USC Gamecocks Football

What to know about South Carolina’s interim play-caller

The Gamecocks will rely on wide receivers coach/co-offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon to call plays during the Outback Bowl now that Kurt Roper has been relieved of his duties. McClendon has been on staff for two seasons. Here’s what you need to know about him:

Has he ever called plays? No.

Has he ever led a team in a bowl? Yes. He was the interim head coach for Georgia after Mark Richt was let go. He did not call plays in that game.

What kind of offensive background does he have? McClendon has only worked for Richt and USC coach Will Muschamp in his career. Georgia ran a blend of Power-I football and shotgun looks that focused on passing. South Carolina ran the aforementioned Roper schemes.

How different could USC’s offense look? Not very. The team won’t start practice until the end of finals week. Even the most generous projection gives them two weeks, not enough time to totally change (and it wouldn’t be that productive if a new coordinator comes in after).

What is McClendon best known for? Recruiting and developing. He was a top 25 national recruiter in 2017, and in his career, has secured the commitment of six five-star players, including five tailbacks.

Has he helped developed future NFL players? Yep, ones like Todd Gurley and Isaiah Crowell.

How’s he done at USC? He’s helped shepherd the likes of Deebo Samuel, Bryan Edwards, Shi Smith and OrTre Smith into being early contributors or outright stars.

What jobs has he held as a coach? Running backs coach, wide receivers coach, assistant head coach and passing game coordinator recruiting coordinator.

Did he play at a high level? McClendon was a solid receiver at Georgia from 2002-2005. He spent one summer trying to earn a spot with the Chicago Bears and then became a grad assistant at Georgia. His father is former Georgia tailback Willie McClendon, 1978 SEC Player of the Year and running back for the Chicago Bears.