Take a moment this morning to think a nice thought about Perry Orth.
South Carolina football is moving on without him or at least without him on the field, head coach Will Muschamp said Sunday night. The Gamecocks are turning over their quarterback competition completely to the two true freshman who have played this year – Jake Bentley and Brandon McIlwain.
That means Perry’s Big Adventure is over. If your first thought about Perry’s Big Adventure is that he was 2-9 as South Carolina’s starting quarterback, you’re missing the best part of the story. A former walk-on thrust into a starting role he didn’t imagine he’d ever have, Orth had an amazing if unsuccessful run with the Gamecocks.
He had the good fortune of being in the right place at the right time to get the chance of a lifetime at the same time as he had the bad fortune to be stuck on the tip of the spear South Carolina carried into too many SEC gun fights. Orth led outmatched Gamecocks teams into Kyle Field and Sanford Stadium and Death Valley and the other Death Valley. He never left one of those places with a victory, but he’ll take with him plenty of great stories to tell.
Throughout the process, he earned a degree and his teammates’ respect and he stood and answered to the best of his ability every question put to him by the media, which is a testament to several positive personality traits when most of the questions are, “Why do you guys keep losing football games?”
South Carolina fans won’t remember the Perry Orth Era well, but they should at least always have good memories of Perry Orth.