South Carolina Gamecocks: Will Muschamp Opens up at SEC Media Days

The South Carolina Gamecocks were one of the last teams up this year at SEC Media Days. The expectations for head coach Will Muschamp and his staff this year are not those of a last-place team. South Carolina has improved their win total by three each of Muschamp’s first two seasons in Columbia. He enters his 21st season in the SEC as a player or coach for five different universities.

The University is set to open a brand new, $50-million dollar Football Operations Center in December. The Gamecocks finished first in the SEC in graduation rate among its players and ranked third nationally. These are two things Will Muschamp is very proud of, and rightfully so.

QUOTES FROM MEDIA DAYS

WILL MUSCHAMP ON TEAM CAPTAINS

Jake Bentley and D.J. Wonnum were the second and third players in school history to be voted by their teammates as team captain after their sophomore season. Which, again, means an awful lot to me, the respect they have within our organization, two guys that have been outstanding leaders for us but also outstanding productive football players.”

WILL MUSCHAMP ON EXPECTATIONS FOR JAKE BENTLEY THIS SEASON

“We want to be able to dictate the tempo of the game more, play faster. I think Jake plays better when he plays faster, and that’s certainly – you’ll see a noticeable change in our offense as far as the tempo is concerned.”

WILL MUSCHAMP ON POSITIONAL COMPETITION

“We have six offensive linemen that I’m really excited about, about 80 starts between those guys, but we do have a gap from that from the standpoint of I think we’ve recruited extremely well on the offensive line, but those young guys have not played. But we have no experience past those six guys. We got to figure out in training camp who will be seven, eight, nine, and ten.

Really excited about the competition that we at the receiver position, the tight end position, and the running back position. We recruited well and we have quality depth in those areas. Those guys understand every day at practice that they’ve got to strain and earn their opportunities to play on game day. We’ve got to get our roster where every position looks like that.

But those three positions, I’m really excited about. The production that we can have, but more than anything, the consistency, and performance, because of the competition that we’re going to have at those positions. And, again, we’ve got to continue to have the entire roster that way.

Defensively, I’ll probably talk about our defensive line a lot like I talked about our offensive line. I like the first group we’re going to put out there. We recruited well. We have some really good young players in our program, they just haven’t played yet. But we are going to need in training camp to get them game ready to have the opportunity be successful in our league. That’s the bottom line.”

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WILL MUSCHAMP ON JUNIOR LINEBACKER T.J. BRUNSON

T.J. Brunson is a guy that really enjoyed seeing his maturing from freshman to sophomore and now going into his junior year. Our vocal leader of our football team on defense, but a guy that really had an outstanding sophomore season. I can’t wait to see this guy play this year.”

WILL MUSCHAMP ON THE CONCERNING LACK OF DEPTH IN THE SECONDARY

“In the secondary, I’m concerned obviously at the safety position. We only have one guy that’s played snaps for South Carolina in our league. Steven Montac passed that. We’re going to move Jamyest Williams to safety. J.T. Ibe is a graduate transfer from Rice. He was a three-year starter there, but I think certainly is a guy that’s going to be in that competition. We need some more guys to step up.

In the corner position, Rashad Fenton, Keisean Nixon and Nick Harvey, a graduate transfer from Texas A&M. All are guys that have played well in our league. I’m excited about that, but we’ll need more than just those three guys.”

WILL MUSCHAMP ON HOW THE DEFENSE CAN IMPROVE FROM 2017

“I think number one we need to be more effective with four guys rushing the passer. We improved tremendously at the point of attack in the run game. We have to continue to do that.”

WILL MUSCHAMP ON NORTH CAROLINA HC LARRY FEDORA’S COMMENT IN RELATION TO FOOTBALL BEING UNDER ATTACK IN AMERICA

“I don’t think our game’s under attack. I don’t know a whole lot about Larry’s comments. As far as CTE and concussion, all of those things that we’re talking about, I feel very comfortable with the policies and procedures we have in place at the University of South Carolina. We have a neurologist on the field, we have a neurologist in box game day, and we have a neurologist at practice.

Our training staff works with Micky Crum, who is a specialist in Pittsburgh that really changed our whole procedures when I was at Florida of our concussion protocol. I think the more research we’re able to do, the better off we’re going to be. The number one point of all of this is the health and safety of our student-athletes. That’s number one. And I feel very comfortable about our policies and what we have in place at the University of South Carolina.”

What do you think of Will Muschamp’s comments at SEC Media Days? What do you think of the South Carolina Gamecocks in 2018? Let us know in the comments!

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