South Carolina Is Going To Start A Grad Assistant Coach At Quarterback

Zeb Noland was supposed to begin his coaching career this season in Columbia as a graduate assistant under new Gamecocks head coach Shane Beamer, but instead he’s going to be the starting quarterback for South Carolina.

Thanks to still having a year of eligibility, the former Iowa State and North Dakota State quarterback (who backed up Trey Lance until this past spring) was able to trade in his headset for a helmet and step into the quarterback competition after Luke Doty suffered a foot injury during camp. Noland beat out transfer Jason Brown from St. Francis (PA), and will now start for the Gamecocks in their opener against Eastern Illinois on Saturday.

It’s a rather incredible story, made a bit funnier by the fact that Noland, despite holding a title of grad assistant, has more recently played football than anyone else on South Carolina thanks to his taking part in the Bison’s spring season, where he threw for 721 yards (51-for-100 passing) with five touchdowns and six interceptions. Those aren’t exactly eye-popping numbers and his performance against the better FCS competition leaves one to wonder just how successful he can be against SEC defenses, but for a South Carolina squad that was in desperate need of a one-year stopgap at QB, his presence and eligibility presented a perfect opportunity to write a new ending to his playing career.

[h/t ESPN]