USC Gamecocks Football

Muschamp’s plan for a late-arriving transfer; updated timeline for backup QB battle

SEC Media Days: Will Muschamp talks USC injuries, roster updates

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp provides an injury/roster update to reporters during 2019 SEC Media Days in Hoover, Alabama.
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South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp provides an injury/roster update to reporters during 2019 SEC Media Days in Hoover, Alabama.

South Carolina football Will Muschamp can’t directly speak about a player who isn’t on his roster.

On Wednesday he was asked about how he would handle a player who rolls in for preseason camp as a late-arriving transfer.

His staff is still pursuing former Clemson tailback Tavien Feaster, something he hasn’t spoke about or confirmed publicly. The former four-star recruit is looking at the Gamecocks and Virginia Tech. If he comes to Columbia, he’ll join a group of tailbacks that includes seniors Rico Dowdle, A.J. Turner and Mon Denson.

And if he comes to Columbia it will be in August, and the starting job won’t just get handed to him.

“Everybody’s got to earn their keep in our organization,” Muschamp said. “It’s something we tell everybody.”

In a radio interview with 107.5 The Game, Muschamp was asked about the scenario of late-arriving transfer specifically as it relates to running backs. He declined to comment.

The Gamecocks have been in search for a workhorse tailback for most of the past three years. Dowdle showed signs of being that as a freshman, but has been injured and inconsistent.

Feaster ran for 1,330 yards and 15 touchdowns in his three seasons at Clemson. His best year was 2017, when he posted 669 at 6.3 yards per carry. Coming out of Spartanburg High School, he was the No. 29 player in the country in his class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings that factor in all recruiting networks. He was named the state’s Mr. Football after the 2015 season.

QB timeline

Jake Bentley will be South Carolina’s undisputed starter heading into the 2019 football season.

The backup role is anything but undisputed.

Redshirt freshman Dakereon Joyner and freshman Ryan Hilinski will be battling for the No. 2 job and perhaps an inside track on the starting job next season. The pair split most of the reps in the spring game, and Muschamp has a bit of an idea as to when he wants to make the choice.

“We’ll have a scrimmage on the 10th practice and another one on the 15th practice,” Muschamp said. “So hopefully after that 15th practice, we start whittling down. We’ll have another couple fundamental practices before we start in North Carolina. In that period, frame, you’d like to have something there.”

Joyner played in one game last season and was a dynamic dual-threat player in high school. Hilinski is more of a pro-style passer, the No. 64 player in his high school class by 247 Sports’ Composite rankings, and showed well in the spring.