COLUMBIA — South Carolina has a new tight end.
William & Mary transfer Nick Muse had his eligibility waiver approved by the NCAA on Friday after missing the first game of the season. He is able to play against Charleston Southern on Saturday, and for the rest of the season.
Muse’s father, Kevin Muse, confirmed the news Friday afternoon.
Muse transferred to USC in June and the appeal to get him eligible was quickly put together, but the approval didn’t come in time for him to play the first game. Yet he will get to play without sitting out any more games, meaning if all goes well, he will face off against his older brother Tanner Muse on Nov. 30.
Tanner Muse is a senior safety at Clemson.
South Carolina sophomore cornerbacks Jaycee Horn and Israel Mukuamu are the leaders of a young but talented secondary.
It’s a massive relief for USC, which was counting on Muse after the position was rocked with injuries during preseason camp. Projected starter Kiel Pollard discovered a cyst on his spinal cord that forced him to medically retire from football, and backup Evan Hinson had heart surgery, then decided to re-start his college basketball career by transferring to another school.
Muse can definitely help. He caught 30 passes for 453 yards and a touchdown last year with the Tribe, and has been repping throughout camp as the appeal went through.
“We're practicing and giving him reps to get him ready for the game. Certainly not investing as many reps as you normally would,” coach Will Muschamp said. “He certainly could help our football team this year."
South Carolina's season opener comes with a familiar face on the other side.
The Gamecocks were so thin that they moved backup center Chandler Farrell to tight end a week into camp, and played Farrell alongside starter Kyle Markway against North Carolina. Muse may not be able to start right away if the Gamecocks play a two-tight end set, but at 6-3 and 232 pounds, with two seasons worth of experience in college, it won’t be long before he gets on the field.
“Starting to get the hang of things, starting to learn the plays,” Muse described in the first week of camp. “But for the most part, I feel like I’m fitting in really well.”