July 19, 2021
Hoover, Alabama, USA
South Carolina Gamecocks
THE MODERATOR: We have Nick Muse. I'll ask him to make an opening comment about the season, and then we'll take your questions. Nick, 2021 season upon us. What is it you're looking forward to in the upcoming campaign?
NICK MUSE: Every year is a great year to play college football, something that everybody looks forward to in the United States to watch on Saturdays, being it a game or whatever the case may be.
I'm really looking forward to the fans coming back in. Last year with the COVID problems, we didn't get the environments like we wanted to, like college football actually is. I'm very excited for the season. We play the best competition every year, year in and year out, so I'm ready to prove what I can do and what the Gamecocks can do.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Nick.
Q. I want to ask you about Mike Bobo, who's over at Auburn now. What was it like being coached by Mike, and what do you feel like Auburn is getting with him being the offensive coordinator?
NICK MUSE: They're getting a lot of great plays. They've already got a lot of great athletes over there. Coach Bobo is a great guy. He's done nothing but treat me with respect ever since he got to South Carolina and met me.
He's just an all-around great dude, someone that you want to be around. It sucks that we didn't get to keep him. Everything happens for a reason, but now we've got Coach Satterfield there to fill the role.
All in all, he's a great guy. The players are going to love him. Very competitive. So he does the right things.
Q. I know E.J. Jenkins has played a little bit of wide receiver, a little bit of tight end. In terms of what you can do with both of you on the field at the same time, what do you feel you guys can do, and how do you feel you guys complement each other?
NICK MUSE: I think he has a little bit more speed than me, and I have a little more run blocking ability. With us, we can be a one-two punch, and maybe the Three Musketeers if you add Jaheim Bell. You can put him at wideout, he's a mismatch. You can put him at tight end, he's a mismatch.
He's a diamond in the rough. He's an FCS kid that took a chance on us, and South Carolina took a chance on him. So we're about to see what he can do this year.
Q. Playing with Kevin Harris, I was wondering, what impresses you about him as a running back? What do you think makes him so good?
NICK MUSE: Just about everything impresses me. Everything besides maybe his height, I guess. He's a stud. He's one of those to where, if he's on your team, you're going to have a helluva running back. He's a great guy, great kid, does the right things in and out of the building. Academic, honor roll.
When you see him running behind you, you know you're -- I could miss a block, and I'm still confident he's going to make a positive play out of it just because of how much athletic ability he has and just who he is in general. He's 220 pounds of straight muscle, so not many people want to tackle him, and he runs pretty dang fast.
Q. Just wanted to get a few thoughts on you from Coach Satterfield and what it's been like going through spring practice and seeing what kind of offense he's going to have for you guys this fall.
NICK MUSE: Coach Sat is a good guy. He came from the Panthers, working under Joe Brady, who we have connections with at William and Mary, so I know how smart that guy is as well. So he's learned from a lot of people, and he's teaching people a lot of good stuff.
During springtime, we'd always have meetings up in his office where he'd go over the same play for 30 minutes, and you're like geez Louise, can I watch something else? He's a big detail guy. He's big in competitiveness.
So that quarterback room, I believe all of them are going to be prepared to play this year. We'll see what happens. He's definitely the right guy for the job.
Q. Talk about the tight end group, that position group, and how it potentially could become the primary target in this offense this year with the amount of talent and the amount of snaps and experience that you guys have this year.
NICK MUSE: Yeah, like I said, we just brought in E.J. Jenkins for the spring, and that dude's something else. He's about 6'7". Yeah, 6'7", can jump out of the room. Anywhere you put him is going to be a mismatch.
You got Jaheim Bell, who worked a lot at running back, worked at slot, worked at tight end. He can block. He can catch. He's the overall one of the best athletes on the team. Hopefully, I can produce a little bit this year. If we don't have us three on the field a lot, then we're going to have some issues.
So just them two guys and how they are and how they compete, I just feel like we're the Three Musketeers. We're going to hopefully dominate this year.
Q. I wanted to ask about a young guy, Eric Shaw. I know he played a little bit both ways last year. Just what have you seen from him and the potential he has going forward?
NICK MUSE: He's another athletic freak that can play just about anywhere. We've been working him a little bit at tight end and also at wide receiver. He's around 220, and it's hard to put your nose in there and block people like J.J. at 220 pounds.
You're trying to find a good place for him where he can compete and get on the field somehow, so we're working him in different places. But he's an athletic freak.
Q. I understand J.J. switched to No. 1. You've got a couple other guys on the defensive line with single-digit numbers. Does that matter for you as a tight end when you're looking to block a guy, guys with smaller numbers, or seeing some of those bigger dudes with some of those smaller numbers?
NICK MUSE: It does reflect like how big I am walking around like regular people, but it also affects how big they are walking around me. So when you can barely see his number because he's the guy across from you is so juiced and so muscular, it's almost stupidity.
It doesn't really matter about the number, it just matters how you play, but it definitely puts a little -- it opened my eyes a little bit about this dude's pretty massive. Because everybody going against us is 280, 300 pounds, the best athletes on their team.
I'm not really worried about the number, but I am worried about them when I do see the number.
Q. Coach Beamer, to listen to him today, seems like a pretty enthusiastic guy. What's that transition been like for you guys? Just kind of what do you think of him so far as a first-time head coach? How much do you know about his dad, and what do you make of that? I guess the lineage there.
NICK MUSE: I don't keep up much with Virginia Tech growing up because I wasn't really a big fan, but you still hear about the Beamer legacy there with his dad, Frank, and how much he's done there.
He's got some big roles to fill, or big shoes to fill, but I believe he can make it happen and he can change this school into a winning program like it used to be back when Connor Shaw and all them dominated the SEC.
I'm excited for him. He's got a competitive mindset. He wants to win in everything he does. We had 7:00 a.m. workouts, and I get there about 6:15, and I saw him out there doing the same workout that we're about to do. So it's like he's just who he is. That's what you're going to get every day. Day in and day out, he brings his family into the facility, family guy. So the Beamer family is just -- they've been nothing but awesome to me, very respectful.
Q. When Coach Beamer was in here earlier, he talked about focusing and throwing to the tight end. When you hear your head coach talk about making that a focus, how does that make you feel going into the season hearing your coach talking about giving it to the tight end?
NICK MUSE: It makes me feel great. Like I said, we've got a bunch of good tight ends, so throwing to the tight ends doesn't mean throwing to me, it means throwing to one of the five athletic freaks we got. It's something I'm looking forward to. He doesn't promise something that he doesn't keep. So when he says that, he means it.
To all the South Carolina fans out there, we are going to throw it to the tight end a lot more this year. I think we were the leading receptions during the spring, so that's something big I'm looking forward to. Hopefully, all goes well.
Q. You have quite a few strength coaches through your college career. What's Coach Day like? How are his summer workouts going for you guys?
NICK MUSE: I think I've had five. I've had five of just about everything. But Coach Day, he's a meaningful guy. Everything he does has intention to get us better and get us prepared for what we're about to face for the next four months, next five months.
He's just one of those guys, he just wants to struggle. He wants to make everything hard so the football playing's easy. He comes with intent every day, and he's prepared to get us better every morning. He's a guy that you can be around, you can enjoy, you can like because he's going to get the most out of you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports