Bobby Bentley excited for challenge of coaching tight ends
Former William and Mary tight end Nick Muse dropped in for a South Carolina football camp this week. He impressed the coaches and Bobby Bentley and left Columbia with an offer.
From then, the choice to join the roster as a transfer and bolster the Gamecocks tight end position was a simple one.
“I talked with my parents for a little bit,” Muse said. “Prayed about it. And I thought it was the right decision for me.”
He called it the “perfect fit.”
A North Carolina product, he had offers from LSU, East Carolina and N.C. State. He’s visited the latter two already, and had plans to see the Tigers this weekend before they fell through.
On the visit, Muse said he liked Gamecocks tight ends coach Bobby Bentley. Muse said the coach was more a teacher than a screamer and that he liked that he wasn’t promised anything.
And South Carolina’s style factored in.
“I feel like I’m more of a receiving tight end than a blocking tight end,” Muse said. “Which I think will definitely help immediately if I am eligible. I think it fits me. I watched some film with coach Bentley. We went through how the tight ends are used and how you can throw them just about anywhere.
“I have faith in them. They have faith in me.”
Last season, Muse’s second with the Tribe, he posted 453 receiving yards on 30 catches in only seven games. He ranked seventh in the CAA in yards per game. He was second on the team in catches and yards.
He noted he still had work to do as a run blocker. That’s not unlike former Gamecocks tight end Hayden Hurst, who had all the size needed, but was more pass catcher than blocker early on.
He said he had four offers out of high school: Gardner-Webb, Elon, Furman and the Tribe. Furman’s option offense wasn’t what he wanted, while Elon had some coaching change. He was drawn to William and Mary’s tight ends coach, Mario Acitelli, now at UNC, and had a big reason for turning down a range of walk-on offers.
“I told my parents, the one thing I didn’t ever want them to do was pay for college,” Muse said. “They told me they would, which wasn’t a problem. But I didn’t want to put a burden on them.
At 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, he was a tight end and linebacker in high school in the Charlotte Area. He posted 165 tackles, and 32 catches for 654 yards with 10 touchdowns as a senior as part of a state championship team.
As a player moving up a level, Muse will have to sit out next season unless he gets a waiver. He said the plan is to apply for one and he’ll have three years to play two.
USC has a senior tight end in Kiel Pollard, with Kyle Markway as a redshirt senior with a sixth year.
His brother Tanner plays for Clemson and was an all-ACC player last season. He said as he talked the choice over with family, his brother factored in.
“He tried to give me the most non-biased answer he could,” Nick Muse said.
That said, he’s looking forward to the possibility of facing off.
“Deep down, he knows what’s going to happen,” Muse said. “It’s all competitiveness at the end of the day. Whether he knocks me out, he’s going to help me up, and if I run him slap over, I’m going to help him up as well.”