Taylor Lamb is taking the first step of his coaching career.
Appalachian State’s starting quarterback for the last four seasons accepted a graduate assistant position at the University of South Carolina.
Lamb said he interviewed and agreed to take the position on Saturday. He will work with either the quarterbacks or wide receivers under South Carolina offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon, who was promoted to the position in January.
McClendon was previously the co-offensive coordinator while also working with wide receivers during the last two seasons under head coach Will Muschamp.
“I’m blessed to have this opportunity right out of the gates, especially at a place like USC,” Lamb said. “The University of South Carolina is a special place to be, and I’m excited to learn under Coach Muschamp and his great staff.
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“It also is a great opportunity because of the state of the program. Coach Muschamp has the program trending upward after a great year last year.”
Lamb graduated from App State in December and he said he will start at South Carolina on Feb. 5.
Lamb set the App State program record and Sun Belt Conference record for passing touchdowns with 90. In 2017, Lamb threw for 2,737 yards, 27 touchdowns and only six interceptions, which was the second-best touchdown-to-interception ratio in school history.
He played in 51 career games, passing for more than 9,000 yards and rushing for more than 2,000. He finished up his stellar career with a 34-0 win in the Dollar General Bowl against Toledo. The Mountaineers won two Sun Belt Conference championships and three straight bowl games under Lamb’s leadership.
Lamb’s father, Bobby Lamb, coached at Furman in Greenville, S.C., from 1986 to 2010 (the last eight years as head coach). Bobby Lamb took over the head coaching position of Mercer in Macon, Ga., in 2011.
App State seeing immediate benefits of early signing period
When App State signed 24 football recruits during the early signing period (Dec. 20-22), the coaching staff felt it would only benefit recruiting going forward.
After a couple of recruiting weeks, that thought has been validated. While the staff is still looking to add a couple more pieces to the 2018 class, defensive coordinator Bryan Brown said last week that coaches have shifted most of their focus to the next year’s group.
“I was really just doing a lot of 2019 recruiting as far as trying to find some guys, get names, that type stuff,” Brown said after wrapping up a trip to Atlanta earlier this month. “I’m telling you, the early signing period has really helped us out.”
In years past, Brown mentioned that App State would see commitments get plucked by bigger schools that swooped in before signing day. Last year, for example, App State had a handful of players opt for Power Five schools.
Brown said Group of Five schools like App State now have more of an advantage.
“We’re not stressing and going out to see a lot of 2018 kids with us signing 24 guys,” Brown said. “. . . That’s been a blessing for us, I’ll tell you that right now.”
The App State pregame speaker
The general assumption is that the head football coach gives the pregame speech.
That’s not how it’s done at App State, though. Coach Scott Satterfield of the Mountaineers opts to let strength-and-conditioning coach Mike Sirignano talk to the football team. Afterward, Satterfield comes in to lead a prayer and the team bolts off from there.
Not surprisingly, Sirignano loves to get the pregame lead. But he said everyone on staff gets different opportunities like that because of Satterfield’s easygoing nature and lack of an ego.
“I’m the thermostat, I like to think,” Sirignano said. “If the team is down, I can get them up.
“We got a pretty cool dynamic here in the coaching staff. . . Coach (Satterfield) is very analytical, obviously he is very competitive, and he is even keeled.
“That’s kind of what makes him such a great coach.”