It’s probably been overstated, but it’s worth repeating. There’s been a major fall from grace in Columbia, South Carolina. It has truly been a humbling experience. Fans are probably sick of hearing about three straight 11-win seasons. They’re probably also still in shock over a last-place finish in the SEC East. There are many reasons why this happened , but most can agree an unfortunate carousel of quarterbacks is part of the issue.
You literally couldn’t be anywhere in South Carolina and see a program, magazine or semi-annual publication that didn’t have some sort of full-page feature on Connor Mitch; and that was for good reason. He lit it up in high school and had the tools. Then he got hurt. Lorenzo Nunez gave the Gamecocks a dual threat, and he got hurt. Both will be back in 2016, but there’s been a wrinkle added recently.
South Carolina Gamecocks fans are buzzing because Will Muschamp has convinced an unbelievable talent by the name of Brandon McIlwain, who could have gone pro in baseball (and may have been a first-round pick), to put those dreams on the backburner and go to Columbia and play football for free. Sure, nothing compares to a free education; but how often does that happen normally?
McIlwain already has two targets that would make most quarterbacks in the country salivate in Bryan Edwards and Diondre Champaigne. Both have been clocked in the 40-yard dash at about 4.5 seconds; and if things break down, McIlwain has the legs to make things happen on his own. They plan to run an uptempo attack, and Muschamp has brought in Kurt Roper from the Cleveland Browns to orchestrate this once their season ends.
Expect McIlwain to start as a freshman. It’s difficult to believe he passed on a professional baseball career to go to South Carolina and be a backup. Keep an eye on what’s developing with this program. Things keep getting more and more interesting.