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New South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said he and his new staff attracted a strong class that will give the Gamecocks a solid foundation to turn around last year's 3-9 season

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South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said he had a high winning percentage in recruiting this year. He hopes that translates to success on the football field.

Muschamp said he visited with about 36 players since taking the job in early December.

"And only six guys we offered didn't come," he said. "So we did a good job when we got them here on campus."

Muschamp had to scramble shore up the Gamecocks' fading recruiting efforts after Steve Spurrier walked away from the team in mid-October. Interim coach Shawn Elliott tried to hold things together, but several committed players changed their minds after Spurrier's departure and the Gamecocks 3-9 season.

Muschamp said he and the new staff he's assembled did a strong job of turning things around in a short time period.

The centerpiece is quarterback Brandon McIlwain, who was considered a certain first-round selection in next spring's Major League Baseball draft. But Muschamp got McIlwain to enroll last month and he's set to play both sports this fall.

"We think he's got a tremendous future in both sports at South Carolina," Muschamp said. "We're extremely pleased with his work ethic."

McIlwain will try and break free from a pack this spring that includes three players who started games at quarterback last year in Perry Orth, Lorenzo Nunez and Connor Mitch.

South Carolina signed 24 players, the majority on offense. Along with McIlwain, the Gamecocks brought in five wide receivers to spark up an attack that sunk near the bottom of the Southeastern Conference last year.

Receiver Bryan Edwards highlights that group. He was a longtime commitment who backed off after Spurrier left — even visiting rival Clemson — before deciding he belonged with Muschamp and the Gamecocks.


Other things to know:

Top 25 Class: No.

Best in class: McIlwain, QB, Newton, Pennsylvania. He turned down first-round MLB money to go to college and is already scrimmaging with the Gamecocks baseball team.

Best of the rest: Bryan Edwards, WR, Conway, South Carolina; Jamarcus King, DB, Mobile, Alabama

Late addition: WR Kiel Pollard of Moultrie, Georgia, was pledged to Arkansas before turning to the Gamecocks last week.

One that got away: DT Karamo Dioubate of Philadelphia. Was considered a strong lean to South Carolina. No word yet on where he signed.

How they'll fit in: McIlwain should get a chance to show if he can start. Edwards and Pollard will see early playing with receiver Pharoh Cooper off to the NFL. King is expected to bulk up the secondary.

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