Billy Napier didn't bite. At all.
The head coach of 25th-ranked Louisiana watched his team hang on for a 24-21 victory over Appalachian State Friday night in Boone, N.C. After the game, Napier was asked about his reported interview with South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner. He did not respond according to various reports saying he will talk with Tanner today concerning the vacant head football coach position.
Napier is in his third season at Louisiana and has the head coaching experience that South Carolina President Bob Caslen prefers in the new Gamecock head football coach.
The former Furman quarterback won a pair of national titles at Alabama, In 2011, he was an offensive analyst for the Crimson Tide. When Alabama won the 2015 national championship, Napier was the team's wide receivers coach, a position he held from 2013-2017 after spending the 2012 season as the quarterbacks coach at Colorado State. In 2017, he worked at Arizona State as the team's offensive coordinator before taking over the program at Louisiana in 2018.
Beamer, the current Oklahoma assistant who spent four season in Columbia working under the HBC, has long been considered the front-runner based on his time in Columbia and the support of a number of former Gamecock players.
Other candidates who have been interviewed include Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield and Florida offensive coordinator Brian Johnson.
Coastal Carolina head football coach Jamey Chadwell has also interviewed with Tanner as has current Houston Texans assistant Chris Rumph, a former Gamecock linebacker who has an extensive resume with stops at Clemson, Alabama, Texas, Florida and Tennessee.