CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - Practice No. 1 for the Chants has come and gone ahead of what many believe will be a turnaround season for the program.
Last year, just 24 points separated CCU from advancing to a bowl game for the first time in program history. In recent years, the team has had a bit of a musical chairs situation at the quarterback spot. Last season, Fred Payton and Bryce Carpenter split the QB1 duties but going forward head coach Jamey Chadwell wants to have a clear-cut starter, something the team hasn’t had since Alex Ross.
Although it’s early in the preseason, Chadwell says Payton has stood out.
“I think I would consider him from that standpoint. Obviously him and Bryce played last year and did some good things and did some inconsistent things,” Chadwell said of his quarterbacks. “I would say based off the summer and some of the things there, I’d say he’s (Payton) in the lead but he’s got to hold that lead. He’s got to do the things to secure that position. We’re going to do our best and we told the quarterbacks yesterday, we’re going to name a starter and when we name that starter we want that starter to be the starter. That’s his job and you don’t have to look over his shoulder. Hopefully one of those guys will take it and say, ‘This is mine.‘”
Something else that still needs to be solidified for the upcoming season is finalizing the maximum capacity for games at Brooks Stadium. Per South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster’s current order, stadiums can operate at 50% capacity with face coverings and social distancing guidelines required in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Chadwell feels the lack of fans could have an effect on the players.
“You make a big play and there’s no crowd. That external motivation that you normally get from momentum and somebody chanting ‘Defense!’ and not being there, I think it’s more so for just the players,” admitted Chadwell. “It’s going to be great for the coaches because we can make audibles and just holler out there, ‘Hey! Run it the other way!’ You can’t worry about those things and stuff. It will be unique, it will be different.”