First in a series on South Carolina football’s 2015 newcomers.
Lorenzo Nunez’s goals have not changed – even though his address is different.
The quarterback from Kennesaw, Ga., has always talked openly about playing, even starting, for the Gamecocks as a freshman. That is still his goal as he gets adjusted to college life and starts with USC’s summer workouts.
“I’m going in to start right away,” Nunez said. “That’s been my goal since I committed. If that goal doesn’t come to be, I’m going to work hard to be the starter next season or to start midseason.”
He will compete with redshirt sophomore Connor Mitch, redshirt junior Perry Orth and redshirt freshman Michael Scarnecchia when preseason practice begins in August.
Nunez, a dual-threat quarterback, said he is open to playing a complementary role if that is what the Gamecocks ultimately need.
“If that’s best for the team and that’s what the coaches decide, I’ll do whatever the team needs,” he said. “I’m going to get a chance to compete against the other quarterbacks. I’ve got to work hard.”
BY THE NUMBERS
▪ Height/weight: 6-foot-3, 208 pounds
▪ Stats: As a senior at Harrison High, 68-of-142 passing for 803 yards, two touchdowns, five interceptions; 150 carries for 1,193 yards and 14 touchdowns
▪ Rating: 4-star prospect, according to 247Sports Composite rating.
▪ Chose USC over N.C. State and Ohio State.
▪ Has worked with quarterbacks trainer Ron Veal since the seventh grade and was most recently focused on footwork, turning his hips and where his eyes should be when throwing to his receivers.
▪ Nunez wasn’t asked to throw much at Harrison, which hovered near .500 in win total in recent years. The Gamecocks have not signed a quarterback who threw for so few yards as a high school senior during the Steve Spurrier era.
▪ “Being able to escape the pocket is a big deal for me. You can’t just have a pocket passer that can’t be mobile and not move around the pocket. You have defensive ends like Jadeveon Clowney that run 4.4s. It comes in handy.”
▪ “People who have actually seen me play know I can throw the ball. At camps, I threw the ball well. Coaches know I can throw the ball. I’m really accurate.”
▪ “I’m a little bit like Connor Shaw. I can drop back and pass the ball, and I can also use my legs to extend the play. I can make a play out of nothing, if it comes to that.”
▪ Steve Spurrier: “I’m fired up about our quarterback Lorenzo Nunez, a kid that can run and pass. The college game is really going to quarterbacks that can run around and this gentleman is pretty good at that.”
▪ G.A. Mangus: “Highly recruited quarterback. He is a hard-working kid, smart, very athletic, one of the top dual threat quarterbacks in the country. Has great leadership qualities and all the things we look for in a quarterback.”
▪ 247Sports analyst Kipp Adams says: “Nunez brings a great blend of athleticism and pure natural throwing ability to the table. He brings the ability to extend plays outside the pocket. He does well on the run. He gets good velocity on his throws. He needs to continue to work on his decision-making and consistent footwork and accuracy.”
▪ Scout.com analyst Chad Simmons says: “He’s a zone-read type of guy. He’s a guy that defenses have to account for because of his legs and his arm. He’s a much more natural runner right now, but he does have some tools you like as a passer.”