Gamecocks QB target Jay Urich talks strengths, updates recruiting
Jay Urich had aspirations of becoming a Division I quarterback when he made the switch from wide receiver to signal caller prior to the start of his sophomore year of high school.
The rising senior’s goal is close to becoming reality as he holds several scholarship offers, including one from South Carolina.
The Wren High standout was offered by the Gamecocks in April and also holds offers from Southern Miss, Harvard, Coastal Carolina and others. The 6-foot-4, 192-pound Urich is also getting interest from schools such as Tennessee, Duke, Virginia Tech and Boston College. He was offered Thursday by Western Carolina.
Urich told The State recently that the transition from wide receiver to quarterback was difficult, but he is thrilled to see the move paying off with college scholarship offers.
“It was definitely a dream of mine. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. It’s been a lot of hard work, but it’s a fun process. It’s exciting,” Urich said. “It was a difficult transition. I can remember the first day I went out there and started throwing and started trying to figure out what to do. That was one of my problems at first. I was trying to think too much.”
Urich played his freshman and sophomore seasons at Blue Ridge before transferring to Wren after his dad got a new job.
He was approached with the idea of moving from receiver to quarterback prior to his sophomore season at Blue Ridge, and he told the coaching staff he would do whatever he could to help the team win.
Urich has grown more comfortable as a quarterback from his sophomore season to now. After playing the position for only two years, schools are intrigued by the fact that he still has plenty of room to grow and become a more polished quarterback.
“His better football is ahead of him,” Wren head coach Jeff Tate said. “He weighs 192 now, but he’ll end up being 230. He’s still growing. He’s over 6-4. I don’t know how tall he’s going to get, but I think he may grow a little bit more. He’ll end up being a heck of a player.”
Urich added that it takes a lot of hard work to be successful learning a new position, but he is no stranger to working hard and enjoys the challenge.
“I think that’s another thing that’s one of the best things about me. I’m always trying to grow and learn,” he said. “That’s a big part of being a quarterback and even a football player is growing all the time. If you’re not growing you’re dying.”
Urich threw for 2,758 yards with 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 12 games last season, and Tate is confident Urich will have an even better 2016 year with another offseason under his belt.
“This offseason he’s just gotten bigger, stronger and faster,” Tate said. “It’s hard because there are just so many things that have to be taught. He picked it up pretty quick. I was really pleased. The more he played and the more comfortable he became, the better understanding and the game kind of slowed down for him.”
Urich hopes to commit early this summer, possibly by the end of this month. South Carolina is certainly a school that Urich likes, and the Gamecocks coaching staff likes him as well.
He received an offer from USC after throwing in front of offensive coordinator Kurt Roper, and Roper and Urich have a strong relationship.
“They like my dual-threat ability. I’m a guy that can run, can come in and just learn on the go. I’m a leader, all of those qualities,” Urich said. “I feel like I’m a good fit. All of the stuff we do here is basically what they do there with the RPOs, run-pass options. (Roper) likes that I transition good from here at Wren to South Carolina.”
The idea of competing with highly-regarded Class of 2016 quarterbacks Brandon McIlwain and Jake Bentley for playing time does not move USC down Urich’s list.
“He’s not afraid to compete, regardless of who’s there or who’s going,” Tate said. “You’re going to have to compete regardless of where you go.”