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Clay Helton makes appearance in Augusta, talks building national contender

Georgia Southern Head Football Coach Clay Helton during the 2022 Spring Game.
Georgia Southern Head Football Coach Clay Helton during the 2022 Spring Game.(WTOC-TV)
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 11:13 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - New Georgia Southern head football coach Clay Helton made his first public appearance in Augusta Monday, speaking to Eagle Club members at TopGolf in Augusta.

Helton’s in his first season with the Eagles, and they just finished spring practice over the weekend with their spring game.

Monday, Helton said he wanted to build a nationally-recognized mid-major, like Cincinnati or UCF. He talked about what a Year 1 success looks like, and preparing for the regular season.

“We’ve got 25 more practices to be able to get to that first game that are so important,” Helton said. “We’re going to live in that moment. A successful season for me is to establish what we’re about, which is toughness, discipline, accountability to each other, being united, and hopefully putting up a lot of 1-0′s each week.”

There are plenty of local guys on the Eagles’ roster this year. Evans’ Derrick Canteen is returning from a pectoral injury that cost him all of last season. Helton said he expects him to be at 100 percent in the fall.

Helton did a little recruiting in the CSRA this past year, picking up Dalen Cobb (Washington-Wilkes) and Brooks Pangle (Greenbrier).

“The whole state of Georgia--and especially in this area--there’s so much talent across the board,” Helton said. “To be able to have guys that not only are well-trained, they’re well-coached in Georgia. They’re great people. If you look at it [we signed] 22 freshman in last year’s class. 19 of the 22 are from right here in Georgia.”

The Eagles start their season September 3 at home against Morgan State.

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