Will Muschamp is playing nice in his first few months on campus. The new football coach has already charmed fans, administrators, recruits – and basketball coach Frank Martin, with whom he’ll share an incoming player over the next few seasons.
Sources close to the program have confirmed that Evan Hinson, who committed to Muschamp Wednesday morning, is planning to play football and basketball at South Carolina. Hinson, a three-star tight end by Rivals.com, is also a 6-foot-5 shooting guard who averaged 23.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists last year when he was named Player of the Year by the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
Hinson previously committed to Miami in large part because he was promised a chance to play both sports. He backed off the commitment when the Hurricanes made a football coaching change, and began reconsidering his options.
Hinson plays for father Denny Hinson at Deltona High, and his younger brother Blake Hinson also had football and basketball offers from Miami. The News-Journal reported that Virginia Tech, Boston College, Iowa and Kansas State were looking at the older Hinson for basketball while he chose the Gamecocks over Southern Cal for football.
Two-sport stars are nothing new at USC – already enrolled freshman Brandon McIlwain will balance bidding for the Gamecocks’ starting quarterback job with bidding to be a starting outfielder for Chad Holbrook this spring – and Martin has already experienced it in his four-year tenure.
He inherited Bruce Ellington when he took the job, although Ellington had switched to being a full-time football player. Ellington liked playing both sports so much he played in 23 basketball games as a sophomore and three as a junior before declaring for the NFL Draft.
USC, which will lose three seniors, has signed one scholarship player, forward Sedee Keita. Hinson would walk on to the basketball team after football season and not count against the scholarship limit.