Cal might have scored its biggest recruiting coup thus far under new coach Justin Wilcox when quarterback Brandon McIlwain announced Saturday he was transferring to Berkeley from the University of South Carolina. He will play football and baseball.
— Brandon McIlwain (@Mc11wain) May 20, 2017
Considered a dual-threat quarterback, the 6-0, 205-pounder from Newtown, Pa., was regarded as a four-star recruit in the 2016 class. He had 22 offers from Power 5 schools, including Ohio State, Penn State and Florida, as well as Cal, Arizona and UCLA from the Pac-12.
He started three games as a true freshman for the Gamecocks as a true freshman, completing 52.5 percent of his passes for 600 yards and running for another 127 yards, according to The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C.
He announced his decision to transfer on March 1, The State said. According to California Golden Blogs, McIlwain’s final four were Cal, Arizona, Baylor and Virginia.
McElwain started games three, four and five for the Gamecocks, beating East Carolina in his first start but losing the next two games against Kentucky and Texas A&M. South Carolina finished 6-7 overall and first-year coach Will Muschamp settled on another quarterback as the Gamecocks’ starter.
An outfielder in baseball, he was 1-for-10 with an RBI and four strikeouts.
Because McElwain has to sit out this season, Ross Bowers and Chase Forrest are expected to battle for the Golden Bears starting job this fall. But McElwain’s ability to run and pass could be an enticing option for Cal’s 2018 season.