Corp hopes to stay healthy in last college season

Posted Aug. 22, 2011, at 5:23 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 22, 2011, at 9:31 p.m.

RICHMOND, Va. — Aaron Corp hopes to finally have things go right in his final season playing college football.

He was the starting quarterback as a sophomore at Southern Cal and after transferring to Richmond, he was the Spiders’ starter as a junior. But Corp hasn’t made it to the midpoint of either season before getting injured. His five starts all came last season, and a torn ACL in his right knee ended his season.

Declaring himself 100 percent recovered, he’s ready to show what he can do.

“Obviously, it’s my last year and coming back after playing only basically four games last year, I can’t be more ready to go,” he said with the Spiders opener at Duke less than two weeks away. “I was extremely excited for the first day of camp and now I can’t wait for the first game.”

Little wonder, too, since he lost his job as the starter at USC when he broke his left leg in the preseason.

Corp knew expectations were high when he transferred from one of the elite FBS programs to the Spiders, but said he pays no attention to that talk now. And while Richmond, an FCS school, would seem to be a harder place for a quarterback to get noticed, he said he came to the other side of the country because he saw that a handful of former players were earning paychecks on Sundays.

“If I have a good year, if we have a good year, there’s those opportunities in the future,” he said.

Latrell Scott, the Spiders’ second-year head coach, said he’s heard Corp acknowledge that some might expect a starting quarterback from an elite BCS school to light up the FCS, but said Corp has shown that his priority is the team, nit his own numbers.

“He wants to win football games, be it throwing it 10 times a game and handing it off 50 times or, if he had to throw it 35 or 40 times to win us some games, I’m sure he could,” Scott said.

Whatever it takes, the Spiders agree, to get them back to the level they had gotten accustomed to playing. They won their first national championship three years ago, and had become regulars in the playoffs before finishing 6-5 last season and being left home.

Senior wide receiver Tre Gray didn’t expect to have Corp available to lead that effort.

“I did not think he was going to be ready to play, but the guy was hungry,” Gray said. “The guy was in the training room every day, all day trying to get better to lead this team.” He added that Corp’s arm even seems a little better, and “he has a new swag about him.”

To hear the Spiders’ defenders talk, he’s showing no signs of the rust of having players just four games in two seasons.

“Aaron is amazing at putting the ball where the (defensive back is) not going to be able to make a play,” 6-foot-5 safety Cooper Taylor, a transfer from Georgia Tech, said. “Some quarterbacks, a lot of guys you play against, they are just trying to put the ball where the receiver can catch it. Aaron puts the ball where the receiver can catch it and you can’t get to it, either.”

Beginning with a season-opening visit to Duke, Corp hopes to prove Taylor right on a consistent basis.

“I was working out all summer and got my strength back. so I feel great,” he said. “I’m ready to go.”

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