I think the biggest question anyone can ask themselves is, “What defines me?”.
At least to me, that’s the biggest thing you can ask yourself. What defines you? At the end of the day, what do people say is your legacy?
Different people mean different things to the University of South Carolina. Steve Spurrier is the winningest and some would consider the best head coach in USC history. A’ja Wilson is the greatest basketball player in USC history. George Rodgers is the greatest football player in USC history.
The question is, “What is going to define Will Muschamp when he leaves Carolina”? I don’t know the answer to that right now, no one really does, but I have a good idea.
Will Muschamp’s recruiting and attention to detail will most likely define his time at South Carolina. TJ Bruson and DJ Wonnum are two players who were overlooked 3-star recruits that turned into All-SEC players.
I don’t care what you think, Steve Spurrier’s lack of attention and care towards recruiting almost ruined the football program at USC. It’s what caused a 3-9 season in 2015, what would’ve been a national championship caliber team in 2014 going 7-6, and letting that team in the upstate turn into what it is now. Coach Boom was tasked with rebuilding the “progrum”.
I’m not saying Will Muschamp is going to have an overall better legacy than Steve Spurrier. That would be really hard. I just believe South Carolina is setting itself up to have a very long and successful run under Coach Muschamp. The way the program is heading, it could turn into an eight or nine win team a year and every two to three years get really hot and make a run at the SEC title. If you’re a realistic Gamecocks fan, you will take that 25/8.
Sure, it’s going to be hard to compete with Georgia and the Bulldogs with the way Kirby Smart is building that program. Maybe last year was luck considering the absolutely insane amount of talented players he inherited from the Mark Richt era.
I just think it’s really hard to overlook what Will Muschamp is doing right now. The recruiting class for the 2019 cycle is currently sitting at number seven nationally in the 247 composite ranking and has a good chance to finish top 10 if some more pieces fall in place. This should start to become the standard. To compete with Clemson, Georgia and Alabama, you have to recruit. Sure, making 3-star players play like 5-stars is needed too, but landing blue-chip recruits is what turns a program around. You think Clemson is a National Championship team without Deshaun Watson? No chance.
Let’s get back to what I originally opened with. What is going to define Will Muschamp? A couple good years here and there and mainly mediocracy? Or will it be domination and willing his teams to succeed? Only time will tell.
I just think he’s taking the right steps. Bryan McClendon and Travarious Robinson are two other coaches who are unproven as head coaches and Will Muschamp took a chance on them as coordinators. However, both of them are doing a great job so far. We will really get to see the impact of B-Mac on the offense this year. They’ve both recruited their tails off and have exceeded almost everyone’s expectations.
Obviously, Will Muschamp has done a pretty good job recruiting so far. Let’s look at players that have been low to mid-3-star recruits in Muschamp’s career at USC so far that have turned in to starters or at least contributors.
Parker White, Kicker
DJ Wonnum, DE
TJ Brunson, LB
Kobe Smith, DT
Rico Dowdle, RB
Keir Thomas, DT/DE
Dennis Daley, OT
Sherrod Greene, LB
Aaron Sterling, DE
Keisean Nixon, CB
That’s 10 combined starters on both sides of the football that are either going to be starters or big time contributors next year that were 3-star recruits. I’d say most teams in the SEC would like to have those players, except maybe Alabama. All of those players bring something unique to the table that Muschamp and his coaching staff saw and knew we needed.
What’s being built at USC is fun to watch. If this coaching staff can continue to find three or four guys every recruiting cycle that heavily outplay their amount of stars, then South Carolina football will be very successful for a long time. I mean sure 25 5-star recruits every year would be cool, but Clemson, Georgia, and Alabama’s boosters wouldn’t allow that. Recruiting will define Will Muschamp’s legacy, whether that ends up being a good or bad thing.