The Daily Gamecock

Spurrier names Mitch starting quarterback


Head football coach Steve Spurrier has named redshirt sophomore Connor Mitch the starting quarterback in the team’s season opener against North Carolina on Sept. 3.

Mitch was a four-star recruit out of Wakefield High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. He redshirted in 2013 and was Dylan Thompson’s primary backup last season, going 2-6 with 19 yards in two appearances for the Gamecocks.

Perhaps the only surprising part of Spurrier’s decision is the timing. Mitch was the early favorite this spring to lead the Gamecock offense and he held a slight lead entering fall camp.

Spurrier, who often plays things close to the vest, announced the decision before Tuesday’s practice.

Mitch beat out redshirt freshman Michael Scarnecchia, true freshman Lorenzo Nunez and redshirt junior Perry Orth to win the job.

“The competition was extremely close but we had to make a decision," Spurrier said. "We will give him all the support we can. As long as he takes care of the ball, keeps his head calm, he very easily could be the quarterback the entire year. I felt like he was slightly ahead of the other guys. The other guys were pretty close."

Mitch was a standout in high school, completing 61.6 percent of his passes for 4701 yards and 63 touchdowns in his senior season alone. He holds the NCHSAA record for most passing yards in a single game with 667. The six-foot-three, 211-pounder’s 12,078 career yards and 153 touchdowns rank second in state history behind former Florida Gator Chris Leak.

South Carolina will open its season against North Carolina at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte on Thursday, Sept. 3 at 6 p.m..