It was originally believed that South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Connor Mitch would take over once Dylan Thompson graduated, but after a few unexpected twists and turns, Brandon McIlwain and Perry Orth appear to have captivated the coaches leaving Mitch as the odd man out. Now, the former high school phenom has a new plan. He’ll graduate and transfer which will give him two years of eligibility at another school with another program.
The Gamecock faithful welcomed Mitch with open arms. Seemingly every regional publication, team program or magazine dedicated to the Gamecocks either had Mitch grace the cover or featured him in a full-page story. Connor Shaw was entrenched as the starter and the thought was that Thompson would start during his senior season. Fans thought that would be followed by two years of Mitch. What actually followed was a shoulder injury that would derail those plans after only two games. The saddest part of all was that things didn’t look too promising when Mitch was actually playing.
The Gamecocks struggled in their 2015 opener against the North Carolina Tar Heels and Mitch looked nothing like the high school phenom from Raleigh who started four years, threw for 12,078 yards and 153 touchdowns and was regarded by many as one of the top 20 pro-style quarterbacks in the country. The guy who had thrown 63 touchdowns as a senior was now struggling with accuracy issues and couldn’t seem to put impressive drives together with some consistency.
The coaches appear to have seen enough of Mitch. With the arrival of McIlwain, the curiosity about the versatility of Lorenzo Nunez (if his rehabilitation from injury goes as planned) and the belief in Orth, Mitch may have only been seen as a third or fourth string quarterback. If he’s going to play and prove he’s everything he was once believed to be, his only option is to go somewhere else. The only thing that’s left is to figure out where he’s going and for Gamecocks fans to continue to wish him well as they have been doing up until this point.