COLUMBIA, S.C. (TheBigSpur.com) - Finally, the day before the second game of the season, South Carolina Gamecocks tight end Nick Muse has heard back from the NCAA.
The William & Mary transfer is eligible to play immediately. And he’s expected to occupy a significant role this fall. South Carolina opens its hope schedule on Saturday when Charleston Southern visits Williams-Brice Stadium.
“He is a guy that can really be a dominant in-line player with his size and athleticism,” tight ends coach Bobby Bentley told reporters in August.
"First of all, he has size and length. He can be the in-line guy that blocks a 280-pound, 6-5 defensive end, yet he can still flex out and do things on the perimeter that you would like to do too, because we don’t substitute our personnel."
In two seasons at William & Mary, Muse caught 34 passes for 508 yards and two touchdowns. That production will be needed at a position that doesn’t return much, because of some unexpected, early attrition.
First, there was the career-ending injury for senior Kiel Pollard, which occurred during training camp. Redshirt junior Evan Hinson was recovering from an irregular heartbeat before he decided to leave football and transfer elsewhere, to continue his basketball career, South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said on Tuesday.
Redshirt junior Kyle Markway is the most experienced returning tight end for the Gamecocks with six catches for 110 yards and a touchdown. The group is rounded out by redshirt sophomore Will Register, former walk-on center Chandler Farrell and two freshmen, Keshawn Toney and Traevon Kenion.
Muse, who transferred earlier this summer, could end up having a significant role for South Carolina’s offense. Earlier this month, he told reporters that Bentley and Muschamp “have a lot of faith” in his ability.
“If I can learn the plays I’ll be able to play,” Muse said. “Practice has been very good, very fast and very physical. I’m starting to get the hang of things, starting to learn the plays. For the most part I feel I’m fitting in pretty well.”
And Muse will provide experience to a team, at a position where there isn’t much to speak of, heading into the first week of the season.