Columbia, S.C. — Will Muschamp’s first go-round on the recruiting trail as South Carolina’s new coach is officially in the books. In his eyes, it’s not so much about the present as it is how this class performs in the future, but indeed Steve Spurrier’s successor fared quite well Wednesday.
South Carolina has the nation’s No. 26 recruiting class for 2016, featuring two dozen signees, according to Muschamp’s count. The Gamecocks picked up five four-star recruits and 20 three-star prospects. Six athletes have already enrolled early.
“There’s a lot of things to be excited about right now at South Carolina,” Muschamp said in his opening statement. “Certainly we’ve got a lot going on.”
Muschamp credited Shawn Elliott, the Gamecocks’ interim coach once Steve Spurrier stepped down, for his hand in the recruiting process, saying it was essential that Elliott see these recruits perform in camp.
He also indicated Elliott’s reputation within the state of South Carolina was a major plus, and said Elliott, who is now the offensive line coach, has done “an outstanding job.”
“I’m very pleased with where we are. I really am,” Muschamp said. “I don’t think you’re ever satisfied. So that’s the way I kind of look at things, but I just think that this is a two or three-year process.”
Muschamp credited the people like Elliott — the ones who devoted countless hours to the process — for making this class such a success.
South Carolina fared well both in-state, picking up four prospects on its home turf, and out of state. Muschamp received commitments from three Floridians, four North Carolinians and seven Georgians — three states he wants to zone in on closely.
Now he’s tasked with turning around a program that went 3-9 in 2015, its worst season since 1999-2000 when the Gamecocks went winless.
The future seems bright.
“The biggest thing to me is the willingness of everyone on campus to help. And that’s hard because that’s a lot of people’s free time, spare time that they need to be with their families and they’re reaching out to us: ‘What can we do help?”’ he said. “That’s what makes this place special is the people that you’re involved with. It’s been really wonderful.”