ORANGE PARK, Fla. — Michael Scarnecchia had no trouble signing the dotted line on National Signing Day last week, officially setting up his future with the University of South Carolina.
Scarnecchia, a 6-foot-4, 189-pound quarterback out of Fleming Island High School, was all smiles after turning in the papers that officially made him a Gamecock.
Theres a lot of weight off my shoulders, Scarnecchia said after a signing day ceremony in Fleming Islands gymnasium. South Carolina was an easy choice for me. I really felt at home there. I loved all the players and the fans. Im really excited right now. The nerves and stuff are running high right now. Ive been saying its just another day, another day for me to get better. Its just the day I officially became a Gamecock.
Scarnecchias route to becoming South Carolina head coach Steve Spurriers lone quarterback signing for 2014 was a little different than most. The quarterback was not heavily recruited among D-1 schools and originally committed to the University of Alabama-Birmingham last summer. A July trip to one of Spurriers football camps changed everything.
Despite being under the radar, Scarnecchia used the camp as an opportunity to make a name for himself.
I knew I was underrated and I knew they werent going to know who I was, Scarnecchia said. I knew if I just went there and performed well it could lead to some recognition, and it led to an offer.
Spurrier liked enough of what he saw from that camp to extend an offer shortly after Scarnecchia visited the campus last October.
The three-star prospect finished his senior season 103-of-181 passing (57 percent) for 1,692 yards, 28 touchdowns and two interceptions.
His statistics were very good, Spurrier said. He likes to work out and study the game. We stayed in touch with him and were able to get him as a Gamecock.
Scarnecchia also welcomes the opportunity to work with a coach of Spurriers caliber.
It wasnt intimidating, Scarnecchia said. Coach Spurrier is the one who recruited me and I couldnt be more proud of that. I guess you can say its more of a shock. I mean, who would have ever thought South Carolina?
Now that National Signing Day is out of the way, Scarnecchia is preparing for his future role on the Gamecocks roster.
He knows Dylan Thompson is the starting quarterback next season, so the opportunity to learn the college game without the pressure of trying to start right away is something Scarnecchia can look at positively.
Im just working so when I get there I can perform the best that I can, Scarnecchia said. I plan to go there and at least try to earn the backup job this year and in my second year go run for the starting job. I want to go in there with the right mindset and not get caught up in the social change and the political change. Im just going to go in there and work hard and get my mind right hopefully land a backup job and the starting job in my second year.