It’s very rare when a college coach talks about a kid who is headed to a rival school on signing day, but that’s where South Carolina coach Will Muschamp found himself on Wednesday.
Of course, Muschamp was talking about his son, Jackson, the quarterback from Columbia, S.C., that will be joining UGA’s football team as a preferred walk-on. The younger Muschamp could’ve played for his father or at other schools, but preferred to play for one of his father’s best friends, Kirby Smart, coach of the Bulldogs.
“Georgia has been recruiting Jackson since the summer,” Will Muschamp said at his South Carolina signing-day press conference on Wednesday.
“He went over there for camp. He had a really good summer camp. They felt like in a walk-on situation, they’d love to have him on their roster. Coach Smart has known Jackson since he was born, so obviously there’s a relationship there.
“I felt like it was a good fit for him. It’s what he wanted to do. He also said in that conversation we had a long time ago, he said ‘Dad, I don’t want to be where you are, whether it’s at Texas, South Carolina, Florida or wherever it is, Auburn. I want to blaze my own path, and be my own man.’ And I totally respect that.”
There has been speculation that the younger Muschamp decided not to go to South Carolina because his father is on the “hot seat” after last year’s disappointing 4-8 season. However, it must be pointed out that his father also played at UGA as a preferred walk-on, later earning a scholarship. That’s where Will Muschamp developed his friendship with Smart.
“It’s kind of a no-brainer,” Jackson told WIS-TV’s Joe Gorchow. “I love Georgia. I always wanted to go there.”
Ironically, the elder Muschamp may have saved his job last year by pulling off arguably college football’s biggest upset, as the unranked Gamecocks stunned UGA on the road. The loss probably cost the Bulldogs a spot in the college football playoffs, as they would’ve entered the SEC Championship with an undefeated record.
Back to the younger Muschamp: He played at the Hammond School, alongside a top UGA target, 5-star defensive lineman Jordan Burch, who has turned into the country’s biggest recruiting drama. Burch has committed twice to the Gamecocks, including yesterday at a school ceremony a few feet away from the Muschamp family, but has yet to submit his binding paperwork.