Quarterback Drew Little, who started 13 games in his two-year career, has left Georgia State’s team. Coach Bill Curry said he was surprised by Little’s decision.
“We did not want him to leave,” Curry said.
Little confirmed that he is no longer in school, but declined to discuss anything else. He was arguably the Panthers’ best player in their inaugural season in 2010, passing for 2,102 yards and 18 touchdowns. However, he was suspended from spring practice as well as the season’s first four games for breaking team rules during the offseason. Curry eventually eliminated the four-game suspension because he said Little did everything asked of him in the offseason.
Little still started two games, and saw action in two more, passing for 468 yards, with six interceptions and no touchdowns. He suffered a sternum injury in his second start against Murray State and didn’t play in the final six games.
“There were obstacles after obstacles after obstacles [for him],” Curry said. “People have fought through those and we tried to lead him that way. We wished that it had worked.”
Little was one of three players who started at quarterback last season, with Kelton Hill seemingly securing the position by the end of the season.
Little’s decision leaves the Panthers (3-8) with two quarterbacks with game experience: Hill and Bo Schlechter, as well as redshirt freshman Ben McLane. Curry said the position has talent but lacks consistency.
“In today’s football, that’s what the top programs are doing,” he said. “That person must master his sytem and have the capacity to deal with defensive coordinators of the other team. Football has become our quarterback against your defensive coordinator and defensive coordinators aren’t dumb.
“We have capacity to do those things but no one to settle and do those things consistently except the first year when Drew did it.”
Little is the only player who has left the program between semesters. Curry said there haven’t been any transfers in or early signees either. He said some of his assistant coaches have been contacted about other jobs, but that none have left yet.
Three seniors, Clyde Yandell, Ladeven Kirkland and Arthur Williams, have been chosen to play in the Battle of Florida All-Star Game on Jan. 21 in Boca Raton, Fla.
They are the first three football players to be selected for an all-star game in Georgia State’s two years of football.
The game features NFL draft-eligible players with ties to Florida. The game will kick off at 8 p.m. at FAU Stadium and will be televised on FCS.
Yandell, an offensive lineman, is from Ponte Vedra Beach. Kirkland and Williams are from Miami.
Yandell will play on the North team, which will be coached by former FSU coach Bobby Bowden. Kirkland, a lineman, and Williams, a tight end, will play for the South team, coached by Howard Schnellenberger.
Hogan adding a sport
Linebacker Mark Hogan, famous for being GSU’s first commit in football, is also going to be its first two-sport football athlete. Hogan has decided to try his hand at baseball this spring. A redshirt junior, Hogan had 56 tackles and two sacks last season.
Hogan will practice with the football team in the morning, and then join the baseball team in the afternoon.
Hogan played four seasons at Lincoln-Sudbury High School, helping the team to two state titles (2005, 07). An outfielder, he had a career batting average of .363 with 10 doubles, two homers, 24 RBIs and 34 runs scored. He also stole eight bases.
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu