Will Muschamp’s South Carolina football staff aims to maintain such a presence in Georgia, even he loses track of it at points.
“We’ve got five coaches in the state of Georgia recruiting,” Muschamp told media before a Gamecock Club meeting in Atlanta.
But that’s not exactly right. It’s five assistants plus him.
Muschamp listed off the plan of attack in the Peach State, perpetually a key pillar of the Gamecocks roster. Of course Muschamp, a Georgia native, wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon, who played at the University of Georgia and coached there for nearly a decade, and defensive line coach Lance Thompson, a Georgia native with more than a decade coaching in the state, all play a role, but three more coaches help cover the breadth of the state.
According to Muschamp:
▪ Inside linebackers coach “Coleman Hutzler does a really good job in the Gwinnett area”
▪ Outside linebackers coach “Mike Peterson’s done a really nice job for us on the west corridor of Georgia, Carrollton down to Valdosta.”
▪ Tight ends coach “Pat Washington’s down to the East part of the state.”
In the 2017 cycle, USC got six players from Georgia, including a pair of four-stars. Muschamp highlighted a pair of Atlanta-area prospects whose recruitment came down to signing day.
Defensive end Aaron Sterling:
“Aaron’s a guy that we’re really excited about. Was a very good player at Tucker (High School), led them to the state championship game. Got really great initial quickness, and a guy that we’re expecting to come in and compete. I know he will.”
Cornerback Jamyest Williams:
“Jam, I felt like in Gwinnett County, is probably the best player in Gwinnett County the past 2-3 years. Saw him early there at Archer (High School) and then this past year at Grayson, a guy that we’ve got a lot of confidence in.”
Last season, the Gamecocks had 25 players from Georgia, and should be close to that this year once freshmen enroll.
That represents what that state has meant to this staff and the previous one. With more than half of Muschamp’s staff having some role in getting talent to cross that border, that’s just about assured to continue.
“It’s critical for us to be able to come because we’ve only got 4 1/2 million people in South Carolina,” Muschamp said. “We’ve got really good players and really good coaches, it’s just we don’t have the numbers necessarily year in and year out.”