You could say Brandon McIlwain’s mom is #madonline.
Lena McIlwain wasn’t happy with a “sad sad sad,” “biased” article on 247Sports that defended her son’s job as South Carolina’s starting quarterback.
Brandon McIlwain's mother had an interesting Facebook post today. pic.twitter.com/whdnWh7dEL
— SportsTalk (@sportstalksc) October 18, 2016
JC Shurbutt, whose wall she posted on, authored the piece. Here’s a snippet:
The struggles that McIlwain had, though, are more related to his inexperience than any type of talent deficiency. He couldn’t throw the ball down the field very well. That doesn’t mean he can’t fine tune his accuracy and ability to execute as he does have the arm strength to get that done. He looked slow at times running the football, but that is a trademark of a young player being indecisive, which is facilitated by inexperience. He also did not have a very strong supporting cast as South Carolina has struggled at every position on offense this season with the exception of the tight ends in the passing game. …
The bottom line is that this is a player, just like most true freshmen, whose best days on the football field are ahead of him. Always remember that football is a developmental sport, especially at quarterback. Just as true freshman typically struggle at the position, players typically get better over time. There is no reason to write him off as a player either now or in the future at South Carolina, regardless of what happens Saturday.
It doesn’t paint the freshman signal caller in the best light. But it also defends his objectively poor performance. What Lena took issue with was the reasoning behind it (and that it had to be written in the first place).
While Shurbutt reasons that it’s just typical freshman struggles and that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, McIlwain has some specific criticisms of the South Carolina coaching staff.
“Brandon is repeatedly told his strength is running the ball,” she writes, “NEVER before has he been so unfairly pigeonholed. He has always fearlessly & successfully THROWN the ball very well as any quarterback is trained to do!!”
There are two sides of the coin here. First, there are quarterbacks aplenty to have entered college an accomplished high-school passer but fail to do so at the next level. But she also brings a second point: that her son has yet to play with Deebo Samual and Bryan Edwards, two of his top targets, on the field at the same time.
Maybe McIlwain hasn’t gotten a fair shot. He, however, has only completed 52.8 percent of his passes — only two for touchdowns — in five games. It has led to discussion of burning the redshirt of fellow freshman QB Jake Bentley, to which head coach Will Muschamp has been noncommittal. Either way, the program isn’t shone in the best light when its (current? former?) starting QB’s mother is angrily posting about the inner workings of the team on social media.