COLUMBIA, S.C. — Perry Orth spent last fall debating what he wanted to do when he graduated from South Carolina. But all the while, the former South Carolina quarterback’s senior season was helping pave the way for a logical next step.
The senior starter turned important mentor to freshmen Jake Bentley and Brandon McIlwain, finding fulfillment in seeing players he helped coach and grow through the season realize success on the field.
“It was like, ‘Wow, maybe I might be pretty good at this,’” Orth said.
With that in mind, Orth launched QB1 Athletics to train, coach and work with quarterbacks of all ages. He’s eager to help young quarterbacks attain their goals and found a way to stay close to football, while continuing to use the knowledge he built up over many years.
Orth, who soon will be moving to Greenville, will be doing 1-on-1 training, group sessions and helping kids learn to study film. The focus he has in mind is on-field work, teaching drills to practice footwork, accuracy, routes and more.
“I will be training kids based off what I was taught from an NFL quarterback as my high school coach (Mike Loyd), Steve Spurrier and (South Carolina quarterbacks coach) Kurt Roper and doing drills that helped me go from sixth string to starting quarterback,” Orth said. “I feel like that right there is an upper hand on most quarterback coaches and I’m still so young that is what is going to separate me from the average coach is I’m going to physically be doing these drills with these kids and my clients to show them how these drills are supposed to be done.”
It has been a quick process for Orth, who said the idea was conceived on Dec. 6. It started with Orth’s desire to continue to be around football but without the demands and stress of being a coach. He paired up with a college roommate, David Cowgill, to help with marketing and work on the business facets to make QB1 Athletics a reality.
The company is a certified LLC in South Carolina as of Friday, the same day it received liability insurance. Its website launched Monday, checking all the necessary boxes. Hammond High School coach Erik Kimrey, another former South Carolina quarterback, offered the Hammond field for Orth to use and it will be the site of the first training sessions on Jan. 28.
The public announcement of QB1 Athletics came on Jan. 4 and the immediate reception matched Orth’s excitement, as approximately 15 middle school and high school quarterbacks from around the state reached out to work with him within a half-hour.
“I’m fired up,” Orth said. “It’s really good knowing that I can help motivate the next generation of quarterbacks coming up.”
It’s a two-man operation for now, but Orth expects to bring in more help as the business grows. Right now, the plan is getting off the ground and building up a recognizable name. Roper reached out to Orth to offer his help in connecting Orth with high school coaches around the state. That connection to South Carolina also is something Orth hopes helps him market the business, while he has ties to Georgia State (Shawn Elliott), Western Kentucky (Steve Spurrier Jr.) and more as well.
But with his playing career at South Carolina, which featured 11 starts and more than 2,500 yards passing, behind him, Orth is ecstatic to continue being around football.
“I just really wanted to use that knowledge and those skills that I learned to help other kids achieve what their dreams are, whether it’s play at South Carolina, play at Benedict or play at Western Carolina or play at Coastal Carolina,” Orth said. “Wherever it may be, I just want to help kids potentially achieve their dreams.”