Jay Urich will enroll at South Carolina this summer planning to compete for the starting quarterback job this fall.
“I think your mentality has to be going in there and competing,” said Urich, the Wren quarterback who signed Wednesday as part of the Gamecocks 24-man recruiting class. “You can’t go in there and have the mentality of, ‘Hey, I’m going to sit.’ I’m going to work hard, I’m going to compete, and I’m going to be the best teammate I can be and focus on what I can control. Focus on the inputs and let the outputs take care of themselves.”
Still, Urich, a three-star prospect who was considered the 21st-best dual threat quarterback in the nation in this recruiting cycle, knows he probably won’t win the job from rising sophomore Jake Bentley. Urich, 6-foot-4, 196 pounds, threw for 2,055 yards and rushed for another 1,036 during his senior season at Wren.
“I’m looking forward to coaching Jay Urich,” South Carolina offensive coordinator Kurt Roper said in a video released by the school this week. “He has such a great work ethic. He’s the right kind of person, very accountable, reliable, has done a great job throughout his high school career as a leader on the field and off the field. He can use his feet to make plays, but he’s got a really strong arm. He’s an accurate passer so I think he’s got a chance to be a really good football player for us.”
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Getting To Know You
The No. 1 benefit to having more time to compile this recruiting class than he had with last year’s transition class was the ability to get to know the players better, Muschamp said.
“There are a lot less uncertainties with the 24 guys we signed today,” he said. “We know a lot about these guys. In a transition year, there are some uncertainties about background, about commitment level to football and those sort of things, those are all things we feel much more comfortable about.”
Twenty-two of the 24 signees attended at least one of South Carolina’s summer football camps.
“That’s huge to be able to coach them exactly the same way we’re going to coach them here in the fall so they understand what is going to be expected of them,” Muschamp said.
South Carolina’s marquee defensive signing may be Goose Creek defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw, but Kinlaw looks to have some work to do before spring practice.
At Kinlaw’s signing ceremony at Jones County Junior College, Jones County head coach Steve Buckley described Kinlaw as “a whopping 339 pounds.”
Kinlaw weighed 278 pounds when he arrived at junior college, Buckley said.
“We are going to get him back to 300 pounds soon,” Buckley said.
The Gamecocks have a handful of players who could help in the kickoff and punt return game, including Shi Smith, Jamyest Williams and Keisean Nixon. Most members of the recruiting class will get a chance to play right away in some aspects of special teams, said Muschamp, who throughout the 2016 season said a lack of team speed was hurting the Gamecocks special teams play.
“The guys see that as another reason to come here, the opportunity to contribute immediately,” Muschamp said. “We have to improve our speed as a football team and that was a premium at all positions.”
South Carolina has one scholarship available to give to an initial enrollee but doesn’t have any plans to use it right away.
“You’re always recruiting and there are always good players out there whether you sign them on signing day or three months after,” Muschamp said. “You are constantly looking to improve your roster.”
If the Gamecocks don’t add another scholarship player in the offseason, the extra scholarship probably will got a walk-on by the fall.
End Of An Era
For the first time Muschamp can remember, no letters of intent came in via fax machine this week. The Gamecocks received all of their paperwork via electronic communication.