USC Gamecocks Football

Will Muschamp updates backup QB derby, timeline to narrow things down

First look: South Carolina QB Ryan Hilinski

Ryaln Hilinski and South Carolina begin spring practice for the 2019 football season at Jerri & Steve Spurrier Football Indoor Practice Facility Wednesday Feb. 27, 2019, in Columbia, SC.
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Ryaln Hilinski and South Carolina begin spring practice for the 2019 football season at Jerri & Steve Spurrier Football Indoor Practice Facility Wednesday Feb. 27, 2019, in Columbia, SC.

Even with Jake Bentley back for his senior year and firmly entrenched as South Carolina’s starting quarterback, most eyes are still on South Carolina’s signal callers.

Four-star recruits Ryan Hilinski and Dakereon Joyner are battling with third-year sophomore Jay Urich for the No. 2 spot behind Bentley. Whoever wins likely has the inside track when the senior departs after 2019, which will signify the first big QB transition under Will Muschamp.

Muschamp spoke on Sportstalk and talked a little about the players through five practices.

“Jay Urich is a guy that athletically has shown some things,” Muschamp said. “Athletically can run and do some things. I think he’s progressed as a passer.”

The coach had spoke about Joyner earlier in the spring, recounting a moment when the electric runner admitted the game has started to slow for him.

“Both those guys are making some progress,” Muschamp said. “Ryan has done some really good things for us in five practices. We’re not ready to make any decisions on where those guys are right now.”

Hilinski, a top-100 recruit and early enrollee, is more of a pocket passer than the other two and the highest-rated as a recruit. Urich has dabbled a little on special teams, and while Muschamp has held fast that Joyner is a quarterback, at least one expert said his future might be elsewhere.

Both Joyner and Urich played in garbage time in one game last season.

The coaches don’t want to start making any decisions just yet, but Muschamp does know when he might.

“I like to get to the ninth, 10th practice to maybe try to narrow some things down because it’s hard to rep four guys, at the end of the day,” Muschamp said. “Sometimes, it’s hard to even rep three. But it’s certainly hard to rep four. I’m pleased with all three of the young guys and how they’ve performed to this point.”

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp gives an update on how his quarterbacks are playing after three spring practices and explains how sophomore Dakereon Joyner has progressed from his freshman season.

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