Citadel Drew MeEntyre

Citadel lineman Drew McEntyre (63) has started 29 straight games for the Bulldogs. Provided/Citadel Athletics

Ron Boyd likes to keep it simple when it comes to his Citadel offensive linemen.

"I think offensive linemen ought to stay in the background and not be noticed," says the Bulldogs' veteran line coach.

But Citadel quarterback Brandon Rainey had other ideas on Saturday. After the Bulldogs' 35-17 victory over Western Carolina, Rainey dragged a 6-3, 285-pound buddy with him into the interview room to meet the media.

With a sheepish grin, right guard Drew McEntyre expounded on what snapping a two-game skid meant for the Bulldogs as they head into a game this week at rival Furman, ranked No. 8 in the nation in FCS.

"That was Brandon's idea," McEntyre said this week. "He said he wanted to bring an offensive lineman to the interview room, so I went out there with him."

McEntyre — @macdaddy_63 on Twitter — has been an integral part of The Citadel's offense for four years now, without attracting a lot of notice. He was a part-time starter as a true freshman on the Bulldogs' Southern Conference championship team in 2016, and has started 29 straight games, by far the most on the team (three others have started 18 in a row).

"Drew is the guy that makes it all go on the line," Boyd said of McEntyre, who was named to the 2019 preseason all-SoCon team. "I always tell him, when he's in, they are all in. And when he's off, they are off.

"That comes with the territory, with being a 3½-year starter, and he knows that."

McEntyre, from Calhoun, Ga., just north of Atlanta, played at Calhoun High School for Hal Lamb, the brother of Mercer coach Bobby Lamb. His high school team won 29 straight games, including a 15-0 record and state title his sophomore year, and McEntyre was named all-state while also maintaining honor-roll grades.

Both Mercer and Air Force Academy offered McEntyre, but he already had bonded with former Citadel offensive linemen such as Kyle Weaver and Isaiah Pinson on his recruiting trip.

"I really liked the players and the brotherhood here," McEntyre says. "I felt like I really fit in with the guys. Kyle was my mentor and really helped me to understand what I needed to do to succeed here.

"It felt like a place where I could succeed. The Citadel was different, but not as different as Air Force."

McEntyre played guard his first two seasons before moving to tackle in 2018, and back to guard this season. His academic interests have followed a similar wandering path, from bio-chemistry to business, with a side interest in film-making.

He and defensive back Phil Barrett are apparently filming a documentary of the 2019 season, Boyd said.

"I can't wait to see how it turns out," the coach said.

Will McEntyre have a starring role? Could be.

After all, linemen usually get noticed only when the referee says, "False start on the offense, No. 63."

"I feel like linemen kind of get ignored," McEntyre said. "But we are a unit, we win and lose together. We work as a unit, and that's the only way for us to function.

"On the offensive line, our plays don't work unless you can trust the guy next to you, on your left and right, to do the right thing. So it's definitely a brotherhood unmatched anywhere else."

Rainey earns SoCon honor

Rainey was named the SoCon's student-athlete of the week on Wednesday. Rainey is currently working towards his master’s degree in business administration, and  graduated in May with a 3.63 grade-point average.

He accounted for all five touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 35-17 victory over Western Carolina. He ran for 87 yards and two touchdowns, while also going 3-for-5 passing for 73 yards and three touchdowns. It was the second time in the last three games he has accounted for five touchdowns in a game.

Rainey is second in the nation in FCS in rushing touchdowns with 13, behind VMI running back Alex Ramsey with 15.

Reach Jeff Hartsell at 843-937-5596. Follow on Twitter @Jeff_fromthePC

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