By Austin Payne
South Carolina isn’t exactly known for pulling in major recruits, especially in recent memory with the direction or…lack of one…that their football program has been going in. That all changed recently when the Gamecocks reeled in coveted recruit Jordan Burch. Burch is a five star strong side defensive end who just so happens to be from Columbia, which was obviously a contributing factor in his decision to attend the school.
South Carolina, if known for anything, it would have to be its defensive prospects. Though in recent years it has had a few offensive players make it to the league, like Pharoh Cooper, Mike Davis, and briefly, Connor Shaw, these guys are undoubtedly overshadowed by mainly Jadaveon Clowney, DJ Swearinger, Stephon Gilmore, and even Darian Stewart. All this goes without saying soon to be first round draft pick, Javon Kinlaw.
Burch is undoubtedly joining a defensive minded culture considering the schools heritage and alumni in the league. Combine this with the presence of Will Muschamp and him being known as more of a preferentially defensive minded coach, and you have something that doesn’t actually seem like such an awkward fit after all.
With the impending transfer of Quarterback and former starter Jake Bentley, it’s fair to say that a culture change is starting to brew within the program. With inevitable change coming whether fans like it or not, though i tend to believe they will, it’s up to Muschamp to steer the ship in the right direction. Or…should they maybe consider a coaching change? He is a combined 26-25 in his time with the Gamecocks, which is the definition of mediocrity. Despite all of this, they’ve recently verbally committed to him long term.
Will Muschamp has just essentially been rather ah, let’s be nice, “okay” in his time at South Carolina, and coming off the Steve Spurrier era in Columbia, it’s obvious that expectations are higher than what’s currently being put on the field. With his moderate success and just essentially maintaining the base level in the win category, it’s safe to say the pressure will be on if USC is to continue pulling in these highly touted recruits.
Of noteworthy players joining Burch in the 2020 recruiting class are several four star prospects, including wide receivers Mike Wyman, and Rico Powers. Alongside these guys are a couple four star defensive prospects, and most notably, four star dual threat quarterback Luke Doty, a South Carolina Native.
If we’re being honest, Ryan Hilinski isn’t exactly cutting it for the Gamecocks at QB. Bringing in a talented prospect to add competition to the roster should prove to be a good thing, and help to boost team expectations as a whole, since they too aren’t exactly living up to team heritage.