Perry Orth: the Cinderella Story USC Needs?


If you’re a frequent shopper at Publix in the Vista, you may be kicking yourself for not getting Perry Orth’s autograph in August.  This 6 foot 1 redshirt junior may just be the Cinderella story that goes home with all the Gamecock glory.

Orth transferred to South Carolina after spending a semester at Florida State College, where he didn’t play football.  He had one game against Coastal Carolina, with one pass attempt in 2013, and played one game against Furman in 2014, as a walk on, back up quarterback.  In high school though, he was pretty legendary.  Orth was a starter for the Ponte Verde High School in Florida, helped take his team to win the district title as a senior and set two school records: one for season and one for high school career in passing yards, completion percentage and TD passes.

Gaining a scholarship this year at USC, Orth was not the favorite for starting quarterback at the beginning of the season.  Although he played well in training, he didn’t play well enough to outshine former starter Connor Mitch.  Interestingly enough, Orth’s passer rating is 151.6, much higher than Mitch’s 104.

After stepping in briefly and connecting against UNC in the season opener, Orth gained fame from fans all around. He showed confidence and leadership where Mitch showed fear and inexperience.  With the exception of his quick decision to throw into coverage for an interception against Kentucky, I thought Orth looked pretty great.

Sep 12, 2015; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks backup quarterback Perry Orth (10) looks to pass during the second half at Williams-Brice Stadium. Kentucky wins 26-22 over South Carolina. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

His confidence and quick thinking really shows through when you look at the difference between how long Mitch ran down the play clock (pretty consistently) and how long Mitch took to pick a receiver and throw the ball, often leading him to run it due to defensive pressure.  With Orth, he’s incredibly decisive, gets the ball quick and gets rid of it quick, with a decent amount of power and accuracy.  Though we haven’t seen a lot from him yet, he is already 16-25 for 203 yards (career).

More than anything, fans are rallying around Orth.  He’s a good guy, centered, family oriented and it seems like everyone is pulling for him (with the exception of the Nunez fan base, albeit growing). Let’s face it, this is a kid who had a dream of playing football.  He left his home state and family to attend USC, walked on and supported the team for two straight years with barely any field time.

This is the same guy who was working at a grocery store to help put himself through college until August of this year, when he had to quit to keep up with his football schedule.  And after all of that, he didn’t get to start the first two games.  This same non-starter, still spent time watching video highlights of his opponents, knowing very well that he may or may not face them that week.

If that’s not dedication and passion worth rallying behind, I don’t know what is.

#Orthquake is coming.  Stay tuned Gamecock fans.

Next: Orth or Nunez? Who Should Start for the Gamecocks?

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