Will Muschamp: 'If you don't work out in our camp, I'm not going to sign you'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Wednesday April 19, 2017


Evaluation is always crucial in recruiting, and with camp season limited under new rules, it’s more important than ever.

Will Muschamp joined SportsTalk with Bo Mattingly for a talk about some of the new rules. When it comes to finding the right talent for South Carolina — when you’re not an Alabama — Muschamp pointed to camps, and just how much a coach learns from that.

Twenty-two of our 24 signees worked out in our camps. If you don’t work out in our camp, I’m not going to sign you,” he said. “That’s over years of experience of making mistakes with guys that didn’t want to come work. That’s just our philosophy here, all the intangible qualities we’re looking for in players in the evaluation process.”

Muschamp said it’s a situation where you can get a glimpse into their work ethic.

“To me, I like to know each student-athlete we have, that I’ve got a really good idea when they get on campus, about their ability and their work capacity,” he said. “Meaning, what kind of work ethic do they have? That’s a talent, too. Just because you’re not a 4- or 5-star recruit — which I could care less; I’ve never recruited based on a star ranking — because I’ve coached way too many players that didn’t have a bunch of stars and ended up good football players. That’s how I look at it, and how you fit on our board.

There’s a bunch of really good players we don’t recruit because I don’t think they work very hard. If they don’t work hard in high school, most of them aren’t going to start working hard in college. That’s part of the evaluation. When they get on campus, you have to do a great job in the weight room, but you have to have a guy that’s willing to work, a guy that’s serious about his business.”

On the topic of camps, Muschamp joined the long list of college coaches not happy about limiting high school coaches from college camps or college staffs in off-field roles.

Muschamp’s running backs coach at South Carolina, Bobby Bentley, went from the high school ranks in 2013 to an Auburn offensive analyst role in 2014. Under the new rules, Auburn wouldn’t be able to sign recruits from that high school two years before Bentley’s hire and two years after. Muschamp’s brother is also a high school coach, so he knows what effect these rules have.

“I think it’s ridiculous these rules presented that limit someone’s opportunity,” Muschamp said. “Look at Gus Malzahn, Art Briles, Hugh Freeze, there are some really good coaches (in high school). My brother is a high school coach in Atlanta. He’d love to have an opportunity to coach in college. Now you’ve limited that. I don’t think it’s right, I don’t think it’s fair.

“Because of camps, we have invited the third party, which we’ve been trying to get out of the game. Now we’ve invited them back in. … I don’t know how well-thought-out the rules were, but they are what they are, and you have to abide by them.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.