CONWAY | More than a year after he was expected to become Coastal Carolina University's starting quarterback, Jamie Childers has finally earned that designation.Childers, a sophomore from Mount Pleasant, will start for the Chanticleers at Towson on Saturday, coach David Bennett said following Thursday's practice. Zach MacDowall, who started the team's first two games, is recovering from a hamstring injury suffered against Monmouth.So Childers, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound specimen, gets an opportunity to prove he belongs on the field. He was expected to become Coastal's starting signal-caller in 2008, but he was stricken with meningitis as preseason camp began and hasn't been the same player since.Gifted with great mobility, size and arm strength - Bennett says he could be the Tim Tebow of the Big South - Childers' form and often his lack of focus over the past year have befuddled his coaches. Yet he's been sharp in practice this week, showing the poise of a starter and zipping throws all over the field."It gives me a chance to prove myself and help us win a game," said Childers, who has appeared in both games this season but hasn't thrown a pass."I'm excited. I've waited a long time."Childers last started at Hargrave Military Academy in 2006, when he was rated by rivals.com as the nation's 37th-best prep school player. After redshirting in 2007 at Coastal, he was 6-for-17 passing for 47 yards, and he rushed for 61 yards on 22 carries in six games as a freshman last year."He knows everything," Coastal offensive coordinator Kevin Brown said. "He's been here a little longer than Zach. He's got more reps at it, so we're confident in his abilities."We've got to help him as a group. As an offense we've got way too many missed assignments, including the quarterback. We've got to keep it simple for him early and try to get him in a rhythm. Then we just let him go play."Childers will be the sixth starting quarterback in school history, following Tyler Thigpen, Ren McKinnon, Scott Crouch, Will Richardson and MacDowall, who is 26-for-45 passing for 310 yards, three interceptions and one touchdown so far this season. MacDowall, a junior, likely could play if needed, but he hasn't taken any live snaps with the offense this week.Contact JOSH HOKE at 626-0318.
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