Originally created 08/25/06

Ex-Red Devil to start at QB in Eagles' opener



Georgia Southern football coach Brian VanGorder announced Thursday that sophomore Travis Clark, a former Lincoln County star, will be the Eagles' starting quarterback in the season opener Sept. 9 against Central Connecticut State.

The announcement didn't come as a surprise since Clark, a transfer from Southern Mississippi, has been taking snaps with the first string throughout preseason camp.

He has completed 16 of 30 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns during the first two intersquad scrimmages.

"The thing I really like is (Clark's) competitiveness," VanGorder said. "He'll dive for yard markers. He'll do a lot of things that motivate your football team.

"(Clark) has competed against college defenses and competed against some of the speed and pressure that's consistent in our games, so he had a big advantage there," VanGorder said. "His experience is what we feel comfortable with."

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE: The Bulldogs have added a second NCAA Division I school to its 2007 schedule.

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference school will open the season Sept. 1 at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Previously, South Carolina State was put on the South Carolina schedule for the first-ever meeting between those schools. That game will be Sept. 15.

Both the Air Force and South Carolina games will be on the road, and mark the first time the Bulldogs have played Division I teams.

Future dates include games against Georgia Tech, Clemson and another one with South Carolina.

MARSHALL: A player kicked off Tennessee's football team has transferred to Marshall three weeks after his arrest on drunken driving charges.

Freshman tight end Lee Smith is the latest player to land at Marshall after being dismissed elsewhere.

Smith, who practiced with the Thundering Herd on Thursday, has to sit out one season due to NCAA transfer rules, said Marshall sports information director Randy Burnside.

Smith's father, Daryle, played at Tennessee and in the NFL.

In 2004, running back Ahmad Bradshaw joined Marshall as a walk-on after he was dismissed from Virginia's team following his arrest. He later pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and underage drinking, received a suspended sentence and was ordered to attend alcohol awareness classes.

Bradshaw led Marshall with 997 yards rushing last season.

In the mid-1990s, Randy Moss walked on at Marshall and eventually became a Heisman Trophy finalist.

Moss started out at Notre Dame, but his scholarship was revoked after he was charged with attacking another student at DuPont High School. He later landed at Florida State, but he never played there. He was kicked off the team for violating his probation by smoking marijuana and served a brief jail stint before coming to Marshall.

WISCONSIN: Receiver Marcus Randle El will miss the 2006 season after injuring his right knee.

Randle El hurt his knee at practice Wednesday afternoon. An MRI exam Thursday showed he had damage to ligaments that would require surgery. No further details were provided.

"Everyone in our football program feels for Marcus and supports him and wishes him a speedy recovery," coach Bret Bielema said in a statement. "As is the case any time someone is injured, it leaves a spot for someone else to step in and contribute so we don't miss a beat. That's what I expect to happen."

Randle El, a junior and brother of Washington Redskins receiver Antwaan Randle El, has three receptions for 36 yards and four punt returns for 57 yards during his career.

He was expected to handle some of the return duties this season.

New bowl game: The newest college football all-star game will be played in El Paso, Texas.

Bowl organizers announced Thursday the Texas vs. The Nation game, which will feature a team of top-rated seniors who played college or high school football in Texas against a squad of top-rated seniors from the rest of the country.

The game will be played in either January or early February.

Seniors rated in the top 15 at their position by the NFL will be eligible for the game.

Texas-El Paso coach Mike Price will lead the Texas team. The coach of the other team has not been named.

ARKANSAS: Sam Olajubutu has been named to the pre-season watch list for the Butkus Award, which goes annually to the nation's best collegiate linebacker.

The university said the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, Fla., had announced Olajubutu's inclusion on the list as one of 65 candidates for this year's Butkus Award.

The award is named for Dick Butkus, who played at the University of Illinois and for the Chicago Bears of the NFL.

Olajubutu had 118 tackles last year. The award will be announced Dec. 9.