USC Gamecocks Football

Former South Carolina quarterback picked in MLB draft

Bentley on McIlwain transfer: ‘I didn’t see it coming’

South Carolina's Jake Bentley discusses the departure of teammate Brandon McIlwain.
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South Carolina's Jake Bentley discusses the departure of teammate Brandon McIlwain.

Brandon McIlwain passed on his first chance to get drafted, instead enrolling early at South Carolina to start his college football career.

A few years and one college later, he finally heard his name called.

Now a football and baseball player for the Golden Bears, McIlwain was taken in the 26th round of the MLB draft by the Miami Marlins. He was a part-time starting quarterback and started 18 games as an outfielder on the diamond before a broken foot cost him most of the season.

After his first college season, he was considered a top-100 prospect for the 2018 draft.

This season, McIlwain hit .254 in 21 games with two home runs and nine RBIs. As a quarterback, he started a few games, and was a at times a change-of-pace running quarterback. He had 763 yards on 129 passes, with two touchdowns and eight interceptions. On the ground, he ran for 403 yards and four touchdowns.

McIlwain was reportedly moved into a hybrid receiver/tailback role late in the spring.

He came to Columbia in 2016 as an Elite 11 passer and four-star recruit. He broke into the starting lineup and then lost the job after several bad performances. He finished the season behind Jake Bentley, who has started since. He was also on Chad Holbrook’s baseball team and played sparingly.

In his lone football season in Columbia, McIlwain threw for 600 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, while running for 127 yards and a pair of scores. He started his third game on campus, but was benched for Perry Orth after throwing for 211 yards in losses to Kentucky and Texas A&M. On the baseball field, he went 1-for-10 in eight games.

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