Bobby Bentley excited for challenge of coaching tight ends
When transfer tight end Nick Muse picked South Carolina football as his transfer destination, he added a little something to the family dynamic.
Siblings on opposite sides of one of college football’s fiercest rivalries.
Nick’s brother Tanner is an All-ACC safety for Clemson. He’s entering his fifth year on campus and his third year starting. And if the NCAA allows, the 2019 regular season could end with Muse covering Muse in Williams-Brice Stadium.
“It’s exciting,” Nick Muse said. “Hopefully I’ll be eligible this year. We’ve got to do the waiver to get me eligible. But it’s exciting man. You always dream of playing big-time ball on Saturdays or Sundays with your brother. Playing against him is just about the same thing.”
That waiver might be the hold up. The NCAA has been capricious with them to say the least. The most recent examples have been Tate Martell getting eligible at Miami immediately (citing issues with Urban Meyer’s coaching staff), while Illinois transfer Luke Ford was denied (he has a grandfather who is sick but doesn’t live close enough to factor in for the NCAA).
If Nick Muse were granted eligibility, he would quickly change the dynamic in South Carolina’s tight end room. Through spring, veteran Kiel Pollard had been thought to be the top receiving option, with Kyle Markway as a veteran blocker and a set of reserves fighting for playing time.
Nick Muse said he expects to be a top receiving threat, and at 6-foot-5, 235 pounds adds some proven height and play-making USC doesn’t have. He posted more than 450 yards though the air last fall in an offense that sputtered at times.
Tanner Muse has started 24 games the past two seasons and had 76 tackles, five pass break-ups and a pair of interceptions last season. He went from redshirt to special teams ace his second year, to breaking into the lineup his third season.
He also played a small role in getting his brother to the SEC.
“Talked to my brother a little bit about it,” Nick Muse said of his decision. He tried to give me the most non-biased answer he could.”
A son’s promise
Nick Muse could’ve walked on at bigger programs out of high school. He was a big two-way player with a good bit of promise.
But the only offers on the table were solid FCS programs in Furman, William and Mary, Elon and Gardner-Webb. He chose the Tribe to help his family.
“I told my parents, the one thing I didn’t ever want them to do was pay for college,” Nick Muse said. “They told me they would, which wasn’t a problem. But I didn’t want to put a burden on them.”
Now he’ll have his way paid at an SEC program, for two or three years. He was a kinesiology major at William and Mary.
Old foe now friend
When he arrives in Columbia, Nick Muse will at least have some history with one of his teammates. It’s a history of rivalry, but still history.
His South Point High School football team faced off in his final two years of high school with the Rocky Mount Gryphons for state championships. At the heart of that Gryphons team was a tackling machine named Sherrod Greene, who happens to be a starter with the Gamecocks.
“He won the first year, and I won the last year,” Nick Muse said.
In the first meeting, a 24-21 overtime game, Greene had 10 tackles in the win, while Muse had 14 (his team ran 54 times to two passes). In a low-scoring 16-7 rematch, Greene had 16 tackles to Muse’s 12. Muse’s team completed a single pass, and Greene actually touched the ball more than he did (on two carries).