Josh Kendall

Scarnecchia taking a (long) shot at South Carolina’s NFL Pro Day. Here’s why

After a four-year college football career that included seven game appearances, Michael Scarnecchia is planning to begin law school in the fall.

Unless.

Scarnecchia, a 6-foot-3, 216-pound quarterback from Fleming Island, Florida, is one of 13 former South Carolina football players who will work out Thursday during the Gamecocks’ Pro Day at the team’s indoor practice facility.

“I just want to get in front of those guys and see if I can catch somebody’s eye,” Scarnecchia said.

He knows he’s a longshot after having started only one game in his college career, but he also believes he’s as ready for Thursday as he was for that one start, when he completed 20-of-35 passes for 249 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions and led South Carolina’s last minute comeback in a 37-35 win over Missouri.

“I was never unsure about how Michael was going to perform,” South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp said after that game.

Linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams, long snapper Ben Asbury, offensive linemen Zack Bailey, Blake Camper, Dennis Daley, D.J. Park and Malik Young, tight end K.C. Crosby, defensive backs Rashad Fenton, Steven Montac and Keisean Nixon and wide receiver Deebo Samuel will also work out at Pro Day. The event is closed to the public.

“Zack and Dennis and Deebo, they are going to bring a lot of the scouts. I want to go out there and show the scouts I have the ability to go out there and throw the ball just as well as anybody else,” Scarnecchia said. “I want to show them I have the mechanics, I have the arm strength, I have the accuracy.”

Scarnecchia finished his career with 362 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions on 30-of-52 passing.

“Ability-wise I know I am up there with a lot of the best quarterbacks in the nation, and the reason I know that is I competed with Jake and Jake is one of the best quarterbacks in the nation,” Scarnecchia said. “You don’t put up numbers like he did against Clemson unless you are one of the best out there.”

Scarnecchia’s name doesn’t appear on any mock drafts headed into April’s NFL Draft. The draft website WalterFootball.com ranks 21 draft eligible quarterbacks. Scarnecchia is not one of them.

He knows all this.

“Obviously I know I am not going to get drafted,” he said.

The path from Scarnecchia would include impressing one or more scouts Thursday and then being invited to a private workout where he would have a further chance to impress. He has talked to former South Carolina defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth about how that worked for Stallworth last year when the linemen went undrafted but ended up signing with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent and making the team.

Scarnecchia has a pretty good backup plan if this doesn’t work out. He graduated in May with a finance degree and has been accepted to law school at South Carolina and Wake Forest. He plans to enroll at USC whenever his football career ends.

This year, while working out for Pro Day, he has worked as an executive assistant to for state attorney general Alan Wilson.

“You can only train for so long, so might as well go make some money,” he said.

He might do that Thursday.

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