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South Carolina State’s Buddy Pough Looking Forward To Keynote Talk At Upcoming HSSR All-State Football Awards Banquet

South Carolina State’s Buddy Pough Looking Forward To Keynote Talk At Upcoming HSSR All-State Football Awards Banquet   

OrangeburgThe High School Sports Report is proud to announce that South Carolina State head football coach Buddy Pough will serve as the keynote speaker for the publication’s 33rd annual all-state football banquet scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. at Seawell’s Catering in Columbia on February 16th.

“I have known Coach Buddy Pough from just about the time the “High School Sports Report” was getting started in 1987 and it was a lot of fun following and reporting on his highly successful teams at Fairfield-Central in the mid-1990’s,” said HSSR Publisher Billy G. Baker.  “Coach Pough is a great story- teller and he is a much sought-after speaker across South Carolina. In fact, when he gets finished speaking to the all-state football teams at the HSSR banquet on the 16th he has another speaking engagement about a mile from Seawell’s.”

Coach Pough told the HSSR when he agreed to serve as the keynote speaker for one of the largest high school all-state football banquet in the nation, “The state of South Carolina is where we at South Carolina State make our living in recruiting,” said Coach Pough. “Anytime I have the opportunity to speak before so many talented football players, along with their families, it will be an honor to come to the banquet and share some thoughts. I am excited about the opportunity to come to the banquet on the 16th.”

Coach Pough talked about how he recruited Darius Leonard a linebacker from Lake View six years ago. Leonard became the 34th pick in the NFL draft two years ago and he was named to the NFL Pro Bowl this past season.  “We first saw Darius play in the state championship game his senior season and we were quite surprised he didn’t have any major college offers,” said Coach Pough. “He was between 185 and 190 pounds at the time and he could fly all over a football field. We felt fortunate to sign him kind of late in the recruiting process.

“Would you believe we red-shirted him and he gained some weight coming into his red-shirt freshman year,” said Coach Pough. “I knew from the first time he got in pads he was an NFL prospect,” said Coach Pough. “We were not thinking 34th pick in the draft at the time but Darius had a work ethic and a drive about him I have not seen in many players I’ve coached. By his senior season he was up to 235 pounds and with the 4.5 speed he had what it takes to play in the NFL. We take a lot of pride in our ability to develop players to their maximum potential at SC State and Darius is a great example for us I promise you.”

Leonard left S.C. State as the school's all-time leading tackler and a two-time MEAC Defensive Player of the Year. He is currently a starting linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts.

South Carolina State had a vastly improved football season in 2019 over 2018 and the season didn’t go unnoticed by observers and followers of the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference (MEAC).

      For the third time in his career, Bulldogs head coach Buddy Pough was been named the MEAC Coach of the Year. Pough led SC State to an 8-3 record and a share of the conference title. On his way to helping the Bulldogs capture their 17th MEAC title, Pough became the program’s all-time winningest coach. He now has 133 (133-74) wins at South Carolina State passing Hall of famer Willie Jefferies in the process.

Pough and Bowie State head coach Damon Wilson were both voted BOXTOROW National Co-Coaches of the Year as the annual superlative awards across HBCU football were announced in early December.

Pough had the biggest turnaround of the season after the Bulldogs finished last season with a 5-6 overall record and a 4-3 mark in conference play. The 2019 season saw the Bulldogs finish 8-3 overall and 6-2 in MEAC play. Pough led South Carolina State to its 17th MEAC championship overall and the seventh in his tenure. The Bulldogs got a key program win over then-No. 8th ranked Wofford (champion of the Southern Conference) to start the season and never looked back.

The Bulldogs also had nine players who earned spots on MEAC postseason honors.

Freshman Corey Fields was selected as the conference’s Rookie of the Year. The quarterback who signed with the Bulldogs out of Baptist Hill finished the year with a 50.5 completion percentage with 1,652 passing yards and 13 touchdowns.

De’Montrez Burroughs, Alex Taylor, and Tyrell Goodwin each earned spots on the All-MEAC first team. Burroughs had 46 catches for 936 yards and 13 touchdowns on the year. Taylor was named the conference’s offensive lineman of the week five times this past season. Goodwin led SC State with 15 tackles for loss and was second on the team with five sacks this year.

The HSSR is proud to have Coach Pough come and serve as keynote speaker for the 33rd annual all-state awards banquet on February 16th.

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