During his days at Lakeside High School, Charles O'Byrne made a name for himself as a hard-nosed defensive lineman. He was one of the strongest players in the CSRA and used his strength to disrupt the offense.
After his senior season, he earned all-county honors and got looks from several colleges. He chose to attend the University of Charleston in Charleston, W.V., where O'Byrne quickly established himself as a hard worker and wasted little time earning a starting spot for the Golden Eagles.
O'Byrne continued to work hard in the weight room and has added more than 40 pounds to his 6-1 frame since high school. He is listed at 6-1, 340 pounds this season, which is 25 pounds heavier than any other player on the roster. He is a key member of an offensive line that has allowed the Golden Eagles to tally more than 300 yards on the ground in their first two games.
O'Byrne and his teammates stand at 1-1 on the season.
Georgia Southern set to begin the "VanGorder Era"
At press time, Georgia Southern is gearing up for their opener against Central Connecticut State, and this year's squad will certainly have a Columbia County feel.
Former UGA defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder takes the reins of the program, and he has implemented a new spread offense. The Eagles will use a four-wide-receiver set on offense and plan to air it out under the new staff.
That has to be great news for new Eagle starting quarterback Travis Clark. Clark played his first three seasons of his prep career at Evans before transferring to Lincoln County. Clark led the Red Devils to the 2003 Class A state title game and earned several scholarship offers. He chose Southern Miss and spent the past two seasons honing his quarterback skills in Hattiesburg, Miss. He garnered high praise from Southern Miss coaches for his work ethic, and his future at Southern Miss seemed bright. When Georgia Southern hired VanGorder, however, Clark decided to jump ship.
So far, the move seems to have paid off. Clark edged out former Metter star Zach Stanford for the starting quarterback job, and the 6-1, 215 lb. sophomore will be under center as the Eagles open the season. In GSU's most recent scrimmage, Clark was 6-for-12 passing for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
There will be times this season when Clark is throwing to a fellow Columbia County native and former Harlem standout - wide receiver Tim Camp. The 6-foot, 208 lb. wide receiver is a second-teamer, but he did catch a 30-yard touchdown in the inter-squad scrimmage.
When the offense sputters, former Greenbrier standout Daniel Jordan will handle the punting duties. The 6-4, 212 lb. junior has established himself as one of the premier punters in Division I-AA. He will also handle the holding duties on all place kicks. Good luck to the Eagles this fall.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.