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