Wide Open Quarterback Battle At South Carolina

FIVE PLAYERS VIE FOR STARTING NOD AS SPRING PRACTICE KICKS OFF … University of South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp shed absolutely no light on who his 2016 starting quarterback might be with the release of the program’s pre-spring depth chart (.pdf here). Five players – including a true freshman…


University of South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp shed absolutely no light on who his 2016 starting quarterback might be with the release of the program’s pre-spring depth chart (.pdf here).

Five players – including a true freshman and a former walk-on senior – will vie for the job, apparently.

They are: Redshirt senior Perry Orth, true freshman Brandon McIlwain, junior Connor Mitch, sophomore Lorenzo Nuñez and sophomore Michael Scarnecchia.

“We’ve got five quarterbacks repping,” Muschamp said, referring to snaps with the first team offense.  “There is no timetable, but you can’t rep five guys. We’ve got to whittle it down quickly, on the guys who can make explosive plays for us and take care of the football. That’s the bottom line – who can direct our offense and move the ball down the field and score?”

Muschamp said he’d “like to name a starter after spring” but that he was prepared to take the competition into fall camp, if necessary.


Orth saw the lion’s share of snaps in 2015, completing 143 of 261 passes for 1,929 yards.  The 6-foot-0, 200-pound walk-on from Ponte Vedra, Florida threw 12 touchdown passes against nine interceptions.  He also ran for a pair of scores and caught one touchdown pass.

Nuñez, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound native of Kennesaw, Georgia completed 32 of 52 passes for 376 yards in limited duty – throwing three touchdowns and three interceptions.  He also ran for 375 yards on 59 carries – with two additional touchdowns.

Mitch began the 2015 season as former head coach Steve Spurrier‘s starter, but suffered a pair of early injuries and did not play after the second week against Kentucky.  The 6-foot-3, 211-pound Raleigh, N.C. native completed 13 of 29 passes for 165 yards and one score.

Scarnecchia, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound sophomore from Fleming Island, Florida completed his only pass of the year for nine yards against Louisiana State.

The player Gamecock fans are most excited to see this spring?  McIlwain.  This four-star signal caller threw for 1,720 yards and 17 touchdowns during his senior season at Council Rock North High School in Newtown, Pennsylvania.  McIlwain ran for another 1,545 yards and 30 touchdowns.

The No. 3 dual-threat quarterback prospect in the country, McIlwain received scholarship offers from programs like Penn State, Auburn, California, Clemson, Florida, Miami, Michigan State, Ohio State and North Carolina.  Obviously his decision to stay with the Gamecocks was a major recruiting coup for Muschamp’s staff.

South Carolina suffered through an abysmal 3-9 season last year – and Muschamp was clearly not the program’s first choice for the rebuilding job after Spurrier stepped down in mid-October.  Still, he has put together a staff of nationally-recognized recruiters and managed to salvage a 2016 class that could have been an unmitigated implosion.

If he can continue to exceed expectations, there may be hope yet for a Gamecock program that two years ago was coming off of its third consecutive Top Ten national finish.

Spring practice kicks off on March 15 and concludes with the annual Garnet and Black Spring Game on Saturday, April 9.  The 2016 season kicks off on September 1 in Nashville, Tennessee with an SEC matchup against the Vanderbilt Commodores.


Pic: Travis Bell Photography


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Uh-huh. Now, I remember. March 14, 2016 at 4:37 pm

Are they coming off a win or a loss? Never did see anything here about it.

Crooner March 14, 2016 at 4:54 pm

Unlike Clemson, we didn’t lose our bowl game.

CNSYD March 14, 2016 at 4:58 pm

Clemson did not lose a bowl game.

Anon March 14, 2016 at 6:19 pm

You might remember that Clemson blasted Oklahoma in the Orange “Bowl” last season. #cootsgonnacoot

JacquiChan March 15, 2016 at 9:39 am

*National Championship Game (which y’all will never have to worry about losing considering y’all will never play in one).

Squishy123 March 15, 2016 at 10:29 am

Unlike Clemson, USCe will never see this game, well… other than on television.

FSU Baby March 15, 2016 at 11:50 am

So you are saying Clemson gets a participation award? We won it, many times and will win it again. You wont

Doubtful March 15, 2016 at 1:41 pm

We? What position did you play?

Could you even FIND FSU, if you had a map?

FSU Baby March 15, 2016 at 3:13 pm

I didn’t play for, but went to FSU, so yeah “WE”. Oh only Clemson fans that probably didn’t even go to the school can use “we”, “us” or “y’all”? (see JacquiChan below although in a reference toward USCe ). Win more than one title then act elite. Until then you cant because its as close as you ever will get again and you know it. Been in the same conference for only 26 years and we have won it 15 times already about to be 16. 15 titles, the same number you have but you have been in it like 45 years longer. It tool you 60 years to do something we did in just 26! Dominance at its finest is FSU. We own this shit now!!! Sit back and enjoy the show

History fan March 15, 2016 at 6:12 pm

Who won the last time FSU played Clemson?

How’s Jameis doing since he doesn’t have to steal crab legs any longer?

FSU Baby March 15, 2016 at 9:04 pm

You tell me how all your druggies are doing? Didnt another one just go to rehab from the Steelers? It’s hard to keep up with you addicts at cocaine U sometimes.

Free Shoes University March 15, 2016 at 10:43 pm

I missed that score..what was that again?

FSU Baby March 16, 2016 at 1:08 pm

15 titles in just 26 years is the score. Will make it 16 this year, and we don’t need our players coked up to win. Unlike you we also wont choke in the title game. Go Noles!!!

FSU Baby March 17, 2016 at 6:43 am

Another Clemson player just got arrested for drugs. Some LB in Clinton. if you keep this up your drug arrests will catch up to our wins over you. LMAO. Go Noles!!!

hahahaha March 14, 2016 at 9:43 pm

lutz…no the cocks didn’t lose a bowl game, or play in one, either. But they did lose to the Citadel.

Scooter March 14, 2016 at 4:39 pm

I am so excited.

gravytrain witbiscuitwheels March 14, 2016 at 4:58 pm

6 ft 3,211 lb raleigh native better get off the biscuits n’ gravy

Haley Sucks March 14, 2016 at 5:19 pm

Get some of the women basketball players on the football team. At least the women try and don’t embarrass the U.

Squishy123 March 14, 2016 at 5:30 pm

Hasn’t this been the headlines every year (and every Monday morning) since Shaw graduated?

erneba March 14, 2016 at 6:33 pm

They may be better than last year, but, big deal.
It appears that it could be another long football season for USC.

Josh McMan March 14, 2016 at 7:01 pm

So this is sort of like, who is the tallest miget. Or who is the best of the worst.

ElenaVTucker March 15, 2016 at 1:42 am

“my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….

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Painful Truth March 14, 2016 at 8:12 pm

Um, according to Maxpreps, Deshaun Watson QB rating for all high school was a 120, for the new SC QB he has a world famous 70 something QB rating with a ton of interceptions. He is basically half the QB of Watson, probably will redshirt, if he doesn’t the Gamecocks are really desperate!

TontoBubbaGoldstein March 15, 2016 at 12:40 pm

The 2016 season kicks off on September 1 in Nashville, Tennessee with an SEC matchup against the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Kind of a shame that the SEC East will probably be decided on the first game of the season. On the other hand, Mizzou seems to be having some issues…so it may become a three way race, keeping interest up further into the season!

#Circling the SECEast drain

LouieBuoy March 16, 2016 at 12:21 am

Look at all them Tigers chasing a dumb little chicken, that’s running towards the wrong goal! Or is that one of the fab 5 suspended basketball players about to get their punishment?


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