COLUMBIA, S.C. – The first game of the Will Muschamp era at South Carolina is just more than a week away.
Before last Wednesday night’s open practice – the final workout of preseason camp – SEC Country spoke with four fans who were tailgating and talking Carolina football.
We joined the conversation with Tony Bone (Irmo), Sam Boulware (Blythewood), Shawn Carter (Columbia) and John Banks (Cayce). Here’s the first part of the three-part series.
When you hear your next head coach is going to be Will Muschamp, are you excited, pissed off, wondering why the hell this guy?
John Banks: The thing about Will is, for one, I think he did a pretty good job at Florida. I think that the number of injuries his team had in two years, no team could have gone through. I knew he was a quality recruiter and a hard worker. The idea that this would be his second shot, I know it’s important to make it count. I think, here, you have to work hard because it’s a little tougher to recruit here than Alabama, Auburn, some of the traditional names. I like his work ethic. I love his work ethic, and he brought in an incredible staff, so I have been excited the whole time.
Sam Boulware: I was pleased. I was glad, being the Head Ball Coach walked away the way he did, we needed a splash, and I thought we got one.
Shawn Carter: I’m excited. I’m probably like some of the other guys (hearing) Tom Herman and Kirby (Smart). I don’t think we settled, because I think he was always on the radar screen, but I feel very good about it.
Tony Bone: I thought there was a potential to be a good fit. After having two big-name senior splashes as coaches, with a lot of history, it was time to get somebody that, hopefully, will work out and have a long run here (who’s) a little bit younger than those guys. Hungry, not to say that they weren’t hungry, because we did some great things under coach (Steve) Spurrier and coach (Lou) Holtz.
Shawn Carter: That’s what I’ll say about Spurrier. He made us relevant. That somebody wanted to be the next head ball coach at the University of South Carolina. We didn’t need this savior to come in and resurrect the program like Holtz and Spurrier.
Hale McGranahan: At first, I had my doubts. If he couldn’t win at Florida, he’s not going to do much better at South Carolina. Again, that was right off the bat. Then I remembered the mess that Urban Meyer left behind in Gainesville. There was a lot to clean up. Sure, Muschamp had his flaws and could have done a few things differently – he’ll be the first one to tell you that, but he didn’t walk into the easiest situation down there.