As he was introduced Monday morning as the 34th coach of the Gamecocks, Will Muschamp pointed to wife and sent a message to the South Carolina fans.
“Gamecock Nation, if you don’t think I can recruit, look at (my wife) and look at me,” Muschamp said. “I can sell ice to an eskimo.”
Muschamp’s recruiting tasks won’t be as difficult as that, but the first-year South Carolina coach certainly has his work cut out for him.
Taking over the team after a 3-9 season, Muschamp has to sell a new era of Gamecocks football to current commits and prospective recruits.
Based on his introductory press conference and comments made by South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner, Muschamp is already one step ahead of the game.
“We wanted a coach with a tireless work ethic,” Tanner said. “I took a relaxing flight over to pick Coach Muschamp and his family up. As he boarded the plane, he began to work. He took me ‘til past 10:00 last night. I know as I watched him juggle four to five things at a time, I’m not capable of being on his staff.”
While there is still a level of uncertainty as it pertains to who will be on Muschamp’s staff, the coach made one thing clear: they need to know how to recruit.
“I want us to be a blue-collar, overachieving outfit that will recruit good enough players that buy into work ethic, and good things will happen for us,” Muschamp said. “We want to win the state back in recruiting. That’s the most important thing. They need to go into North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and some of the Northeast guys, but we need to win the state back first. That’s where my efforts are this week.”
Muschamp said he already has been in touch with some of the Gamecocks’ current commits and will continue to do that going forward.
Additionally, Muschamp said he believes South Carolina is capable of recruiting with some of the top programs in the nation.
While coaching Florida, Muschamp delivered three top-five recruiting classes in four years. But rankings and stars don’t matter.
More so, it’s about how those players will fit with what South Carolina is trying to do on the field.
“A lot goes into recruiting,” Muschamp explained. “I don’t look at recruiting rankings. I don’t worry about the stars next to the names. If he’s a 5-star, we must like him? I’ve signed a bunch of 2-stars that are good football players playing in the NFL.
“It’s about evaluating. Does this young men fit what we want? (With) development on campus, whether it’s football IQ or being in the weight room, we want to find guys that fit our program … We offer young men that we think fit with what we want to do within our systems offensively, defensively and on special teams.”