Richard Mounce is returning to football, which means he’ll be leaving Clemson.
Mounce, named the state’s Mr. Football following his senior season at Blythewood High in 2007, received a release from his Tigers baseball scholarship Tuesday and plans to transfer to a school where he can play football again.
Steve Mounce, Richard’s father, said his son met with Clemson baseball coach Jack Leggett Tuesday morning.
"He had a fantastic meeting with him," Steve Mounce said. "Leggett said he would assist him in any way."
A dual-threat quarterback at Blythewood High, Mounce led the Bengals to a 14-1 record and the 2006 Class 3A state championship as a junior. In a 23-21 win over Timberland in the state final at Williams-Brice Stadium, Mounce rushed for 198 yards and amassed 423 total yards (rushing and passing) to account for all but four of the Bengals yards on offense.
In his two varsity seasons at Blythewood, he led the team in rushing and surpassed the 3,000-yard passing and 30-touchdown plateaus. He threw 73 touchdown passes, including a state-record nine during a 2006 playoff win over Blue Ridge.
He initially chose baseball because the Tigers had offered him a scholarship when he was a sophomore in February 2006. And, despite his heroics on the football field at Blythewood High, he received no scholarship offers from Football Bowl Subdivision teams.
As a freshman outfielder/first baseman at Clemson last spring, Mounce played in 26 games with seven starts. He batted .238 with one home run and eight RBIs. He also played for the Columbia Blowfish in the Coastal Plains League this summer.
But Steve Mounce said his son realized his passion for baseball paled compared to football.
"His heart has always been in football," Steve Mounce said. "After playing just baseball, he said he just does not love it like the other guys love it. He loves football and now he’s going to attempt to play it."
Steve Mounce said it’s too soon to say where his son might wind up but said Richard will play football only at his new college.
Other Football Championship Subdivision schools where he could possibly go include Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina or Liberty.