On Sunday night, head coach Will Muschamp was fired by the University of South Carolina and the tenure known as the Will Muschamp era was over.
The Gamecocks were off of a 59-42 loss to 2-4 Ole Miss, adding up to three straight losses where the Gamecock defense allowed 159 total points, ultimately giving the “defensive guru” Will Muschamp the boot.
Immediately after the firing the wounds began to open up, with a total of four opt outs and two players out for the season with injuries. These opt outs are detrimental for an already decimated South Carolina defense who has struggled up front and in the backfield all season long.
Now, with a fiery Mizzou passing attack coming into Columbia, interim head coach Mike Bobo and defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson will need to make changes on the defense quickly, without much time to prepare.
Since the beginning of the opt outs, social media was split: with half of the fanbase supporting the athletes for making a decision and focusing on their futures, while some fans took to social media to call these players “quitters” and gave criticism for them leaving the team with three games left.
I am fairly split on the opt outs, as both sides have reason and can be in the right to say what they are thinking.
For Jaycee Horn and Israel Mukuamu, opting out truly was the best decision for them in my opinion. Both Israel and Jaycee have made just enough plays and have enough film where it’s more of a risk to play in the final three games of the year than a reward.
When you are projected to be in the first or second round and have the chance to opt out and get ready for the draft and combine, it’s an opportunity you can’t pass up.
Both Jaycee and Israel have a lot of draft stock and are in the spotlight for DBs on many draft websites. When your coach is fired and you only have three games left, it probably is the best move.
The South Carolina defense also had two other opt outs, with DB RJ Roderick and DL Makius Scott.
Roderick is a junior who has had a good bit of playing time this year and Makius Scott, a freshman, who didn’t see the field.
The only real possibility for these two defensive players is that they have decided to transfer from South Carolina to another school to try to get more playing time and have more of a spotlight on them. The other option is that both would rather just sit the year out and return next year, but i don’t think that’s very likely.
RJ Roderick is able to declare for the draft, with him being a junior, but i don’t think that would be the best option for him with only starting in a few games this season. If it is indeed about playing time then I don’t exactly get it for both of these guys.
With the damages with both the defensive backs and defensive line, I would imagine that both Roderick and Scott would most likely start or see heavy playing time as both sides of the defense are currently decimated.
I think at the end of the day, all four of the guys who opted out just need to do what’s best for them and their future.
If Jaycee and Israel think getting three extra weeks of draft preparation will help them in the draft, then they need to do that. If RJ and Makius think opting out is the best for them then they need to do that too.
These decisions are expected with a new coaching staff. However, it also makes you wonder how they feel about in their last game giving up 59 points and their last home game being a 48-3 blowout, the worst home loss in over ten years.