Top 10 returning players at Coastal Carolina are led by star QB Grayson McCall

Grayson McCall leads the group of players returning to Coastal Carolina this season, but watch out for their young defender, Josaiah Stewart.

The top returning players for the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers is a list that’s clear at the top. Coastal is led by their star quarterback, Grayson McCall, who checked in at No. 6 on our top quarterback rankings this summer. McCall is the nation’s active career leader in passing efficiency and owns the single-season college football record in that metric. But beyond McCall, who else returns to Myrtle Beach for another potential run to the Sun Belt crown?

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Top 10 returning players at Coastal Carolina

The countdown to the regular season continues here during Pro Football Network’s Top 10 Returning Players series. We’ve crossed the country to the Sun Belt and are firmly entrenching ourselves across the southeastern portion of the country with our look into each FBS team. Looking only at players returning to their same team from a season ago — we’ll deal with transfers later –, we’re counting down all the top 10 players returning to action on every team. Here are the top returners from Coastal Carolina.

10) Jerrod Clark, DT

With a lot of talk coming from the Coastal defense enveloping the edge defenders last season, Jerrod Clark had a quietly productive season in the middle. Clark is a big man who clogs multiple gaps and presents a challenge for any interior lineman to block in 1-on-1 situations. When he’s on his game, Clark is one of the top true nose tackles in the game today.

9) Bryce Carpenter, QB

Typically, two-quarterback systems don’t work out, yet Jamey Chadwell and the Chants have been able to break that trend. Bryce Carpenter doesn’t quite share snaps with Grayson McCall, but he certainly does his best to spell McCall and produce when he’s in the lineup.

Carpenter is a terrific dual-threat in the backfield with plenty of arm talent and over 1,000 rushing yards in his career if you remove sack yardage. He’s safe with the football and offers Coastal that luxury of having an A+ option behind their star QB.

8) Reese White, RB

Longtime Coastal running back Reese White once again returns to a stacked backfield with a lifetime average of nearly 6.0 yards per attempt. White is the more stout of the top two returning backs for the Chants, and he thrives with a rushing lane big or small in front of him. He’ll use his sound vision and terrific patience to navigate to the playside gaps on rushing plays and has proven to be a weapon in other facets during his time in Myrtle Beach.

7) Braydon Bennett, RB

There are nearly 160 vacated carries from Shermari Jones alone, so the most likely player to benefit from that is Braydon Bennett. After averaging a whopping 9.0 yards per carry last season, Bennett is in line for a potentially monstrous kind of season. He has a bit of an upright running style due to his frame, but he still churns through yardage all the same with his power and balance through contact.

6) Antwine Loper, OT

Returning to the left side of the line for the third straight season, Antwine Loper has clearly gotten more comfortable with handling his duties at LT over the years. A common theme among the linemen for Coastal is the “lack of top size” among their linemen. Yet, one thing is clear — they all understand how to use their frames to their advantage.

Loper brings with him great strength and an understanding of how to utilize his hands against all kinds of pass rushers. He’s a stout pass protector and maybe even better on the ground when he can use his mobility to seal the edge.

5) Lance Boykin, CB

Stingy in coverage, Lance Boykin reeled in an interception and four pass breakups a season ago. He is of the new mold of cornerbacks, providing incredible length with his 6’3″ frame. He played remarkably well in his first action since 2019 when he was with Old Dominion. With another season in the program and one of the top cornerbacks in the country opposite him, Boykin has an incredibly high ceiling in 2022.

4) Willie Lampkin, G

Returning to the program as one of the most technically-sound guards, Willie Lampkin has dominated from his left guard spot over the past two seasons. He’s remarkably consistent with his game, providing highlight-reel pancake blocks on the ground and a stout anchor in pass protection.

Lampkin isn’t the biggest guard out there, but he uses his leverage incredibly well and understands angle of his defenders whether stepping back in the passing game or moving forward in the run.

3) D’Jordan Strong, CB

Don’t let the “lack” of interceptions from 2021 fool you, D’Jordan Strong is a ball hawk and a finisher at the catch point. He’s dominant in coverage and sticks with receivers of every type. Strong finished with 10 pass breakups last season and 19 solo tackles, most of which came on the outside. With great quicks and even better ball skills, Strong is a top Group of Five cornerback with ease as he’s approaching top national CB.

2) Josaiah Stewart, EDGE

One of the top true freshmen from a season ago, Josaiah Stewart exploded onto the scene with 12.5 sacks and 15.5 total tackles for loss. Each were good enough to sit at or near the top among all freshmen defenders while the sacks were fifth-most in the country overall.

Stewart has an explosive attitude about his game and rips through tackles like mincemeat. The sky is the limit for this powerfully compact edge rusher, as he continues to hone what is an already technically-efficient game.

1) Grayson McCall, QB

College football’s active career leader in passing efficiency, McCall is truly one of the best signal-callers in the game today. In fact, he’s entering into the realm of all-time great at the position.

McCall is accurate beyond measure and runs the Chants’ offense with precision. There are few that have elevated talent the way he has over the past few years, and he’ll be etched into college football history no matter which way the 2022 season goes. But seeing what McCall’s been able to help build, it’ll be another special season for him and the entire Teal Nation along the way.

Honorable mention players returning to Coastal Carolina in 2022

  • Xavier Gravette, TE
  • Dre Pinckney, S
  • Jacob Proche, CB
  • TJ Ivy Jr., TE
  • Tyson Mobley, WR
  • Kennedy Roberts, DT

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and follow him on Twitter: @CamMellor.

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