Perry Orth, Brandon McIlwain or Jake Bentley.
Those are the three quarterbacks vying for the Gamecocks starting job, and ESPN college football analyst Tom Luginbill has an idea of which quarterback(s) South Carolina will utilize under center.
“I think they will go with a youth movement but it just won’t be Brandon McIlwain, who was involved in spring drills,” Luginbill said on ESPNU. ” It will also include Jake Bentley. Jake Bentley was a quarterback who was in this current class, 2017, was able to reclassify, graduate early and enroll at South Carolina this summer. He is the type of player that Kurt Roper wants to have. He’s a son of a coach, he understands the game and I think he and Brandon McIlwain ultimately, when its said and done, one of those two will emerge to be the starter.
“South Carolina will ride it out and say, ‘Hey, we’re in this for the long haul. The one thing we have to have is a quarterback. The other pieces will fall in line around that player. We’ve tried to do it the other way at Florida where you had all the players on defense and you had some players in other areas. Quarterback wasn’t there and all of a sudden it didn’t matter how good you were on defense.”
Orth, a senior, and McIlwain exited offseason workouts as co-starters on the Gamecocks’ post-spring depth chart, while Bentley arrived after spring drills after reclassifying into the Class of 2016. He is the son of running backs coach Bobby Bentley and was ranked as the nation’s No. 10 pro-style quarterback, according to 247Sports.
It remains to be seen who trots out on the field for the Gamecocks’ opening snap against Vanderbilt on Sept. 1, but should the “youth movement” begin, it could be that quarterback’s offense for the next three to four years.