It’s time for South Carolina to take the packaging off freshman Lorenzo Nunez.
Nunez, a four-star quarterback recruit out of Kennesaw, Ga., was one of the biggest gifts under February’s recruiting Christmas tree, and the Gamecocks haven’t even unwrapped him yet.
It’s not that South Carolina needs a new quarterback. Connor Mitch seems to be doing fine there thus far. And the Gamecocks don’t need another Wildcat quarterback certainly. Five players taking a snap from center is plenty of options for that role.
What South Carolina needs is more wide receivers, and Nunez might be a really good one. He’s 6-foot-3, 210 pounds and a dynamic athlete. He was rated one of the country’s top dual-threat quarterbacks by all the major recruiting services, and the Gamecocks recruited him as a quarterback.
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Quarterbacks can be funny about position changes, even temporary ones. They tend to see themselves as quarterbacks and get a whiff of possible permanence from any suggestion of a position switch, but playing Nunez at wide receiver wouldn’t necessarily affect his ability to compete for the quarterback job in the future.
The tried-and-true quarterback succession plan of having a quarterback redshirt year one, apprentice in years two and three and take over the job as a redshirt junior is more and more antiquated every day as more and more top players only stay three seasons and more and more young players arrive ready to play.
Moving Pharoh Cooper from high school quarterback to collegiate wide receiver has worked out pretty well. Granted, it took a little time. Cooper only had three catches his freshman year. The difference was the Gamecocks had lots of other proven receiving options during Cooper’s freshman year. This team does not, and Week 1 proved that it needs them.
Might as well see how No. 19 looks out there.