One of South Carolina offensive coordinator Kurt Roper’s most important priorities during spring practice is to sort out his team’s crowded quarterback competition.
The Gamecocks currently have five quarterbacks vying for the starter’s job while trying to learn a brand new offense. Despite the surplus of options, Roper said he is in no rush to make a decision on narrowing down the field.
“Obviously there’s no timetable on making this decision,” Roper told The State. “We want to do it as quickly as we can, but you have to have some information to make those decisions.”
The Gamecocks quite frankly don’t have much information to go off of. Incumbent senior Perry Orth started most of last year, throwing for 1,929 yards, 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions while battling injuries. Sophomore Lorenzo Nunez played in eight games and threw for 376 yards, three touchdowns and three picks. Junior Connor Mitch also got some snaps in relief of both of the former QBs, but only threw 29 passes.
Another wild-card could be sophomore Michael Scarnecchia, a former three-star recruit who didn’t play much during his freshman season, but may possess the most upside of the group.
Roper said that a five-man quarterback competition is unusual, but necessary to truly find the best option.
“It’s not the easiest thing that I’ve ever done, but I think it’s the thing we have to do to understand who we have on the team,” Roper told The State. “All of us have been here through an offseason conditioning workout, but this is the first two days we’ve actually physically seen them throw the football.”
Of course, Roper must implement more efficiency in the passing game. Something he needs a strong quarterback to instill.
“The first thing that we have to do to get better is take care of the football — we’re turning it over too much in the passing game — and we have to get more completions,” Roper said, per The State. “And that’s got to be our first priority trying to move forward in the passing game.”
That might be the second priority, actually. Because the first priority has to be finding the right guy to help the passing game progress.