Athletics – The Citadel Today Fri, 11 Sep 2020 20:27:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Athletics – The Citadel Today 32 32 144096890 From Bulls to Bulldogs — the first game of the year is up in the air Wed, 09 Sep 2020 14:56:47 +0000 Just one month into Capt. Julie Dewey's new job at The Citadel, the Bulldogs will kick off their football season playing her alma mater, the University of South Florida.]]>

Photo: Capt. Julie Dewey, USAF, holding the University of South Florida Bull Horn sign outside McAlister Field House on The Citadel campus

Even in an unusual football season, there’s at least one thing that can always be counted on — football fans pulling for their favorite team. Sometimes that team is their alma mater — sometimes it’s based on where they live or work — and sometimes fans find themselves stuck between the two.

That’s the position Capt. Julie Dewey, USAF, finds herself in this year.

Just one month into her new job at The Citadel, the Bulldogs will kick off their football season playing her alma mater, the University of South Florida, where she graduated in 2014.

Julie Dewey at her 2014 graduation

Learn more about one of the college’s newest professors of Aerospace Studies — as well as who she thinks will win the game — below.

Why did you choose to attend USF?

I honestly don’t even remember — I think by process of elimination. My only major criteria when choosing a college were that it was in Florida and had an AFROTC program. I didn’t really want to go to any of the “bigger” schools in Florida and just sort of landed at USF.

How often did you go to football games while you were a student?

Pretty often. It was free for students to attend the games and, win or lose, it was always a fun time.

What was your favorite part of your time there?

I loved college, so that’s tough! I would say my favorite part was all of the awesome people that I met–including my husband. If I had to pick one specific memory, it would probably be my Air Force commissioning ceremony.

Julie Dewey at her commissioning ceremony in 2014

What made you want to work in a college ROTC department?

I have wanted to come back to AFROTC ever since I graduated. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that I had amazing instructors when I went through the AFROTC program, some of whom I still talk to today. I also just enjoy training and education and think I might want to be a teacher after my time in the Air Force.

How did you find yourself at The Citadel?

Mostly through luck and coincidence. My husband is also in the Air Force and, because of his job, he can only be stationed at a handful of installations across the country. Joint Base Charleston is one of the bases he can go to, and The Citadel happened to have an open position. I didn’t think the chances that I would be selected for this position were very high, but I applied anyway and here I am!

Did you know about The Citadel before coming to teach here?

I knew of The Citadel insofar as I’d heard of it and knew it was a military college, but that was about it.

How do The Citadel and USF’s ROTC programs differ?

The AFROTC programs are actually very similar. Our cadets are getting the same training as cadets at any other university. What’s very different is the 24/7 military environment that Citadel cadets live in, as part of attending a Senior Military College.

As an alum, are you a big fan of USF football?

I would say so. I watch the games whenever I can. We’re no football powerhouse, but that makes it even more exciting when we do win!

Who do you think is going to win? Who do you want to win?

Unfortunately, I think The Citadel is the underdog this weekend. It’s a tough choice but, because I teach some of the football players, I’ll be pulling for the Bulldogs. Either way, it’s a win-win.

That Citadel vs. Alabama tape grabbed South Florida coach Jeff Scott’s attention Tue, 08 Sep 2020 17:58:47 +0000 The Citadel’s 10-10 halftime tie with No. 1-ranked Alabama in 2018 was on new South Florida coach Jeff Scott’s must-watch list for his players]]>

Photo: Citadel quarterback Brandon Rainey (16) rolls out to pass against Alabama during a game in 2018, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (Courtesy: Butch Dill, Associated Press – File)

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Jeff Hartsell

There’s no particular reason why a football player at the University of South Florida should know much about The Citadel, a tiny FCS military school in South Carolina.

But you can bet almost every Bulls player knows something about superpower Alabama and legendary coach Nick Saban.

And that’s why a video of The Citadel’s 10-10 halftime tie with a No. 1-ranked Alabama team in 2018 was on new South Florida coach Jeff Scott’s must-watch list for his players. Scott, the former Clemson co-offensive coordinator, is set to make his college head-coaching debut when the Bulls host the Bulldogs at 1 p.m. Saturday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

Alabama ended up beating The Citadel 50-17 that day in Tuscaloosa, but the first 30 minutes were all Scott needed to make his point.


When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa


Tickets: None

“We went back and showed our guys clips from that game,” Scott said last week. “And one of the best lines came after The Citadel scored its first touchdown. The commentator said, ‘That’s the first points the Alabama defense has given up in 11 quarters.’

“That gets everybody’s attention right there.”

The Citadel ran for 275 yards against Alabama, averaging 4.6 yards per carry and holding the ball for 36 minutes, 23 seconds.

“Nick Saban told his guys, ‘This is a group over there who want to shrink the game,’ Scott said. “It’s limited possessions.”

At USF, Scott is replacing former coach Charlie Strong and taking over a squad that was 4-8 overall last season and 2-6 in the American Athletic Conference. Strong went 10-2 and then 7-6 in his first two seasons with the Bulls.

There might be easier ways for a coach to make his debut than against a triple-option team with a jones for FBS upsets (The Citadel beat Georgia Tech last year, the only FCS team to beat an FBS squad in 2019). But Scott said USF chose The Citadel from among several candidates when revamping its schedule after the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of college football for the 2020 season.

“We chose The Citadel,” Scott said. “And part of the reason, other than that we have a lot of respect for them and their program, is that we are going to play Navy later in the year. And Navy is always tough in our conference. Our goal is to find a way to compete and win in this conference, so we have to find a way to beat the option.

Former Clemson assistant coach Jeff Scott is now the head coach at South Florida. (Courtesy: Andrew Whitaker, The Post and Courier)

“It was the same way for us at Clemson with Georgia Tech. You better go attack it and figure it out.”

In a 35-3 loss to Navy and its triple-option last year, the Bulls allowed 434 rushing yards and 7.4 yards per attempt.

“To face this type of offense in the first game, it’s different,” Scott said. “In a normal year, the first game is about us and what we do. But the option is a different task for everyone, and this defense is going out there for the first time against a well-oiled machine. These guys are very confident, and they know what they are doing. It reminds me of the Georgia Tech teams when they had experienced guys back.

“If we’re not ready, not prepared and not reading our keys, we can get embarrassed very quickly.”

South Florida’s defensive coordinator is Glenn Spencer, who has held the same title at Florida Atlantic, Charlotte and Oklahoma State. 

One of Spencer’s main jobs is to fix USF’s run defense. In 2018 and 2019, the Bulls  ranked 122nd (247.5 yards per game) and 114th (208.6), respectively, in run defense, allowing 17 individual 100-yard rushing efforts during that 25-game span.

Spencer coaches a “30-float” scheme, with three down linemen up front and lots of movement in the back eight.

The Bulls lost three senior defensive ends from last season, but return a trio of linebackers in Antonio Green, Andrew Mims and Dwayne Boyles. Devin Gil, a transfer linebacker from Michigan, has opted out of the season.

The Best Player Who Wears No. 16 Is The Citadel’s Brandon Rainey Mon, 24 Aug 2020 13:46:45 +0000 Throughout the May-August months, HERO Sports is going to name the best returning FCS player by jersey number, 99-1, based on the 2019 season.]]>

As seen on HERO Sports, by Sam Herder

Welcome to the 2020 FCS Jersey Countdown.

Throughout the May-August months, HERO Sports is going to name the best returning FCS player by jersey number, 99-1. Due to rosters being updated at different times for teams across the country and to keep things consistent, jersey numbers are based on the 2019 season.

The full 99-1 countdown/schedule can be found here.

16: Brandon Rainey, QB (Sr.) — The Citadel

A dual-threat QB, Rainey runs The Citadel’s option offense to perfection.

The 2020 HERO Sports preseason All-American First Team “athlete” is coming off of a season where he rushed for 900 yards and 17 touchdowns off of 240 attempts. He also went 62-for-122 passing for 1,114 yards and 13 touchdowns with four interceptions.

Rainey was named on our 2019 postseason All-American Third Team.

At 6-foot and 205 pounds, Rainey runs like a RB when he’s carrying the ball. In fact, he converted from QB to FB as a redshirt freshman in 2017 due to injuries, rushing for 505 yards and two touchdowns while being named to the All-SoCon Freshman Team.

In 2018, Rainey resumed his backup QB roles. With the Bulldogs sitting with a 2-5 record, Rainey was inserted as the starting QB. The Citadel won three of its final four games as Rainey ran for more than 400 yards combined in his first two starts.

That finish to the 2018 season led to a standout year in 2019.

More than 50 freshmen athletes recruits report to campus Wed, 29 Jul 2020 23:00:00 +0000 The first 55 cadet-recruits of the Class of 2024 are receiving the first stage of their Citadel education after reporting to campus on July 29.]]>

The first 55 cadet-recruits of the Class of 2024 are beginning the first stage of their Citadel education. The knobs, who are also athletes in fall sports, reported to campus on July 29.

Their first day included a visit to the Barber Shop, Tailor Shop, Cadet Store and more.

The freshmen cadet-athletes arrived on campus about a week after the athletic cadre, a group of approximately 30 upperclass cadets responsible for training the knobs.

The full Class of 2024 arrives Aug. 8, with planned return of the upperclass cadets on Aug. 16.

For more information on Operation Fall Return, click here.

Pro Bowler Andre Roberts & Former Citadel QB Building a Business Tue, 28 Jul 2020 10:00:56 +0000 Two Citadel athlete alums are now business partners and co-owners of the first Zaxby's restaurant in Chantilly, Virginia.]]>

As seen in Sports Illustrated, by Chris Russell

Two friends and college teammates at The Citadel – one a quarterback and one that has been a 2-time Pro Bowler as a NFL receiver and kick returner, playing currently for the Buffalo Bills and in the past for the New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, Arizona Cardinals and for the Washington Football Team, where I covered him.

An idea that came after a round of golf, simply because the two were hungry. One business with plans of a major expansion during a global pandemic. 

Welcome to the wild ride that Andre Roberts and Duran Lawson have been on for the last 15 years or so. 

As training camps around the NFL are set to open this week, one key part of a Super Bowl contender will have his attention focused on his day job because of the trust and belief he has in his teammate. 

Together, while Roberts still maintains back-to-back Pro Bowl & NFL career on the frigid shores of Lake Erie, they are not only friends but they are business partners and co-owners of the first Zaxby’s restaurant in Chantilly, Virginia – a short drive from where Roberts used to apply his trade and where he makes his home.

Opening a business that is is not an established brand in a specific area (The first Zaxby’s in the expansive Northern Virginia area) is always a challenge but especially when you face a pandemic in the first six months.

Roberts along with Lawson had a sparkling new store built fresh for the pair as the first of what they feel will be a coordinated infusion of the Zaxby’s brand into a region that has over three million people living in the general area. 

The new Zaxby’s restaurant, nestled in between a brand new gas and convenience store along with another strip of stores is the crown jewel of the overall project. Why? 

Because it’s unique. Gas stations and Dunkin’ stores are all over but those that live in the immediate area have complained about a lack of restaurant choices. 

Lawson and Roberts aren’t planning on stopping at one. They have a multi store agreement and are actively pursuing the next step. 

While Roberts has to watch what he eats so that he can try and make a third straight Pro Bowl, Zaxby’s offers a wide array of chicken dishes and “Zalads” that are delicious

Hungry? Thought so! 

So how does a quiet NFL star grade out as a partner and co-owner? There’s no All-22 film at Zaxby’s – just great teamwork between Roberts, Lawson and their crew. 

NFL players know that their careers can end in very short fashion because of injury, so it’s obviously wise to have a backup plan. 

I’ve worked with and covered some really smart players like Lorenzo AlexanderKedric Golston and others. Both of those guys went into business together during their playing career. So did Pierre Garcon. 

Roberts could have waited if he wanted until he was completely done but as they detailed, just getting one store up and running was a long journey. It helps to have someone you can trust to balance business and football.

When you go into business, you better believe in the brand. It has to be running through your veins and have a commitment level that far exceeds just a normal job. 

It helps when that brand is something you’re passionate about and one that makes your tummy happy. 

For Roberts and Lawson, they’re just getting started. It’s the first quarter and they won’t be stopped. 

USA Today: Soldier sneaks up on Citadel football player son Mon, 27 Jul 2020 00:23:38 +0000 Tereis Drayton, a rising junior majoring in Finance, received a Homecoming surprise that was arranged by The Citadel Athletics in 2019.]]>

As seen in USA Today Militarykind

USA Today’s positive news brand, Militarykind, recently reached out after seeing the 2019 Homecoming surprise for Citadel Cadet Tereis Drayton. His father, Staff Sgt. Demond Drayton, sneaked up behind his son for a homecoming surprise, arranged by The Citadel Athletics.

Drayton, a rising junior majoring in Finance, plays on the offensive line for The Citadel Football team.

Watch Drayton’s new interview with USA today about that special moment below.

First small group of cadets return to campus Thu, 23 Jul 2020 21:59:23 +0000 Members of the athletic cadre returned to campus early to get special instruction on to train the incoming cadet-athlete recruits.]]>

Athletic cadre first to report back for Operation Fall Return 2020

About 30 of the South Carolina Corps of Cadet’s newest leaders arrived on campus July 23 and one-by-one, though muffled through masks, proudly said, “Good morning Sergeant Major,” in the First Battalion sally port.

“A lot of work went into this — a lot of planning,” said Capt. Geno Paluso, USN (Ret.), commandant of cadets. “But, in the end, we have a group of volunteer cadets that are going to be the athletic cadre, who will help us bring in almost 60 of the newest members of the Long Gray Line.”

Members of the athletic cadre returned to campus early to get special instruction on to train the incoming cadet-athlete recruits. Those knobs will arrive on campus July 29.

Capt. Geno Paluso, commandant of cadets, greets members of the athletic cadre

The athletic cadre’s arrival is a milestone in Operation Fall Return, an agile, conditions-based plan to safely return cadets and students to campus.

“It’s exciting to see what’s going to happen and how things will play out,” said Cadet Logan Braucht, a football player and Exercise Science major from Waycross, Georgia. “If any college can do it, it’s The Citadel. I’m excited to be able to have an impact on people around me and that’s something that I came here to learn — to be able to be a leader.”

Part of being a leader means embracing the changes necessary to keep everyone safe — like social distancing, wearing masks and new routines for entering and exiting the barracks.

But, despite all the things the COVID pandemic has changed, it hasn’t affected The Citadel’s model for developing principled leaders.

Athletic cadre members help incoming athlete-knobs learn and succeed in the Fourth-Class System, which represents the foundation of The Citadel’s signature four-year leadership development program. It creates discipline and instills the core values of honor, duty and respect.

“I think it’s important to develop leadership fundamentals early and properly, because the cadet recruits we are training will be teaching the next class and so on…” said Cadet Maddy Cardenas. “I think it’s important that we teach them the way that we’d like to be taught and the way that we want others to be taught behind us, as well.

Cardenas is a Mechanical Engineering major from Los Angeles, California, who plays volleyball for The Citadel.

“There are two things that we have to do. We have to deliver academics and we have to have a freshmen class — we have to have a knob class. You can’t break the The Citadel’s Long Gray Line,” continued Paluso. “This is the beginning of training the next generation of the Long Gray Line. Get them here. Get them trained. And, do it in a safe and efficient manner.”

“To come from having an early Recognition Day, to then being the first ones on campus, it’s definitely a different kind of experience than what I expected,” continued Braucht. “But I think it’s really going to help us have the mindset that that we need for the things we’re going to learn at The Citadel — to be able to overcome any obstacle.”

The full Class of 2024 arrives Aug. 8, with planned return of the upperclass cadets on Aug. 16.

For more information on Operation Fall Return, click here.

]]> 1 17334
“Just keep moving” to be healthy and fit at home Thu, 09 Apr 2020 22:28:07 +0000 However we choose to do it, every person of any age who is not ill needs to just keep moving to be physically and mentally fit during this time of being cloistered in our home]]>

Fitness is one of the four pillars of The Citadel. Mandatory physical training is a regular part of cadet life when on campus. Now, with cadets and much of the nation at home due to the pandemic, physical activity becomes a challenge in mindfulness for people at all levels of fitness.

The head of The Citadel Center for Performance, Readiness, Resiliency, and Recovery (CPR3) suggests four simple simple things to keep the body and mind healthy while staying sheltered during COVID-19.

Health and Human Performance professor and researcher, Dan Bornstein, Ph.D., discusses the benefits of remaining physically active, and demonstrates some simple exercises in the following videos.

“However we choose to do it, every person of any age who is not ill needs to just keep moving to be physically and mentally fit during this time of being cloistered in our homes,” said Bornstein. “Maintaining a physically active lifestyle, even with moderately intensive exercise, assists with anxiety management and immunity, in addition to the many other benefits like improving focus and avoiding weigh gain.”

Tip 1 Staying Active

Tip 2 Aerobics

Tip 3 Muscle Strengthening, Upper Body

Tip 4 Upper Body Strength, Lower Body

Through his work on The Citadel campus with CPR3, Bornstein works to improve the safety and security of the state and the nation, by improving the fitness and health of its people, especially military recruits and first responders.

For more information about the CPR3 research underway, visit this site. For more information about The Citadel Health and Human Performance degrees and programs, visit the website, email or call (843) 953-5060.

In case you missed it: Team Eubanks edges Team Rainey in ‘most fun’ Citadel spring game Thu, 26 Mar 2020 23:04:09 +0000 Early in March, before the campus was closed due to COVID-19, The Citadel held its annual Blue-White spring football game on Summerall Field.]]>

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Jeff Hartsell

On a failed fourth-down attempt, Brandon Rainey smashed a clipboard across his knee.

“Coaching is stressful,” The Citadel’s starting quarterback said as he clutched the broken clipboard after the Bulldogs’ spring football game on Saturday.

Rainey and linebacker Willie Eubanks learned a little about those stresses as they served as the head coaches of the Navy and White teams for the game, held on the parade deck in the center of the military school’s campus.

Eubanks’ White team edged Rainey’s Navy team by 13-12 in a game played under XFL rules. Citadel fans sat up chairs around Summerall Field to watch the game, and head coach Brent Thompson played sideline reporter, interviewing Eubanks at halftime. The XFL even sent a representative to observe the unique format.

“Most fun I’ve ever had during a spring game,” Thompson told the team afterward.

Rainey and Eubanks, the Southern Conference defensive player of the year, were among eight starters who did not play in the game, along with their fellow player-coaches, receiver Raleigh Webb and tackle Prince Howard-Whitaker. But that left plenty of snaps for the other players on each of the two 36-man teams.

“It was good to see our younger guys play extremely hard and have fun out there,” Thompson said. “Being able to get our younger guys this many reps, we needed every single body out there on both sides of the ball. So those guys were getting valuable reps that will be important in the fall.”

Among those younger players was redshirt freshman quarterback Cooper Wallace, who led Team Eubanks to the come-from-behind win.

The 5-10, 195-pound Wallace broke several tackles during a 24-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 6-6, then led a 66-yard drive for the winning TD. Wallace scrambled for 20 yards on third and 15, then scored from three yards out for a 12-6 lead with 3:20 left in the game.

Team Rainey mounted a comeback behind quarterback Jaylan Adams, a redshirt sophomore who was moved over from defensive back this spring. Adams hit slotback Dante Smith for a long pass, then broke free for a 32-yard TD run with 45 seconds left to pull his team to within 13-12.

Using XFL rules for extra points, Team Rainey opted for a 2-point try from the 5-yard line. Adams dropped to pass, but linebacker Anthony Britton blitzed up the middle on for a game-clinching sack.

Team Rainey’s first TD came after a fumble by Team Eubanks deep in its own territory. Adams executed a neat fake and kept the ball for an 8-yard score and a 6-0 lead.

Fullback Clay Harris was effective up the middle for Team Eubanks, and slotback Darique Hampton, from Goose Creek High School, took an option pitch 29 yards to set up Wallace’s first TD. Junior defensive lineman Bradley Peery (6-5, 300) also caught Thompson’s eye.

“Our defense was able to make some big plays, and Brad Peery was in the backfield a lot of the day,” Thompson said. “But Clay ran very hard, and so did Cooper Wallace. I thought Coop was the difference for the white team, but Jaylan made it interesting at the end.”

The last word belonged to the winning coach, whose team earned the right to skip a morning workout this summer, according to Thompson.

“Coaching is very challenging,” Eubanks said. “It’s different from being a player. As a player, your emotions are really in it, trying to get a win. It’s the same for a coach, but different emotions. I wish I could have played.”

Among other starters held out were defensive tackle Dalton Owens and linebacker Marquise Blount. Receiver Ryan McCarthy and defensive back Lane Botkin missed spring practice this year while playing with the baseball team.

]]> 1 15231
Cadets bring the heat for one of The Citadel’s coldest club sports Fri, 06 Mar 2020 21:46:06 +0000 Friday and Saturday nights are met with a new anticipation for many cadets during hockey season. ]]>

Photos courtesy of Tom Thompson, Ph.D.

By Hayden Hollinger

Friday and Saturday nights are met with a new anticipation for many cadets during hockey season.

Walking into the arena, the crowd is buzzing — when the game starts you can’t hear yourself think, the cheers are so loud.

Not taking into account the excitement and adrenaline of the sport of hockey itself, cadets love these nights. Unique from other sports at The Citadel, hockey is a club sport that provides cadets with the opportunity to get off campus and out of uniform.

Citadel cadets and fans cheering on the ice hockey team

“That’s what’s fun about the hockey games — they’re a slice of the real world” said Cadet Samuel Wendt. “They’re a great time for cadets, because we are allowed to be like normal kids and blow off some steam. The games are a great way to end the week and support our friends. There isn’t much that’s more fun than watching your friend crush some kid into the boards right in front of you.” 

Fighting between players from Appalachian State and The Citadel

The sport, in general, is quicker and more interactive for spectators since they are so close to the action.

Cadet Samuel Wendt

There is already an adrenaline rush from watching passionate players. But when you are within a foot of them — while they are in each others’ faces and fighting over the puck — that intensity increases. Most of the spectators have friends that are players, which also enhances the feeling even more.

“I love watching by buddy Peter (#2) because he brings a wallop,” continued Wendt. “He might not be the biggest fella out there, but he plays like he is and just flattens people.” 

Wendt and his friends come to watch one of their classmates battle it out on the ice, and their close relationship helps their group support him at every opportunity.

Despite the lower time commitment required each week, the hockey team still gets the chance to play against some big-name schools, such as University of South Florida, Eastern Carolina and the University of Tennessee.

Citadel ice hockey players with fans in the stands

The weekend that The Citadel hosted Eastern Carolina provided one of the best and worst weekends of the year in terms of results for the team.

The Friday night game drew a huge crowd, and The Citadel won that game after scoring the final goal in the last minute.

Fans cheering on The Citadel ice hockey team

A different story followed the night after as they fell to the same team, which Wendt thought was the most disappointing result of the year.

“The Eastern Carolina games were a great time,” said Wendt. “The first game was absolutely insane and the last second goal to win was unbelievable! The second game was a bit rough, but there were some nasty hits that made the loss still quite entertaining.”

Citadel Club Hockey is a great experience, whether as a player or a spectator. The closeness to the game on the glass, the solidarity with the other Bulldogs in the stands and the fun of a night out all come together to make a great cadet experience that provides something a little different.

At the end of the regular season, The Citadel ice hockey team finished second in the conference, just behind the College of Charleston, with 13 wins and 9 loses overall.

The Citadel’s ice hockey team is expected to be back on the ice for next season starting in September.

Hayden Hollinger is a graduate assistant coach for The Citadel’s women soccer team. Hollinger also works as a graduate assistant in The Citadel’s Office of Communications and Marketing.