Whenever Will Muschamp lands a commitment, the South Carolina coach drops a #SpursUp on Twitter. Come to SEC Country for the latest news, notes and observations in South Carolina recruiting. For previous editions of SpursUp Surveillance, check out the link.
2-sport target visits
Brandon Fields is a center fielder. In a few months, he’ll trade in his bat and glove for shoulder pads and a football helmet so he can resume his duties at running back for Dr. Phillips High School (Orlando, Fla.).
“I’m a baseball guy when it’s baseball season,” Fields said. “I’m a football guy when it’s football season.”
At this point, there’s no telling how long he’ll continue this way. The 2020 prospect couple play either sport at South Carolina.
As a sophomore, Fields (5-foot-11, 195 pounds) rushed 58 times for 290 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Florida, Florida Atlantic, Louisville, UCLA, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech have offered in football. Considering his profile on the diamond, most of those baseball programs probably would like to have him, too.
According to Perfect Game, his prospect grade is 9.5. A grade of 10 means the prospect is a “very high draft pick and/or elite level college prospect.”
South Carolina recruiting guest
Fields drove to South Carolina last Thursday with his parents and they stuck around through Sunday to watch every game of the baseball team’s first SEC series of the season.
When he wasn’t behind the wheel on the way up from Orlando, Fields texted back and forth with running backs coach Bobby Bentley and assistant baseball coach Mike Current and received the coaches’ itineraries for the weekend.
“It’s funny, because when I first got to Founders Park, Coach [Will] Muschamp — there was a crowd of people around somebody and I was like, I wonder who that could be,” Fields said. “On the itinerary, it said Coach Muschamp, and I was walking up and I saw Coach Muschamp and he was like, ‘What’s going on, Brandon?’
“And I was just in awe, because you don’t really see the head football coach coming to a baseball game like that. I spent like a whole two hours or something like that with him. We were talking baseball and talking football in [baseball] coach [Mark] Kingston’s office and we just talked about the program and stuff like that.”
Muschamp let Fields know he’s fine with having two-sport players. The 2016 signing class included two: tight end Evan Hinson, who also plays basketball, and Brandon McIlwain, a former quarterback and baseball player. Lavonte Valentine, a running back signee from the 2018 haul, plans to also run track for the Gamecocks.
South Carolina’s coach has an approach that mirrors what Fields is interested in, at least for now. When it’s football season, it’s football time. When it’s baseball season, it’s baseball time.
“[Muschamp] being flexible about me doing both sports and him keeping his word and saying this is how it’s going to be when you get here, and you don’t really get that with most coaches,” Fields said.
On Sunday, Bentley showed Fields around the football facilities.
“Coach Bentley is a good guy. He’s a funny guy. … We went back to his office and we were talking about running backs and what he looks for in a running back and the makeup of a running back,” Fields said. “He had my high school highlights and he converged all the highlights to the running backs that are at South Carolina right now, comparing the stuff that I do to the stuff that they do.
“It was pretty cool seeing that and what he looks for in a running back.”
South Carolina baseball connection
Juan Carlos Cortes, the father of South Carolina outfielder Carlos Cortes, is Fields’ hitting instructor. Their families are longtime friends.
“[Juan Carlos is] always talking about the program and them being a winning tradition and stuff like that, when we’re hitting, just them telling me how good it is and stuff like that, the facilities,” Fields said. “I was blown away walking up to Founders Park and how beautiful it looks, because you don’t really get that at most college stadiums.”
South Carolina is the only school Fields has visited recently, but he’s been on baseball recruiting trips to Miami, North Carolina and Vanderbilt.
This summer he plans to hit up some more ACC and SEC schools to get a closer look at a few more baseball and football programs.
Miss a previous edition of Spurs Up Surveillance? Get caught up here.
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