Former Calhoun quarterback Nash Nance is hoping for just that as he recently announced that he would be leaving the University of Tennessee and transferring to Hampden-Sydney College, a NCAA Division III school in Virginia, to play out his remaining three years of eligibility.
Nance, who led Calhoun to the Class AA state championship game in 2009, said that this has been about a four or five month process since the season ended for Tennessee in November.
“Towards the end of the season, my mind was wandering, and I felt like I wanted to go somewhere else,” said Nance. “So I got my release from the program and started looking for places to go. I first looked at Harvard and Yale because they offered me out of high school. Then I moved on to looking at Patriot League schools Lehigh and Holy Cross.
“Then my dad wanted me to check out this little school called Hampden-Sydney. I didn’t think much of it going in for the visit, but once I got there, I fell in love with the place.”
Nance said he doesn’t look at this move as a bad ending at Tennessee after spending his two years as a Volunteer but rather a new chapter in his college career.
“I have no bitterness toward Tennessee, the school or the coaches,” said Nance. “I’ve got no regrets here at Tennessee, and I’m really appreciative of everything I’ve had here.
“I’m just excited for this new opportunity, and I think it’s the perfect fit for me. They have great academics, great alumni support, and a great football program.”
Nance will stay at Tennessee through the spring semester and then enroll at Hampden-Sydney in the Summer. He will play for head coach Marty Favret, who will be entering his 12th season at the helm this upcoming fall. The Tigers are coming off a 9-2 season in 2011 in which they won the Old Dominion Athletic Conference and led the league in passing offense while earning an NCAA Tournament bid for the second straight season.
“Coach Favret is a great coach, and it’s a quarterback’s dream to play in a system like his,” said Nance. “They won the ODAC last year, and I think we can make another run at that this year and hopefully go deep in the playoffs if everything falls into place.”
Nance said another positive of his move to Hampden-Sydney will be the prestigious academics at the school and the opportunity to also play golf there.
While he’s looking forward to the move, Nance said leaving his current friends behind at Tennessee will be tough, including former Calhoun teammate Da’Rick Rogers.
“That’s the hardest thing about this is leaving my friends and teammates,” said Nance. “I know that I’ve made friendships here that will last for the rest of my life. I just want to thank them and the Vol nation as well as the Calhoun community for all their support.”
“I’ll always pull for my friend and brother Da’Rick. He’s been one of my closest friends the last few years, and he will always be a part of my family.”
During his senior season at Calhoun, Nance had one of the best seasons of any quarterback in the state, throwing for 3,017 yards and 29 touchdowns on 203-of-297 passing while also rushing for 359 yards on 78 carries to help the Jackets make their second straight appearance in the Georgia Dome for the Class AA State Championship game.
Soon after that season was over, Nance visited Tennessee along with Rogers and switched his commitment from Vanderbilt to Tennessee.