South Carolina is starting a true freshman at quarterback today. Here are five things you need to know about him…
He was named the Gatorade Player of the Year
McIlwain was named the 2015 Gatorade Pennsylvania Football Player of the Year. McIlwain started playing on the varsity football team as a freshman. He totaled 6,545 yards and 54 touchdowns passing while rushing for 3,882 yards and 70 touchdowns. McIlwain chose the Gamecocks over Auburn, Duke, Florida, Penn State and Virginia Tech.
He plays on the baseball team
Along with football, McIlwain plays outfielder for the South Carolina baseball team. Before enrolling at South Carolina, McIlwain was the No. 16 rated high school prospect for the 2016 MLB Draft by Baseball America and D1 Baseball. Even though McIlwain is a freshman on the football team, he played eight game for the Gamecocks during the 2016 season. After one season, McIlwain was rated the No. 4 best prospect in the SEC by the Perfect Game.
He impressed ESPN’s Trent Dilfer
Dilfer hosts the Elite 11 quarterback which McIlwain participated in. The ESPN analyst had a lot of high praise for the freshman’s character.
“If Brandon McIlwain isn’t a major league baseball pitcher, second baseman or NFL quarterback, he’s probably gonna be more successful being a senator or the president of the United States or a CEO,” Dilfer said. “He’s that kind of kid.”
He and the senior quarterback have a special relationship
Perry Orth started the season as the Gamecock’s starting quarterback, but just two games later, McIlwain won the staring job. Desire losing his starting job as a season, Orth has no hard feelings. The two are very close and call each other “Papa Orth and Son”. Off the field, the two quarterbacks like to go golfing together.
He throws it about as good as I’ve seen and he’s only a freshman, which is pretty impressive,” Orth told reporters in early August. “There’s flashes every day. There were a few plays (at practice) where you just look back and go, ‘Wow, that kid’s talented.’ ”
— Daren Stoltzfus (@DarenStoltzfus) September 18, 2016
He is a political science major
It is very rare to see a Division I athlete majoring in something other than Communications. However, is a political science major at USC with the hopes of getting a joint business and law degree.