South Carolina Football: Why the Future of Gamecocks' Quarterbacks Is Bright

Lee SchechterContributor IIIMay 9, 2013

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback Dylan Thompson #17 of the South Carolina Gamecocks sets to pass against the Michigan Wolverines in the Outback Bowl January 1, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  South Carolina won 33 - 28. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The South Carolina Gamecocks prepare for the 2014 college football season with two quarterbacks who are both strong enough players to start for this team.  Beyond 2014, the Gamecocks have a solid group of quarterbacks who will be great for the future of the South Carolina offense.     

Senior Connor Shaw, the probable starter, and redshirt junior Dylan Thompson vary in playing styles but are both top-tier quarterbacks in college football.  

Shaw will probably start, though barring injuries to the Gamecocks' dual-threat quarterback, Thompson will definitely garner some playing.  Thompson should also see some action when the team thinks a pro-style offense will create more matchup issues for opposing defenses.  

This season, South Carolina has Shaw to lead the way and Thompson as arguably the best backup quarterback in the country.  Yet, the Gamecocks also have a bright future with an extremely talented group of quarterbacks who will lead the offense in the coming years.

Shaw's four years are up at the end of the 2013 season.  

In 2014, Thompson will take over at the helm of the South Carolina offense, and he has all the skills to be a great starting quarterback.  

Thompson had to prove himself when Shaw battled injuries in 2013 and is chomping at the bit to get a shot at leading the offense.  

With an NFL-caliber arm and very good accuracy, Thompson has the physical skills needed to be a successful quarterback.  

Thompson also has experience and outstanding leadership, which are always important qualities for a quarterback to have.  

He is ideal in the pro-style offense, and as Spurrier makes the transition to a power running game, Thompson should be in for an extremely productive season in 2015.  By working the play-action pass and letting his arm do the work, Thompson has a bright future with the Gamecocks.  

After Thompson's years of eligibility are up, the Gamecocks will look in a new direction with either redshirt freshman Brendan Nosovitch or true freshman Connor Mitch.  

Nosovitch was an absolute stud back in his high school days as he set Pennsylvania state passing records.

According to

Brendan Nosovitch won the Maxwell Football Club's first Pennsylvania Player of the Year award and was named to the PARADE All-America football team following his senior season... is the state's career record-holder with 12,877 total yards and second all-time in the state in passing yards (9,249) and touchdown passes (106).

The numbers speak a lot, but Nosovitch has also impressed the coaching staff early on in his career.

Nosovitch has a strong arm and also possesses the ability to move outside the pocket and make plays with his feet.  

Nosovitch is likely to start in the post-Shaw-and-Thompson era, though he will definitely have to win a position battle with Mitch.  

Mitch was a highly-rated pro-style quarterback recruit coming out of North Carolina. 

According to

Over his four-year career at Wakefield High School, he passed for 12,078 yards, which is second in North Carolina High School Athletic Association history behind Chris Leak (15,593). He completed 807-of-1,384 passes and notched 153 touchdowns through the air. In 2012, he was 306-of-503 for 4,661 yards and 63 touchdowns.

Just like Nosovitch, Mitch's high school career says a lot, and he is just beginning his South Carolina career as an early-enrollee.  

Mitch has all of the fundamentals that coaches look for in a pocket-passer recruit. 

According to's scouting report, Mitch has it all and can be very successful with the Gamecocks: 

Mitch is a shotgun pocket passer with good size, a sturdy build and a really smooth stroke. The ball really jumps off his hand smoothly and in a hurry. He is very consistent in his methods. His drop speed, set up and balanced feet in the pocket are all sound. He plays in the shotgun spread that will take some shots downfield, most likely because he is capable of making those types of throws. He is extremely accurate thanks to solid and consistent footwork within the pocket and his penchant for planting and following through on passes with balance and weight transfer.

Mitch will push Nosovitch in quarterback competition.

Nosovitch is one year ahead in eligibility, and if Mitch redshirts at all, he will have two extra years on Nosovitch, which bodes well for South Carolina's stability at quarterback in the years to come.  

Looking forward some more, South Carolina could land consensus 4-star quarterback and one of the highest-ranked pocket-passer recruits, Drew Barker.

Barker announces on Friday and is expected to choose between Kentucky, Tennessee and South Carolina.  

Barker is athletic, big, strong and confident.  

He would be a great pickup for South Carolina and provide even more impressive talent for the future of the Gamecocks.  

From Shaw to Thompson to Nosovitch to Mitch and maybe even Barker, the South Carolina Gamecocks are not lacking talent and potential at the quarterback position.