Brandon McIlwain enrolled at South Carolina as one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the Class of 2016.
At the same time, he’s one of the best baseball prospects in the nation.
If McIlwain can secure a starting spot on the diamond, he will focus his attention on baseball — not football — in the spring, according to The State’s Matt Connolly.
McIlwain, a four-star prospect, was also projected to be a first-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft before deciding to attend South Carolina.
Should McIlwain wind up securing a spot in the Gamecocks’ starting baseball lineup, then South Carolina baseball coach Chad Holbrook said the quarterback can still spend his spare time practicing with the football team.
“I don’t want to put too much on him, but the generic discussions are this: if he’s in our starting lineup, and he’s playing, he can go to football in his free time,” Holbrook said, via Connolly.
“If he’s coming off the bench for us or a substitute player for us and there are some football responsibilities for that day, that’s where he needs to be.”
In other words, starting versus not starting will play a major role in McIlwain’s involvement with the football team and potentially his grasp on the Gamecocks’ quarterback competition.
The true freshman will have to beat out incumbents Connor Mitch, Lorenzo Nunez and Perry Orth this spring, as all four are projected to be in the mix to be the starting quarterback when South Carolina opens the 2016 season at Vanderbilt on Sept. 1.