Monday, August 29, 2022

Huff wins starting quarterback job for Paladins

Furman's Tyler Huff, a grad transfer from Presbyterian, has earned the starting quarterback
job entering Thursday's home opener against North Greenville. Photo courtesy of Furman

When Furman kicks off the 2022 football season Thursday night against North Greenville, grad transfer Tyler Huff will be taking snaps as the starting quarterback. The Presbyterian transfer beat out sophomore Jace Wilson in preseason camp for the spot, but head coach Clay Hendrix has confidence in both moving forward.

"They've both have had solid Augusts. It certainly wasn't picking the lesser of two evils," Hendrix said. "Tyler's just been a little more consistent. That's probably the decision maker as much as anything.
"Going through a season nowadays with one guy is really hard to to, so we feel good about who all we've got there."

Huff made it to Furman, where he's reunited with former Blue Hose head coach Tommy Spangler, after three seasons at PC. Huff started 12 games over the 2019 and 2020 seasons under Spangler, who joined Hendrix's staff this offseason.

In the shortened seven-game 2020 season played in the spring of 2021, Huff led the Pioneer League in total offensive yards per game (278.5) and was second in passing (244.2). Huff threw for 1,465 yards and 10 touchdowns that season, while rushing for 206 yards and three scores. As a true freshman in 2019 at PC, Huff passed for 871 yards and seven touchdowns and ran for 326 yards and two scores.

Under a new regime last season, Huff completed 17-of-21 passes for 224 yards and four touchdowns in four games. He also ran for a touchdown and caught another. Huff has two years of playing eligibility left.

"He's just a really mature kid whose played in tough situations and been productive," Hendrix said. "He's really athletic, and has been accurate and a good decision maker. You can tell he's competitive as heck."

Furman went 4-2 in games that Wilson started as a true freshman last season. Wilson completed 63-of-122 passes for 1,020 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions. He also ran for 101 yards and two touchdowns.

Given that 2021 season-opening starter Hamp Sisson left football to focus on medical school, it would've been easy to assume that Wilson would be the starter this season. But this year marked Wilson's first spring practice at Furman and first working with the Paladins' new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Justin Roper.

While Huff wasn't officially on the roster yet and could not participate in spring practice, he was around the team. So entering August, everyone involved had a clean slate so to speak.

"Jace has made the progress we hoped he'd make, but he's also in a new system. So there's a little bit of a reset to that," Hendrix said. "And this was his first full offseason."

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