HAS SOUTH CAROLINA FOUND ITS QUARTERBACK OF THE FUTURE?
True freshman quarterback Brandon McIlwain turned in a solid performance during the 2016 University of South Carolina “Garnet and Black” intra-squad game – concluding spring practice with an emphatic statement in South Carolina’s wide-open quarterback battle.
The highly-touted signal caller from Newtown, Pennsylvania completed 19 of 26 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns during the glorified scrimmage – which drew an impressive 32,916 fans to Williams-Brice Stadium in downtown Columbia, S.C. McIlwain also ran five times for thirty yards.
He will compete for the Gamecocks’ starting quarterback job with redshirt senior Perry Orth, junior Connor Mitch, sophomore Lorenzo Nuñez and sophomore Michael Scarnecchia.
Orth missed the spring game with a broken collarbone, while Nuñez was sideline due to a knee injury.
In addition to McIlwain’s numbers, Mitch completed nine of 16 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown while Scarnecchia connected on eight of 11 passes for 98 yards and a score.
Seventeen different Gamecocks caught passes, while another thirteen got the chance to tote the rock – all without a single turnover being committed.
McIlwain surprised many back in December when he decided to stick with the Gamecocks despite the program’s disastrous 3-9 season a year ago. The 6-foot-0, 200-pound quarterback had scholarship offers from schools like Penn State, Auburn, California, Clemson, Florida, Miami, Michigan State, Ohio State and North Carolina.
That was a major coup for new head coach Will Muschamp, who is looking to rebuild the program to the lofty heights it achieved during the heyday of former coach Steve Spurrier.
“We had a wonderful crowd,” Muschamp said, referring to the packed lower deck at Williams-Brice Stadium in downtown Columbia, S.C. “I was excited about that, and we came out of this thing pretty much injury free. I was really pleased with our effort.”
South Carolina takes the field for the first time under Muschamp on Thursday, September 1 against the Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville, Tennessee.