What Jake Bentley needs to do in USC’s spring practice, according to Bryan McClendon
South Carolina football is set to add a trio at the receiver position — a blue-chip prospect, an under-the-radar recruit and a player who signed with USC for the second time.
Offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon had a big hand in adding all three. What he has seen from them:
The 6-foot-3, 206 pounder out of Memphis posted 24 catches for 500 yards and nine touchdowns in a senior season that saw his team play for a state title. He played both ways and posted more than 1,000 yards as a junior.
What McClendon said: “I got a chance to work with him in camp and see the different things he can do, a guy with that body to have the initial quickness and have the catch radius and the ball skills that he has and the ability to accelerate for a big guy. Not many people have it. Not just that. I think he’s good after the catch, I think he’s a tough kid, I think he’s a kid that really likes football. That was the biggest thing that excited me when I got a chance to work with him in camp.”
At 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, his talent is untapped after playing quarterback much of his high school career. He ran for 1,826 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior and was a 700-yard receiver when he played there as a sophomore.
What McClendon said: “I had a chance to work with him in camp too. I got a chance to see a lot of the same stuff, but he is a really good athlete. … Because he had to play so much (quarterback), he’s not really oriented in how to do everything at the receiver position, which is really what I like. He’s kind of like a blank canvas. Everything that he really knows, I get to teach him. I’m excited about that.”
The tall, athletic wide receiver signed with the Gamecocks last year but his enrollment was derailed by academic issues. He had 157 yards on 12 catches in prep school, and had been a deep threat in his high school’s run-heavy, option offense. He averaged 23.5 yards per catch in high school and averaged a touchdown every 2.5 catches. He has not yet joined USC’s roster.
What McClendon said: “The stuff he’s going through is the stuff he’s going through. So I hope it works out where he can get in. Ty is a guy that is a really good athlete, a big, long and fast guy. He can go up and catch it with the best of them. I’m excited about the ability he has, but the same thing, he is similar to a blank canvas where I can go in and teach him all he knows, which, that’s exciting.”