2024 Charleston Southern Football Preview

Sasha Graddick (CSU Sports)

2023 Record: 4-7 (2-4 Big South-OVC)
Returning Starters: 14 (6 Off, 8 Def)
2023 Offensive Rank (YPP): No. 118
2023 Defensive Rank (YPP Allowed): No. 71

Returning All-Conference Players: None

Notable Incoming Transfers: Rob McCoy (Sacred Heart; QB), Robert Wilson (Grambling State; DB), Justin Waters (Stonehill; LB), David Portu (Coastal Carolina; DL), Chris Rhone (Coastal Carolina; WR), Kason Hooks (Army; DB), Tobias Lafayette (Hampden-Sydney; DB)

Charleston Southern showed improvement in the first season under head coach Gabe Giardina. Despite some flashes of potential, the Buccaneers still have several question marks that must be answered entering the 2024 season. The Buccaneers struggled offensively last season, ranking No. 121 nationally and last in the Big South-OVC for total offense. Charleston Southern also ranked last in scoring offense, as the Buccaneers scored 20 or more points in only four games.

Quarterback play was a massive issue last season, which led the Buccaneers to add former Sacred Heart quarterback Rob McCoy. McCoy is a true dual threat after rushing for over 650 yards and six touchdowns over the past three seasons. He will compete with returning starter Zolten Osborne for the starting job this offseason.

The Buccaneers return plenty of talent at wide receiver, which could be a key to seeing offensive improvement in 2024. Noah Jennings earned Freshman All-American honors last season after leading the team with 26 receptions for 410 receiving yards. Jaden Scott returns after a solid sophomore campaign, while Coastal Carolina transfer Chris Rhone could be a name to watch. The Buccaneers also added former Frostburg State wide receiver Jamil Bishop, who could be a breakout star in 2024. He posted 422 receiving yards and four touchdowns last season.

Charleston Southern showed promise defensively last season but struggled to sustain that level of success throughout the season. Safeties Trayson Fowler and Dominic Pagano both return after leading the Buccaneers with three interceptions last season. Former Hampden-Sydney defensive back Tobias Lafayette could be the biggest defensive addition this offseason. Lafayette was an All-Conference selection at the Division III level, posting seven interceptions and 24 pass breakups over the past four seasons.

After the departure of All-Conference linebacker Malik Barnes, sophomore Chandler Evan Perry should step into a larger role in 2024. He recorded 37 total tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss as a freshman. The Buccaneers still have plenty of experience at linebacker with the return of Joshua Hill and Tylan Hollis, both of which saw significant action last season. Defensive end Darrius Bell is primed for a breakout season after posting seven tackles for loss and four sacks last season.

It remains to be seen if Charleston Southern will take the next step to become a contender in the Big South-OVC. Head coach Gabe Giardina and his staff have done an excellent job bringing talent into the program, but the next challenge will be to see that talent translate to wins on the field in 2024.

2024 Charleston Southern Football Schedule

Zachary McKinnell


Zach McKinnell is the Founder and Senior Editor of FCS Football Central. He is also a columnist for HERO Sports and a contributor for Athlon Sports. In 2022, he became an official voter in the FCS Stats Perform Top-25. He is a former contributor for Vols Wire, part of the USA TODAY Sports Network, and Fly War Eagle on FanSided. Zach graduated from Auburn University in 2018.