Spain Park’s Nick Mullens confirmed to The Star he committed to the Gamecocks Friday, one day after being named the state’s 2012-13 Gatorade Football Player of the Year.
“Yes, I did it today,” he said. “I’m so excited to get up there.”
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound senior with a 3.6 GPA threw for 3,649 yards and 40 touchdowns this past season. He threw at least three touchdown passes in nine of Spain Park’s 13 games. He completed 64 percent of his passes and was intercepted only seven times.
He chose the Gamecocks over an offer from Murray State, which has produced one of the most prolific passing offenses in the country under coach Chris Hatcher.
“I think he is a Division I quarterback in the right system and the right fit, just like any quarterback," Spain Park coach Chip Lindsey told al.com Thursday. “Wherever he goes he will be a program guy. … He's going to be the face of the program. I couldn't think of a better leader for my program at that position if I was a coach at the college level."
Mullens’ 2012 passing yardage ranks fifth in AHSAA history. His 8,605 career yards ranks seventh all-time.
As the state winner, Mullens is now a finalist for the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award that will be announced in December. JSU junior quarterback Coty Blanchard was the 2009-10 state award winner.
Blanchard is the heir apparent for the starting spot, but JSU coach Jack Crowe told The Star earlier this week he was prudently making a contingency plan in the event Blanchard gets caught in the major-league baseball draft in June.
If Mullens follows through on his signing and Blanchard does not return, the Gamecocks will have at least four quarterbacks in camp in August – Steven Coates, redshirt freshman Eli Jenkins, Jayce Barber and Mullens.
Barber was JSU’s first quarterback catch of the recruiting season. He signed with the Gamecocks earlier this month out of Columbia High School in Lake City, Fla., and will enroll at JSU in January.