KF: Brian you're now a head coach of your own varsity football team. How does it feel and has it set in yet with spring practice running full circle?
BL: Honestly I don't know if it has really set in yet. I hit the ground running, I was blessed to be able to come in here in the middle of the year and work with the team. I really haven't had time to really let it set in yet. I had to immediately find coaches for my staff and test my players when I got here. It may all hit me towards the middle of the summer.
KF: Talk about the South Florence community and your thoughts so far.
BL: Everybody has been real positive and real welcoming. Being the 1st African American head coach at this school it's been real positive. There's been some pressure to come in and win more ball games as well but that's good. I wouldn't want to be somewhere that there wasn't any pressure to succeed. The community has been great and they've welcomed me with open arms.
KF: Will you bring the same wide-open high powered offensive attack that you ran for Byrnes to South Florence?
BL: Yes I'm going to bring the Byrnes style of offense here to South Florence but it will have my own twist on things. Me being an assistant coach before I now will have total control and do things a little different. I'll bring that Byrnes mentality and offense here to South Florence.
KF: Tell us about some of your top players for the Bruins?
BL: I have a great running back in Anthony Fonville. Anthony is a great athlete and a great player. He's one of the smartest guys on the team. He's also deceptively quick, his first step and overall quickness is unbelievable. In fact he's one of the quickest I've ever seen at the running back position. He will be the focal point of our offense this year. He had a great freshman year but then broke his leg in his 10th grade year. He really didn't get back to freshman year form last year until really late in the season. South Carolina and Clemson send him a lot of mail but nobody has offered him because of the broken leg. When I first got here he tested as a low 4.6 range guy in the 40. He's probably a 4.5 range guy now after a little over a month. The team hadn't done any lifting before I got here since November so I had to come in and change that mentality with our program. Anthony will be going to the makeup date for the Shrine Bowl combine and I'll go with him to keep an eye on him and make sure things go just right hopefully. I've got two wide receivers who will play a big part of the team next year too. Jimmy Hampton will be depended upon, he plays some defensive back too but we'll use his mostly at wide receiver. He's 6'1 and is about 175 to 180 pounds. Brandon McAbee is another kid who is going to help us out a lot. He's 6'0 205 pounds and has some great hands.
KF: What about your defense? Have you decided what you plan to run primarily?
BL: Our defense returns just one starter from last year so we're going to have our work cut out for us bringing in a new defense. I'm going to run a 3-3-5 defense with multiple fronts. It'll be very similar to what Byrnes was doing. It's going to be new to everybody so we'll see how that goes.
KF: Will it strange for you during your first game to be in control of everything instead of in the press box just calling the offensive plays?
BL: I tell you right now I'm already getting a taste of that, before I could look down the sideline and ask coach what are you gonna do now? It's a challenge now that everybody is looking at me with that question. It's something that I've been waiting on and I think that coming from Byrnes and having coached under Bobby Bentley that it really helped me prepare for my situation. Our Spring Game is tomorrow so we get to make some evaluations and see where we are.
KF: Who are your role models or folks that you look up to?
BL: Ultimately Jesus Christ but if you look at people here I'd have to say my father. As a coach it has to be coach Bentley, he got me interested in wanting to be a coach when I was still in high school. He taught me a lot about learning how to be a quarterback and learning schemes. Offensively how to attack defenses and break them down.
KF: Do you plan on competing in any passing leagues or tournaments this offseason?
BL: I'm actually going to be headed up there to Byrnes. It's them now so I can't be saying us (laughs) that's June 14th Byrnes has a 7 on 7 and we're going to be there. June 21st we'll be at Coastal Carolina, they're having a passing league tournament down there. July 19th we're going to Blythewood. We've got those things scheduled so far.
KF: Have you established just who your quarterback will be next season?
BL: Right now I've got a guy named Timothy Moore who will be my quarterback. He's 5'11 185 pounds and he's a rising senior. He played some QB last year. He has a strong arm and surprisingly learned this new offense pretty rapidly. A good thing about it is he's a fan of this offense. He's a Willy Korn fan as well...he even wears #11 too. He's working hard to grasp this offense. I've got another good young quarterback named Troy Jones and he's going to be a junior next year, he's working in and will do a good job for me in the future at quarterback.
SCPrepNation.com will have more updates throughout the offseason and upcoming on the South Florence Bruins so stay tuned.
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