Former South Carolina quarterback Brandon McIlwain is spending his summer on the baseball diamond before diving fully into playing both two sports on the west coast at Cal.
Currently playing for the Baltimore Dodgers, a summer team in the Cal Ripken League, McIlwain went into some depth about leaving South Carolina and his reasons for moving on with the team's website.
“I had decided that I wanted to do a little more baseball stuff,” he said. “I knew my plan at South Carolina wasn’t quite what I needed it to be. I didn’t get the opportunity I needed so I knew I needed to get some more swings and get some more reps.”
McIlwain played in only one game with USC baseball in 2017, and got only 10 at-bats as a freshman after enrolling early in 2016.
For Will Muschamp's football team, McIlwain worked his way into the starting lineup by his third game, but couldn't hold the job, with Jake Bentley taking over and seemingly securing the position for the near future. McIlwain threw for 600 yards and ran for 127 more with four total touchdowns.
He's joining a Golden Bears football team that just turned over its coaching staff, replacing Sonny Dykes with Justin Wilcox and offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin.
“I lived out in California near San Francisco for four years so I know the area,” McIlwain said. “I’ve liked Cal since I lived there. It was just a beautiful school so being able to go out there and visit with the new football coaching staff and the present baseball coaching staff, they showed me how it’s going to be a great opportunity for me to go there and be able to play both sports.
“Also, the academics are great. The way that I’ve had conversations with the coaching staff, it’s a place that I can fulfill all my dreams.”