Take a 360 video tour of the new Gamecocks football ops building
Many onlookers seem to be tamping down expectations for the 2019 South Carolina football season.
The schedule features both teams from the College Football playoff title game, Clemson and Alabama, plus a Georgia team that finished No. 5 in the CFP rankings, 10-win Florida and Kentucky teams and a Texas A&M team that won nine games in Year 1 with a new coach. That’s a hard road for any squad.
Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp, however, is very confident in what he’s got coming back.
“We’ll have our best football team in our fourth season. We’ve got more competitive depth at each position,” Muschamp said on the Paul Finebaum Show. “Now we’ve got to continue to develop that depth. But just watching our football team today work, and our first day with our coaches in our offseason program, going into the spring, we’ve got more competitive depth than we’ve had.”
In his first three years, he’s had squads win six, nine and seven games. That middle season is notable because a solid Gamecocks team took advantage of a softer schedule and then pulled off a bowl upset to reach a mark rarely seen in the program’s history.
Muschamp called the difficult schedule “an awesome opportunity for greatness.” His team faced the No. 10 schedule in the country last year, according to the S&P+ ratings.
The coach said he expects to sign three or four recruits on Wednesday. The Gamecocks have two commits in William Rogers and Shilo Sanders, and will be in the thick of it with Jammie Robinson and Jaquaze Sorrells.
“It’s not as exciting as it used to be when you’re waiting on all 25 to come in there,” Muschamp said. “It’s nice to have the Early Signing date in my opinion.”
The team inked 19 in the early period, with a large group already on campus, led by the likes of four-star Ryan Hilinski and five-star Zacch Pickens.
“We ended up having 10 this year,” Muschamp said. “We’ve had anywhere from 10-14 since I’ve been here, so that’s also a new fad that’s kind of coming in that young men are able to graduate early, which shows really their priorities in where things are. And then who’s going to wait until February? Who’s committed to you and doesn’t sign with you in December, they’re probably not going to sign with you in February, so those are things you’ve kind of got to go through.”
Muschamp noted coming in mid-year isn’t necessarily a pure path to quick success, pointing to Dylan Wonnum who enrolled later and ended up a starter. But the coach noted he thinks there are more benefits than drawbacks.