By Will Davidson, Richland Northeast HS (Columbia, South Carolina)
The South Carolina football team went 9 – 4 in their 2017 season. That season ended in a trip home with the Outback Bowl Trophy after the players beat Michigan with an outstanding second half. The Gamecocks have over the course of the offseason, recruited 17 enrollees, and four that have signed letters of intent. This increase of recruits, in caliber and numbers, is due mostly to one man, Will Muschamp.
The University of South Carolina hired Will Muschamp as head coach for the 2016 season and since then has coached two seasons with two bowl appearances. His first bowl appearance for South Carolina ended in a loss in the Birmingham Bowl in 2016, but won the Outback Bowl in 2018. He has led the team to a 15 and 11 record through both seasons and successfully recruited 4 star players to South Carolina over other schools like Clemson. Muschamp takes recruiting to a whole different level. Will Muschamp takes recruiting to a personal level.
When Will Muschamp finds a recruit he wants, he goes to recruit them personally. He goes to create a personal relationship with the player, to show the player on a personal layer, that he wants him to play for South Carolina. He shows the player that he is needed to play for the Gamecocks. He aims to create a bond between player and coach so strong that the player wants to come to South Carolina.
Along with creating a personal bond with the players, Will Muschamp recruits players through the facilities South Carolina has. Will Muschamp is building a new football operations center. This new facility will be exclusive onto football and will include everything needed for the football team and more. It will include two practice fields, a recruiting center, locker room, training room, weight room, meeting rooms and coaches offices.
Will Muschamp wants this new facility to have more than just that. It will also include a movie theater, arcade, and a players lounge. Will Muschamp told Gamecocks “I think it’s going to be a game-changer for us as far as the student-athletes on our campus presently, but also in the recruiting process. We all like shiny and new.” Will Muschamp uses this method because it is effective. In the recruiting class for the 2018 season, he has recruited eight 4 star recruits, and 13-3 star recruits.
With these new high caliber recruits coming in, Quarterback Jake Bentley can only see improvement with the addition of these new recruits. “That’s the goal ever year is to get better. A big part of that is to bring in some new guys that are going to help us and there has been a lot of guys so far that have stepped up” said Jake Bentley.