South Carolina freshman quarterback Brandon McIlwain spent the past four weeks as a backup after fellow freshman Jake Bentley took the starting job. But McIlwain is still impressing his coaches on the practice field.
“He’s been awesome,” Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp said. “He’s approached practice the way you’re supposed to approach practice.”
McIlwain opened the season as a second stringer, impressing the staff in the spring after enrolling early. He took the starting job against East Carolina, the season’s third game. After three starts, the last two of those losses, he was benched for Perry Orth, who gave way to Bentley.
McIlwain threw for 567 yards and two scores and ran for 114 more yards.
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His coach said he’s still been practicing hard, and that showed when he got an opportunity recently.
“We had a one-minute drill last week we let him have,” Muschamp said. “He did a fantastic job, took us all the way down the field against the first-team defense. He continues to get reps, and the more reps he gets, the more he’s going to improve and get better.”
McIlwain, a two-sport athlete, will spend parts of December and all of January and February with the South Carolina baseball team before his spring schedule is determined, Muschamp said earlier this week.