Rarely do freshman get the chance to play, let alone start, on a Division 1 football team, but when you’re joining a team that went 1-11 the year before, anything can happen.
For former Gaither High School quarterback Alex McGough, he has not only been going up against those who have already been playing at the college level, but he has also been competing against 3-year veteran E.J Hilliard for the top spot under center.
“It’s a great opportunity for me,” said McGough. “I’m just grateful for the opportunity to be able to compete as a freshman.”
Hilliard already has a year of experience with sophomore Head Coach Ron Turner and his pro-style offense, but enjoys the friendly competition.
“He’s really mature. Two weeks ago he was like a sponge. You give it to him, he soaks in everything in, he remembers it,” said Hilliard.
During the team’s spring game earlier this year, McGough showed that he had a strong enough arm ready to take on college defenses. He has continued to show coaches that he is not just another new face, but a player ready to make a name for himself.
“He’s a leader, he’s very intelligent, he’s very football smart, high football IQ, very competitive, he doesn’t act like a freshman,” said Turner.
Turner has yet to name a starter for the Panthers’ first game against Bethune-Cookman, but said the position is Hilliards to keep.