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In a move reminiscent of Jackie Moon hitting the hardwood as a player/coach for the Flint Tropics, the University of South Carolina has a coach moving from headset to helmet. Zeb Noland, who began the season as a graduate assistant, has been added to the roster to provide the Gamecocks with quarterback depth.
Beamer on adding GA Zeb Noland to the QB depth chart to compete: “It’s not like I went to 5 Points and found a QB. I told the QBs if he competes and deserves to play then he will.” Noland played at Iowa State before transferring to ND State where he backed up Trey Lance. @wachfox
— Mike Uva (@Mike_Uva) August 17, 2021
Lacking both depth and experience in the quarterback room, head coach Shane Beamer told the media the decision to suit Noland up wasn’t made overnight: “This is something that we’ve been talking about the possibility of potentially doing for a while. It wasn’t like we weren’t discussing it before Luke (Doty) got hurt. We were.”
Noland has experience under center. He spent three seasons playing quarterback at Iowa State before transferring to FCS power North Dakota State. In NDSU’s abbreviated spring season, the 6’2 Noland threw for five touchdowns and more than 700 yards.
Just over two weeks from the season opener, Beamer has every intention of giving Noland a real shot at playing time: “He’s going to compete like everyone else. If he deserves the opportunity to play and can help us win football games, he will. And if he can’t, he won’t.”
With presumed starter Luke Doty recently injured, Noland’s competing for snaps with Jason Brown, Connor Jordan and Colten Gauthier – a group of players he was helping to coach as recently as last weekend. “He’s played in a lot more football games as a starting quarterback than probably all of them combined at the college level,” said Beamer.
Should Noland succeed as a coach-turned-player, USC’s Williams-Brice Stadium may opt to play “Love Me Sexy” rather than the school fight song. Jackie Moon would approve.