VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) — USD Football opens its season Saturday at Kansas State. The coyotes are coming off the program’s 2nd ever FCS playoff appearance, and return plenty of talent, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
For the third straight season Carson Camp enters the year under center for USD. The sophomore has taken full command of everything the job requires.
“I’m very confident in this offense that we’re running right now. I pretty much know it to a tee. I just want guys in the right spot at the right time so I can distribute the ball to them when they need it,” Carson Camp said.
Camp’s top target from last season Carter Bell is back. He’ll also have tight ends Austin Goehring and JJ Galbreath, along with wideouts Wesley Eliodor and Javion Phelps among others to spread the ball around to.
“Talking to receivers, making sure we’re on the same page. Another thing too is trust. If he trusts me and I trust him to make sure we’re on the same page in different looks, or same look, or whatever it is, then we can get the ball rolling,” Camp said.
Camp will have 4 of his 5 starting offensive lineman back, led by Preseason All American tackle Alex Jensen.
“Think we’re a little less protection oriented this year, more pass concepts and what the defense is and so,” Camp said.
USD’s won’t have last year’s leading rusher Nate Thomas due to injury, but Shomari Lawrence, who ran for 160 yards in the Coyotes’ first three plus games, returns after suffering a season-ending injury last year.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment again since I got hurt. I was devastated when I got hurt. I felt like I let the team down. Now I feel like I’m back and better than ever,” Lawrence said.
He along with Travis Theis and Mike Mansaray give Bob Nielson a diverse skillset in the backfield.
“He has the kind of speed where he can outrun people once he gets to the secondary. Travis is one of those guys that will look for contact sometimes, really powerful runner. And so I think they are a really good compliment. Mike blends a little bit of both,” Nielson said.
All that added together has the makings for a potentially explosive offense.
“With the running backs that we got, the receivers and tight ends that we have, along with the O-Line, they’re doing really well this fall camp. Just let Carson be able to dish the ball out to whoever’s open and I think we can be very dangerous,” Wide Receiver Carter Bell said.
USD and Kansas State are set to kickoff at 6 o’clock Saturday night. That game will air on ESPN+.