One of the key storylines that came out of Will Muschamp’s media availability at SEC Media Days this morning was focused around Lorenzo Nunez. Nunez, the true freshman that played in eight games (starting two) in 2015, will make the switch to wide receiver in 2016, but still remain in the quarterback conversation.
Will Muschamp meeting with local media before taking stage. Says Lorenzo Nunez will take reps at WR, stay in QB mix. #Gamecocks— David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) July 14, 2016
It’s no secret that the Gamecocks are thin at wide receiver, especially with the graduation of Pharoh Cooper. Along with Jerell Adams and Brandon Wilds, he accounted for a good chunk of the yards in the receiving department. And when your top returnee (Deebo Samuel; more on him later) only hauled in 161 yards, that’s a problem.
Enter Nunez. If anything, he certainly brings speed, elusiveness and overall athleticism to the arsenal. Get the ball in his hands and he’s likely to get things done while in the open field. Example:
Though we don’t have the book on him in pass-catching situations, a player like Nunez could strongly benefit from a move like this. While he won't be a featured receiver (that role should be filled by Bryan Edwards and/or Deebo Samuel), he could be utilized in the slot and maximize his running ability there. Kurt Roper will also be able to use him as a wildcat quarterback from time to time to keep defenses on their toes. I’ve also seen some fans already look to see Nunez used in jet sweep formations as well.
While we don’t know exactly how Nunez fare as a receiver simply because we’ve never seen him in that capacity, that doesn’t mean he’ll automatically be doomed to fail. In fact, quite the opposite: there are several players that have made the switch from quarterback to wide receiver. (See Braxton Miller as a most recent example). With a player with a set of skills that Nunez has - along with his size (6’3, 210) - the move has a great chance of working. And in all honesty, with several questions at WR and its importance to Muschamp, the team may not have much of a choice.