It didn’t take new South Carolina coach Will Muschamp long to get out on the road recruiting.
Just a couple of hours after being introduced at a news conference, Muschamp stopped by Richland Northeast High to meet with T.J. Brunson. On Wednesday evening, Muschamp made the drive to Conway High to visit wide receiver Bryan Edwards, who recently decommitted from the Gamecocks.
Brunson, a senior linebacker who is currently committed to Louisville, said it means a lot to be the first recruit Muschamp came to see.
“It’s a pretty big deal to just come out of a press conference and to already be out recruiting,” Brunson said. “It was an honor for him to come see me once he was done with everything he had to do. He came to extend a scholarship offer to me from the new staff since the old staff is gone.”
Brunson and Muschamp do not have a previous relationship, but Muschamp has watched film of the linebacker since taking the USC job.
“He told me that he thought that I was a good player and a better person,” Brunson said. “He sees on film that I’m a good player, but he likes the leadership qualities that I have and stuff like that.”
Brunson added that he has kept up with Muschamp’s defenses at Florida and Auburn, and has been impressed by what he’s seen.
“I think he’s a great coach and a good person,” Brunson said. “He’s going to expect a lot like any defensive coordinator should. He’s going to get the best out of me.”
Former South Carolina interim coach Shawn Elliott joined Muschamp on the visit.
“I know that he’s helping right now with recruits,” Brunson said of Elliott. “I don’t know if he’s staying or gonna go.”
Brunson is unsure when he’ll make a final decision between South Carolina and Louisville.
“(USC is) hitting the recruiting trail hard now, so I’m going to talk it over with my family,” he said.
ESPN recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton reported that Muschamp will have an in-home visit with USC quarterback commitment Brandon McIlwain on Wednesday evening.
South Carolina commits/targets react
▪ DE Griffin Gentry (Homewood; Birmingham, Ala.): “I know that he’s big on defense, and I think he’s a big hire for the program.”
▪ WR Tre Jackson (University; Baton Rouge, La.): “He was the first coach to offer me my freshman year, and I was committed to him and the Gators for a while. I believe he is one of the best hires Mr. Tanner could’ve made. I’m excited for him to be my coach and look forward to getting in and working with him.”
▪ OT Pete Leota (Asheville; Asheville, N.C.): “I don’t really know the coach. I’ll have to go meet him. USC is still a great school regardless of the coach.”
▪ OT Will Putnam (Hickory Ridge; Harrisburg, N.C.): “The new hire is interesting. I need to get back down there and meet with him and his staff.”
▪ DT Darius Whitfield (St. Paul’s Episcopal; Mobile, Ala.): “I know he’s a good defensive coach and he recruited me at Auburn and Florida. He’s going to get the best out of you.”