McLane’s first day of practice

Many fans are keen to see how quickly true freshman quarterback Ben McLane can pick up Georgia State’s offense. Though Curry hopes to redshirt McLane, he understands that he is an injury to Bo Schlechter away from possibly having to play McLane, less than a year after he led Brookwood to the 5A state championship. Drew Little, last year’s starter, is suspended for the first four games of the season. Kelton Hill, who won the starting job in the spring, was recently arrested and charged with burglary. He is no longer on the roster and Curry isn’t allowed to comment on Hill’s situation.

The team used three quarterbacks on Thursday. Curry said he may not move another player to quarterback, pointing out that they can run a lot of wildcat formations if they need.

McLane had an expectedly rough start on Thursday, throwing an interception and fumbling a snap during an 11-on-11 drill.

“I’ve got to keep going, I don’t like to make excuses,” McLane said. “The speed of the game hit me a little bit. It’s a lot faster. I just have to stay calm. I know what I’m doing, I’ve just got to go out and do it.”

McLane said he has no problems with being redshirted.

“I would love to be redshirted, get to learn the offense, get an extra year of school in, but I’m here for whatever the team needs from me,” he said.

It seems odd that a quarterback from a 5A state title-winning team would end up at a FCS level school. Though McLane isn’t the tallest quarterback (listed at  6-1), winning in the highest classification takes skill. McLane admitted he was a bit surprised that he’s not at a FBS school, but he said he didn’t spend a lot of time marketing himself to colleges.

“I  was all about high school,” McLane said. “My dad was a coach. To me the biggest, the pinnacle of football was the championship and I got there. Anything extra was fine. I’m so blessed to keep going with my career. Playing with coach Curry, playing with these guys, I couldn’t be happier.”

Another new face

McLane wasn’t the only new face at Thursday’s season-opening practice. A.J. Portee, a former Mays High School standout who transferred to GSU from Connecticut, also debuted.

“It’s great to be back home,” he said.

A 6-4, 250-pound defensive end, Portee said he left the Huskies simply because he wanted to be closer to Atlanta.

Portee said he wants to show the coaches his intensity and how quickly he can play. He said he has quick feet, which makes him a good pass rusher. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining.

– Doug Roberson, AJC. Follow me on twitter @ajcgsu

93 comments Add your comment

GSUTax2009

August 4th, 2011
2:17 pm

Go Panthers!!!!!

THWGA Southern!!!

Panama

August 4th, 2011
2:22 pm

oooooo…yaaaaa….I love August

Go Panthers

GStateBen

August 4th, 2011
2:29 pm

Thanks for the coverage Doug! High hopes for both of them.

jweaver

August 4th, 2011
2:32 pm

I have high hopes for McLane, this year or next…

gsu01

August 4th, 2011
2:38 pm

Right now, I don’t care who is at QB on 9/2. All I know is that football is back!!!!

GSU Panther Fanatic

August 4th, 2011
2:42 pm

Any word on how Donald Russell looked on the field today? We may need to rely on him and our running game until Little returns.

Doug Roberson

August 4th, 2011
2:44 pm

Russell looked fine.

Ranger

August 4th, 2011
2:53 pm

Shocking- an attack on Georgia Southern in the very first comment. Nothing new…

Ryan

August 4th, 2011
2:55 pm

Thanks for the update, is it 9/2 yet?

GSU Rocks

August 4th, 2011
3:05 pm

Thanks for the update. Can’t wait to see these Panthers take the field at the Dome!

English

August 4th, 2011
3:09 pm

As a GSU alum, living in UConn Country and watched you guys beat WVU last year at home and eventually stormed the field and picked up one of the band members on my shoulders and ran around on the field after the victory, I welcome you.

Let’s get some W’s!!!

Curt Hennig

August 4th, 2011
3:20 pm

I don’t expect a lot from McLane this year, hopefully we’ll be able to keep the redshirt for him. If he’s taking snaps against Jax St. or Houston, those games could get ugly fast.

Either way, the running game, OL, and the entire defense will be much improved on a team that went 6-5 last season. There’s a lot to like about this team, anything we get from the QB spot weeks 1-4 is a bonus.

ajg-Panther

August 4th, 2011
3:52 pm

Sounds like Portee has hit the ground running. Lets hope that McLane can learn quickly.

hammer22

August 4th, 2011
4:21 pm

thanks for the update

GSUGrad06

August 4th, 2011
4:33 pm

I have a feeling our opponents are going to see some tricky stuff out of our offense until Little returns. The fact that Curry said they can run a lot of wildcat formations if needed says they’re practicing this.

I hope McLane can redshirt as he’s apparently a bright kid who should be able to be a smart QB and compete to be a starter for 2-3 seasons.

9/2 can’t get here fast enough.

GSUtimes2

August 4th, 2011
5:01 pm

So excited for the season! Can’t wait to get more updates on practice! Wait, are we talking about practice? I mean, practice? C’mon man, we are talking about practice. Not a real game….Practice… (sorry, that word always makes me quote Allen Iverson)

Onion

August 4th, 2011
5:14 pm

Does GSU paint the grafitti around the practice field? It gives it such a nice urban feel, sort of like you are in the Brox or Harlem. Very nice.

STATEment

August 4th, 2011
7:49 pm

Own the line of scrimmage, Run the ball, dominate time of posession, don’t get burned deep, stop the run, DEFENSE, DEFENSE DEFENSE. Never forget Lambuth, and no mater what BEAT South Alabama!!!!

GSUWI94

August 4th, 2011
8:05 pm

Hey Onion, Have Someone proofread for you next time. All urban areas around the world have some form of GRAFFITI. Travel, it’s good for you. It will also help you improve upon your spelling.

GSUtimes2

August 4th, 2011
9:11 pm

I actually like the graffiti around the practice complex. I think it’s an under appreciated art. We are Georgia State. We are an urban college in an international city. Graffiti comes with the territory. Literally. No amount of criticism from people who can’t spell Bronx will make me shy away from loving our unique campus.

English

August 4th, 2011
9:28 pm

I think we all figured out what Onion meant. No reason to cannibalize our own fan base.

Gswho

August 4th, 2011
9:30 pm

STATEment, come on, you gave up more yards on the ground last year to South in one game than what y’all rushed for all year. Keep wishing!

STATEment

August 4th, 2011
9:41 pm

Agreed, defense last year was not good. Houston was a man among boys. This year should be different if Pollard and Thompson do their jobs.

STATEment

August 4th, 2011
9:56 pm

PS 2010 we had 65 freshmen, and our AD did not get us a bye for 10 weeks. Trust me this year will be different.

PantherAlum

August 4th, 2011
10:12 pm

Amen STATEment, you can throw Chris Ward into that also. The D-line needs to stop the run this year or we’re in big trouble.

AgentOrange

August 4th, 2011
11:54 pm

Hope McLane pans out.

GSUAlumBaseball81

August 5th, 2011
12:26 am

@ GS Who

Guess What? Our Defense in 2011 will be much improved as we have added transfer D-1 and JUCO players to the leaders of 2010. By the way, you all are still in the FCS So Con Conference after 27 years when teams you played in 1984 like UCF & ECU have moved on to BCS! You all are doomed to remain in the FCS So Con because you have no plan! D-lineman in the 80’s are the size of linebackers today! Different game that ya’ll aren’t prepared for as you will soon realize at Bryant Denny Stadium. Check our 2011 roster for size and weight comparison to GS. Enjoy the Gnat Capital of South Georgia as we pass you to the BCS. Maybe your AD should schedule the REAL GSU in the ATL at the DOME so your trolling can be relevant in the 21st Century! Quit living in the past! GO PANTHERS!!! lol….. Also, Onion is either a Eagle or a Jaguar for sure! Idenitfy your sorry Jackleg troll self!

BigDawg

August 5th, 2011
11:14 am

How quaint! Now the dawgs have to deal with the nerds AND the t urds out of Atlanta.

Bill Curry is a joke. Hell he played for and coached the joke at coke so that seals the deal.

Hey t urds get used to uga being the top dog in this state like … forever afterall we rule this state. Ask the nerds!

Dont forget your place!

Itsmeagain

August 5th, 2011
11:44 am

Lol wut? I can see why Southern feels threatened bymus, but come on bigdawg you have nothing to worry about. Yet.

STATEment

August 5th, 2011
1:04 pm

We are getting things together quickly. Give Georgia State 5 years.

Onion

August 5th, 2011
3:00 pm

Sorry about not checking my spelling guys. I just thought the graffitti gave a nice urban feel. Works well with our Marta train that goes by the practice field. Man it is hot in the ATL.

itsmeagain

August 5th, 2011
3:20 pm

One T in graffiti onion

GSUtimes2

August 5th, 2011
3:27 pm

I love the MARTA train going over the practice field. How much more Atlanta can you get? Really liked the shot Jason Getz had of the entire field with the train going over. Very cool. Haven’t had the opportunity to ride past during a practice though.

GSUtimes2

August 5th, 2011
3:32 pm

Must be hard times at UGA for their fans to come troll on the 2nd year FCS Georgia State blog. Sheesh, seems like we are getting it from everyone these days. I have to say, I’ve never seen Tech guys on here trolling.

GSUAlumni11

August 5th, 2011
3:45 pm

BigDawg, Honestly I’m pretty surprised to see a UGA fan on here (I was flattered at first, but then I remembered it’s UGA) but I guess feeling threatened by team that’s only been around for one season could warrant such a random, bashing comment from the most arrogant group of people in the south east. I also didn’t think we would have to “deal” with UGA fans’ shameless trashy remarks so soon after starting up, but then I remembered it’s UGA. Not sure that you all will have to “deal” with us anytime soon, but I certainly hope that you do. Coach Curry proved himself to be the opposite of a joke last season with the brand new team, but I’m sure you didn’t pay attention considering you were probably too busy watching the dogs loosing season (oh and don’t forget that embarrassing loss to FL and the Liberty Bowl..ouch). I agree with STATEment that we have definitely gotten things together much quicker than most expected. Here’s to another winning season! Go Panthers!

Onion

August 5th, 2011
4:12 pm

Dang misspelled another word. You would think after my years at GaState I would catch things like that. Hey do you know where I can get a cool hat like Coach Bill Curry?

GSUAlumni11

August 5th, 2011
4:19 pm

gsu bookstore? maybe.

GSWho

August 5th, 2011
8:07 pm

Richt is GONE afer UGA loses to Boise State. Bigdawg will be a puppy after the spanking their going to get.

Ga Panther

August 6th, 2011
12:05 pm

Coverage on fri and sat practice? please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GSUAlumBaseball81

August 7th, 2011
12:58 am

Here is the way I see it! Bo knows QB. He is an incredible athlete that has the tools to run the GSU offensive plan. This year the GSU offense will be unrecognizable. We are going to be able to run and pass the ball unlike we did in 2010 because the offensive line has become a unit. We have running backs that are in our stable that are just waiting to show what they can do! For example, the transfer from Kentucky could very easily dominate our FCS opponents if given the early opportunity! He has 30lbs on our previous best and fastest running back from 2010. Not to take anything away from Travis, Parris or Rosevelt. Our offensive line is determined to be able to block for the run as well as they blocked for the pass in 2010. This will give our attack the balance we lacked last year. The defense has added key players to effectively stop the run keeping the opposing teams to a minimum on ball control. I believe the secondary is going to surprise folks with the additions of JUCO transfers. It’s an exciting time to be a PANTHER. Can’t wait for the season to begin. C’mon you GSU Alums and come to the Dome to support your team! GO PANTHERS!!!

Gstateben

August 7th, 2011
7:36 am

We covered practice on http://www.PantherTalk.com. We interviewed Coach Curry, OC John Bond and will have interviews posted with other key players this week.

Ga Panther

August 7th, 2011
11:46 am

Ok Ben. Thats good. But Mclanes first practice was thurs! Come on ajc

GSUtimes2

August 7th, 2011
12:50 pm

Yeah, I’m dying for more coverage! My wife and I were passing through Atlanta and I was trying to convince her we should stop by GSU practice to watch… haha

GSUAlumBaseball81

August 7th, 2011
5:01 pm

GStateBen,

Great practice coverage at Panther Talk! Who do you think will be the starting RB? Also, how is the offensive line progressing? Keep up the great work!

DawgInTheATL

August 8th, 2011
8:10 am

Doug. I have a serious question. This isn’t to get Ga State fans riled up or to start a fight or whatever it is thought to be around here when a blog turns “blog.” I say the more football, the merrier. But I want some perspective about Ga State coverage. I saw some pictures of a presser done I guess with camp opening. How many folks were there covering this? I have seen pictures from the Dome last year and there didn’t seem to be many folks there, and I know the Dome can look empty with 10K, but I have seen Class A HS games draw more than Ga State, yet the AJC covers this. Even this blog has been up five days and what, twenty comments? How many views? Look, I know Ga State buys advertising and that will certianly help. I know it did for UGA gymnastics and a lot folks were happy to see it get coverage in the AJC, but I knew that once that ad money went away, so too would its coverage. I hope this is not the case here, so I was hoping you could give us football fans an idea of the value of Ga State football coverage in this paper. It should be noted that you guys have done a good job with it, I just hope this program doesn’t get dropped because it was propping itself up with advertising budgets. Thanks.

This is sort of funny

August 8th, 2011
9:01 am

Looks like “Dawg” fans are feeling sort of uneasy about the new GSU football program.

GSUtimes2

August 8th, 2011
10:31 am

Not sure why DawgInTheATL really cares. The fact is that AJC covers a UGA story every day. The GSU stories are once ever 4-5 days and a maybe a little more when the season ramps up and gets going. Seems appropriate for an upstart FCS that is trying to gain traction. Not sure what the problem is with the AJC covering GSU (in Atlanta, btw) which is the second largest University in the State, second to UGA. Think of it this way, maybe it takes away from Tech coverage.

panther prowler

August 8th, 2011
11:20 am

Doug, where are your reports on the last 3 practices?

Francoeur

August 8th, 2011
11:21 am

Seriously, Ga State has a football team?

GStateBen

August 8th, 2011
11:40 am

Comparing UGA gymnastics to Georgia State football may be the most ignorant comparison anyone has made about anything ever.

It is safe to say at this point in the program’s history, that our coverage is not only warranted but demanded. There are multiple sites claiming 100k page hits per month (I am fortunate to be involved in several of those).

The interest is surging and so is ticket sales and attendance will increase again this season. This is Year 2 and I cannot wait to see where we are headed.