Brandon McIlwain will spend parts of December and all of January and February with the South Carolina baseball team before his spring schedule is determined, head football coach Will Muschamp said Sunday evening.
“At the end of the day, if we’re in spring ball and he has an opportunity to go and help our baseball team win games, that’s what he’s going to do,” Muschamp said. “That’s what we talked about in the recruiting process and that’s the most important thing.”
McIlwain, a true freshman who came to South Carolina to play both sports, started three games at quarterback for the Gamecocks before losing the starting job to Perry Orth, who was then supplanted by true freshman Jake Bentley. McIlwain is now Bentley’s top backup, but he hasn’t played in the last two games. He hasn’t completed a pass since the Oct. 1 game against Texas A&M.
“If he’s an everyday contributor for (baseball coach Chad Holbrook), that’s the most important thing,” Muschamp said. “We will cross that bridge when we come to it as far as how much he’ll be over here. I have been through this before with other players. We will are going to do what is best for the young man and we are going to do what’s best for South Carolina.”
For the season, McIlwain is 56-of-107 passing for 567 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He has also rushed for 114 yards on 58 carries. In high school, McIlwain was Pennsylvania’s Gatorade player of the year in football and a star baseball player who likely would have been an early round selection in the Major League Baseball draft had he skipped college.
“When Brandon gets some free time here in December I expect him to go play some baseball,” Muschamp said. “Of course, we will be in bowl practice but with classes not in for him to be able to get his timing down as far as hitting and things are concerned…”
McIlwain is at South Carolina on a football scholarship.