Muschamp explains how QB Jake Bentley got to South Carolina
When Will Muschamp took over at South Carolina last season, the depth chart at quarterback was essentially non-existent.
There was a serious lack of depth, and it was void of talent. As such, Muschamp was able to go out and sign two high-profile prospects in Brandon McIlwain and Jake Bentley.
After McIlwain got decent playing time in the early portion of this season, Bentley made his collegiate debut last week in a 34-28 victory over UMass. In the game, Bentley went 17-of-26 for 201 yards and two touchdowns.
Bentley appears to be the man going forward for the Gamecocks. His road to Columbia is an interesting one.
He was actually slated to be a 2017 recruit. Bentley should be a high school senior right now. However, there were some things which led to an expedited foray into the college game.
Bentley’s father — Bobby — was hired as the running backs coach. As Muschamp detailed to Greenville Online, it was a fairly straight-forward and quick process when it came to getting the young signal-caller reclassified.
Bentley had committed to the program. He then played with the idea of wanting to enroll early. This was something Bentley’s father brought up with Muschamp:
“We were recruiting Jake for next year’s class. Maybe three weeks, a month (after Jake committed), Bobby [Bentley] came into my office and said, ‘Have you ever been a part of a situation where it is a possibility he could graduate early and come to school?”
Bentley transferred from Alabama to a school in South Carolina which made it possible for him to count a prior class — thus making him eligible to graduate early. Bentley even began his career as a walk-on due to USC not having a scholarship available (at that time):
“It was all cleared through the NCAA. It took about a month,” said Muschamp. “I think it was completed about the end of May. He was going to be able to enroll. They are a very close-knit family and wanted to be together, and it just so happened it worked out that way.They came to me, and I said I would support it if it could happen.
“Anytime you can add a good football player to your roster, that’s something you want to do. We were able to do it, and that’s exactly what happened.”