Originally created 04/29/01

College football notebook

Anthony Young is embracing Wake Forest's new wide-open offense with wide-open arms.

The former North Augusta standout, a rising sophomore quarterback for the Demon Deacons, completed spring drills last week under first-year coach Jim Grobe.

Grobe, who left Ohio University for Wake, brought a liberal offensive attack to replace former coach Jim Caldwell's scheme.

Young, who has bulked up from 190 to 205 pounds since last season, ran a similar offense as signal-caller at North Augusta and said he likes the new approach.

"It's good to get out of the pocket," said Young, who was 4-of-11 passing for 38 yards and ran for 51 yards on seven rushes in last week's spring game. "It's more of a threat because we can run or throw, and the defense has to choose one."

Young will enter summer drills in competition with rising junior James MacPherson, who completed nine of 17 passes for 154 yards in the spring game.


Mark Richt is implementing his own system as Georgia's first-year football coach, but he said he plans to borrow one offensive wrinkle that was used often by his predecessor, Jim Donnan.

Richt said talent and depth at tight end leaves him with little choice but to utilize double-tight-end sets. It might have come as a surprise, given that Richt seldom used tight ends as offensive coordinator at Florida State.

"There's a real good battle going on at tight end right now," Richt said. "That's probably the strongest and deepest position on the offense."

Junior Randy McMichael is listed as the No. 1 tight end, and sophomore Ben Watson and junior Jason Rader are expected to see playing time there come fall.


In case you missed it, Ben Troupe was named Florida's most improved player after spring drills.

The former Butler star played sparingly as tight end for the Gators during his freshman season, but Florida coach Steve Spurrier said fans can expect a lot more of the 6-foot-4, 250-pounder in 2001.

"Bennie Troupe is a young man who is going to have some big moments this year," said Spurrier, whose team returns 19 starters from last season's 10-3 squad.

Despite suffering a left knee injury that caused him to miss time during drills, Troupe ended the spring as the Gators No. 2 tight end behind junior Aaron Walker and ahead of junior Kirk Wells.


Louisiana State coach Nick Saban said Gary Gibbs has adjusted well to his new role as the Tigers' defensive coordinator. After one season at Georgia, Gibbs was left unemployed with last December's firing of Donnan.

"Gibbs is an outstanding coach, a guy that has a tremendous amount of experience," said Saban, who led the Tigers to an 8-4 record in 2000, his first year at LSU. "The players have responded well to him. He's done a good job of taking our system and running with it."


Forty players from the Southeastern Conference were taken in last week's NFL Draft. The Big Ten tied the SEC for the highest number among all conferences.

The Big 12 had 30 players selected, followed by the Pac-10 (24), ACC (21) and the Big East (18).

South Carolina was the only SEC team that didn't have a player drafted.

Reach Larry Williams at (706) 823-3645 or larrywill7@yahoo.com


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