Will Muschamp kicked off his first Spurs Up Tour with an optimistic message for Gamecock fans.
“If we can stay healthy at key positions and get some breaks, we have good enough players to win the (SEC) East,” Muschamp told a sold-our crowd of more than 400 Wednesday night. “I don’t look at long-term goals.”
The remark came during his first stop on the Gamecock Club’s summer speaking tour. The crowd assembled at The Zone in Williams-Brice Stadium heard Muschamp deliver a 30-minute address that focused on his team’s personnel and what the fans can do to help the effort.
“Our message is going to be pretty consistent – we want to be a blue collar, overachieving program, recruit the right kind of players who will be able to come in and have the skill to win the SEC East,” Muschamp told media members before delivering his prepared remarks to the crowd.
Muschamp’s sales job to the fans isn’t easy considering the Gamecocks are coming off a 3-9 season, their worst since the winless 1999 campaign.
Fans “always want an update on the roster, and more than anything getting to know me a little better,” he said. “Let them have a little insight into what we’ve been through and where we’re headed. More than anything, a get-to-know-you atmosphere. It’s important to have a connection, to feel connected to the program and the coach. I think that’s critical.”
The Gamecocks released their preseason depth chart earlier Wednesday, but Muschamp emphasized it’s little more than a placeholder heading into fall camp.
“You’ve got all these magazines that come out in the summer, so they have to have something and that’s where we left spring,” he said. “The depth chart is going to change every single day in fall camp just like it did in spring. It’s about the performance you brought that day.”
Although Perry Orth and Brandon McIlwain are listed as the co-starters at quarterback, that competition isn’t over, Muschamp said.
“We have some unknowns coming into camp and at critical positions,” he said. “There is nothing settled (at quarterback). Connor (Mitch) did some really good things to end spring so he’s in that conversation. Lorenzo (Nuñez) is an incomplete right now.
We have to make some early decisions in camp.”
Muschamp, who has eight more dates on the tour, asked the fans to be positive toward his team and its players headed into the 2016 season. He received a standing ovation from the crowd when he was introduced by Todd Ellis.
“It’s great to be undefeated,” he quipped.