South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp wants to start figuring out who the heck is going to be the Gamecocks’ backup quarterback in 2018.
The month of March seems like a great place to start.
Actually, Feb. 28, the first day of spring practice, will be the launch point, but the 14 practices in March will help create some separation in the race for the role as Jake Bentley’s understudy.
South Carolina’s three candidates have combined to appear in one collegiate game, so whoever comes out on top will be going in fresh.
Here’s a look at the Gamecocks’ quarterbacks, two weeks before spring practice:
Jake Bentley, South Carolina’s starter
In each of his first two seasons, Bentley completed more than 60 percent of his passes and gone 13-7 as a starter. The rising junior has passed for 4,214 yards, with 27 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
Last season, Bentley threw for 2,794 yards, which is the seventh-best single-season mark in school history. His 18 touchdown passes are tied for seventh-most. He also led the team in rushing touchdowns in 2017 with 6.
Bentley is one touchdown pass away from tying Bobby Fuller and Phil Petty for 10th on the South Carolina career touchdown passing list.
Michael Scarnecchia, the elder statesman
Michael Scarnecchia hasn’t seen live game action since the 2015 game against LSU, during which he completed a pass for 9 yards.
A rising senior, Scarnecchia will be in competition this spring with a pair of freshmen.
One redshirt freshman, one true freshman
Redshirt freshman Jay Urich was around for last season, so he’s got about a six-month head start on Dakereon Joyner, who enrolled at South Carolina last month.
Coming out of Wren (S.C.) High School, Urich was a 3-star recruit and ranked by the 247Sports composite as the No. 15 dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2017.
Joyner, a former 4-star from Fort Dorchester (S.C.) High School, checked in as the No. 9 dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2018.
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