South Carolina Football: Newest assistant gets ringing endorsement from former NFL QB, ESPN personality

South Carolina football wide receiver coach Mike Furrey just got the job this week, but he has gotten a ringing endorsement from Dan Orlovsky.
South Carolina football wide receivers coach Mike Furrey when he coached with the Chicago Bears
South Carolina football wide receivers coach Mike Furrey when he coached with the Chicago Bears / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer hired Mike Furrey this week to be the Gamecocks' wide receivers coach. It was the second time this offseason that Beamer hired a receivers coach as he moved Justin Stepp to tight ends (then, Stepp left to coach receivers at Illinois), brought in James Coley to replace Stepp, and then Coley left for the same job with the Georgia Bulldogs.

Furrey was an impressive resume that includes an NFL playing career as a wide receiver (including leading the NFC in catches in 2006 with the Detroit Lions), coaching NFL receivers with the Chicago Bears, coaching receivers at the Division-I level at Marshall, and being a head coach at two smaller programs, Kentucky Christian and Limestone.

As a coach, Furrey is considered a good motivator and relationship-builder, and his pedigree as both a professional player and coach should prove that he knows what he's doing technique-wise and that development will be real under his coaching.

However, on Friday, Furrey got a ringing endorsement of a different kind.

Dan Orlovsky, Furrey's former quarterback with the Detroit Lions and current ESPN analyst, said of Furrey, "Great coach...great man." Orlovsky played with Furrey for three seasons in Detroit, and he is considered one of the brightest minds in the football analyst world today. His endorsement of the newest South Carolina football assistant is a big deal.

Gamecock fans are hopeful that Orlovsky's seal of approval translates to better production on the field for Furrey's wide receiver unit than what has been seen the last two seasons. A breakout from Juice Wells in 2022 and Xavier Legette in 2023 were obvious positives, but the rest of the receiver room struggled some in both seasons, especially in 2023.

Recruiting and development of young players are two areas Coach Beamer hopes Furrey can upgrade for the Gamecocks, but if Dan Orlovsky is correct, Carolina fans have much to look forward to from their newest assistant coach.