The inability of Blythewood tailback Brandon Wilds to enroll early at South Carolina involved his NCAA eligibility, a source said.
Wilds had been planning for months to graduate high school early and enroll at USC for the spring semester, giving him the opportunity to participate in spring practice. However, he was not among the four players announced as early enrollees last week.
Wilds had enough classes to graduate a semester early from Blythewood, according to a source. However, the combination of his core GPA – English, math, science and social studies classes are among the NCAA-recognized core courses – and SAT/ACT score did not satisfy the requirements of the NCAA’s initial eligibility sliding scale, the source said.
On the sliding scale, athletes with a higher GPA can score lower on their standardized test to gain eligibility. For example, an athlete with a 3.5 GPA must only score 420 (SAT) or 39 (ACT) on their test. A 2.0 GPA requires a 1,010 on the SAT or 86 on the ACT.
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Wilds can attain NCAA eligibility by returning to Blythewood this semester. By taking one or more core courses and scoring better on them than he did others earlier in his high school career, he should be able to easily gain NCAA eligibility in time to enter summer school this June.
However, his inability to gain valuable spring practice repetitions makes it even more likely he will redshirt in 2011. The North-South All-Star didn’t figure to factor into the depth chart next season anyway.
The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder had a rough senior season for the Bengals. After rushing for 1,490 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2009, averaging 6.4 yards per carry, he struggled to find running room behind a young, inexperienced offensive line this season.
He carried 175 times for 818 yards (4.7 per carry) and eight touchdowns, averaging 74.4 yards per game this season. He also caught 20 passes (second on the team) for 127 yards and returned six kickoffs for 234 yards and one touchdown.