CHARLESTON, S.C. – Throughout fall camp, we'll provide positional previews of Charleston Southern's 2018 team. Today, we take a look at the quarterbacks.
Projected Starter: London Johnson
Other Returners: Jack Chambers
Lost: Shane Bucenell, Robert Mitchell, Steven Rankin
Three Things to Watch
Johnson embracing importance of preparation
A conversation with friend and Clemson star receiver Hunter Renfrow helped London Johnson's maturation process entering 2018 as CSU's undisputed starting quarterback.
"They got together last spring and were just talking about what he (Renfrow) does in preparation at his position and it was an eye-opener," said CSU head coach and quarterbacks coach Mark Tucker. "London came back and shared that with me and you could tell he took it to heart."
Tucker has lauded Johnson's maturity throughout fall camp. Pairing a level head with some of the best athletic ability CSU has had at QB gives Johnson a chance to be one of the Big South's premier playmakers.
"The maturity hasn't been something that's had ebb and flow to it," Tucker said. "It's been consistent and growing so I know it's for real. He's preparing hard. I'm excited for him and excited to see what all that ability can do."
Chambers showing significant growth from spring ball
Backing up Johnson is Jack Chambers, who grayshirted in 2016 before redshirting last year. Following Shane Bucenell's transfer, Chambers and Johnson were CSU's only two quarterbacks in spring practice. That led to plenty of repetitions, and some considerable growing pains for Chambers. Tucker has seen a different player, though, over the last several weeks.
"He did not have a great spring but he's had a very good camp and I've been mightily impressed," Tucker said. "He knows the history. We've had to play at least two (QB's) every year that we've been here so he knows he needs to be ready and a play away."
Chambers accounted for over 7,500 yards of total offense as a three-year starter at Lilburn, Georgia's Parkview High School.
Reid and Eighmy fill out group
Freshmen Christian Reid and Chase Eighmy are third and fourth on the QB depth chart. Tucker says Reid has as much explosion off the mesh point of the option game of anyone in the Bucs' program since Malcolm Dixon. Eighmy is a walk-on from Waxhaw, N.C., who has quickly shown a strong grasp on the offense. He also, reportedly, delivered a strong impression of Tucker at CSU's annual skit night.
Player Spotlight – London Johnson
8 – CSU has had eight different players log significant time at quarterback over the last five seasons. The ability to handle injuries at quarterback makes CSU's 41 wins over that time all the more impressive. The Bucs had three different starters behind center in 2013, 2016 and 2017.
336 – London Johnson earned Big South Offensive Player of the Week honors last October after racking up 336 yards of total offense in CSU's rout of Savannah State. It stands as the best performance of Johnson's career, and CSU hopes similar ones lie ahead for the speedy dual threat.
5 – Johnson figures to make his fifth career start next Saturday at Florida. His first also came in the Sunshine State, against No. 3 Florida State in Tallahassee.
CSU moved into preparation for the Sept. 1 opener at Florida on Wednesday. The Bucs practice again today at 4 p.m.