COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Former University of South Carolina quarterback Brandon McIlwain appears to be rekindling his love for baseball this summer after transferring out of the Gamecocks and to the University of California at Berkeley.
In an interview with BaltimoreDodgers.com, McIlwain discussed his decision to leave the program and head for sunny, laid-back California.
"I knew my plan at South Carolina wasn't quite what I needed it to be," McIlwain said. "I didn't get the opportunity I needed so I knew I needed to get some more swings and get some more reps."
McIlwain will be playing for the Dodgers, a summer collegiate baseball team, this year to get ready for his first season at Cal. He made the decision to transfer from the Gamecocks in March.
The freshman played eight games in 2016 as a quarterback, completing 62 of 118 passes for 600 yards and two touchdowns.
"It was me and [Perry Orth] who were competing for the starting spot," McIlwain said in the interview. "The first game he started the game but I ended up coming in the second half and getting a good amount of time. In the second game I ended up playing the whole second half and in the third game they allowed me to start."
Despite the start, the Gamecocks offense sputtered until the midway point of the season when the South Carolina's coaching staff made the decision to go with Jake Bentley at quarterback. Bentley shined immediately.
The writing appeared to be on the wall for McIlwain, opening up an opportunity for a transfer out west.
"I lived out in California near San Francisco for four years so I know the area," McIlwain said. "I've liked Cal since I lived there. It was just a beautiful school so being able to go out there and visit with the new football coaching staff and the present baseball coaching staff, they showed me how it's going to be a great opportunity for me to go there and be able to play both sports."