Iowa State and North Dakota State quarterback Zeb Noland will begin at quarterback for South Carolina after initially becoming a member of the Gamecocks as a member of the teaching workers, in line with ESPN

Noland got here to South Carolina as a graduate assistant on coach Shane Beamer’s first workers with the Gamecocks. However after presumed starter Luke Doty suffered a soccer damage throughout camp, Noland opted to make use of his NCAA-granted sixth 12 months of eligibility to play for South Carolina. 

The Watkinsville, Georgia, product beforehand performed for North Dakota State and Iowa State earlier than switching his focus to teaching. As a redshirt senior for the Bison, he accomplished 51% of his passes, threw 5 touchdowns to 6 interceptions and led the crew with 740 yards of complete offense. 

Noland beat out fellow former FCS quarterback Jason Brown for the beginning job. Brown transferred to South Carolina from St. Francis (PA). 

Noland’s distinctive path

Simply three months in the past, Noland was a member of the North Dakota State soccer crew. He entered the 2020 season as Trey Lance’s backup, however finally earned the beginning job when Lance left early to enter the 2021 NFL Draft

Nevertheless, Noland struggled within the function, particularly as a number of Bison gamers departed earlier than the spring for the NFL Draft. Ultimately, he misplaced the beginning job to freshman Cam Miller after North Dakota State misplaced a number of common season video games for the primary time since 2015. Noland opted to surrender soccer and deal with teaching as an SEC graduate assistant. 

However over that point interval, South Carolina skilled a wave of attrition at quarterback. Incumbent starter Colin Hill graduated and opted to not return. Backup Ryan Hilinski used his free switch to land at Large Ten finalist Northwestern. When the freshman Doty injured his foot, it left South Carolina with out a single quarterback with sport expertise at South Carolina. 

With Brown, true freshman Colten Gauthier and walk-ons as the one choices, the teaching workers gave Noland the possibility to compete. 

“We weren’t discussing it earlier than Luke [Doty] received harm,” Beamer advised The Athletic. “This isn’t a state of affairs the place we’re determined for QBs. It isn’t like I walked across the nook to Budweiser and the loading dock and requested if anyone performed highschool QB.” 

South Carolina begins the 12 months Saturday towards Jap Illinois in Columbia, South Carolina. Nevertheless, the Gamecocks journey to Georgia in Week 3, so there will not be a lot time for a studying curve. | From coach to QB: Former South Carolina graduate assistant Zeb Noland anticipated to begin for Gamecocks


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