COLUMBIA -- As 13 former South Carolina football players worked out for representatives from all 32 NFL teams Thursday morning, head coach Will Muschamp said he hopes that as his program continues to build there will be more NFL attention for his players, starting with this April's draft.
"Great day for our guys, I know they worked out well," Muschamp said. "I'm proud of all these guys getting an opportunity to play on the next level. As a college football player, that's what you want to have. It's a huge day for them. I'm really proud of them. All 32 teams were here. We've only had one guy drafted in the last three years, hopefully we'll get more come April."
Muschamp's first team at South Carolina saw the 2017 NFL Draft come and go without a single Gamecock seeing his name called. Last year, the Baltimore Ravens drafted South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst with the No. 25 overall pick, but the rest of the draft passed without a Gamecock selection.
Having more draft picks in the future will serve as a clear sign that the staff is recruiting the right type of players and that they're being properly developed.
"I think that's always everyone's dream," Muschamp said. "In the recruiting process, when you talk to a young man and his family and you talk about what's important to you, education obviously is No. 1, but having an opportunity to continue to play and have that opportunity, that's something that I think's really important and I think that the development that we have here on and off the field, a young man can benefit from being a part of that."
Those draft numbers will certainly rise this season.
Wide receiver Deebo Samuel is a lock to go in the first three rounds and the current buzz has him going in the second round. Four other South Carolina players were invited to the NFL combine: OL Zack Bailey, OL Dennis Daley, LB Bryson Allen-Williams and CB Rashad Fenton.
All five worked out for scouts at pro day Thursday and they'll be the last draft class that won't feature high school players recruited by the current staff.
"A lot of recruits that we're recruiting want to continue to play after college," Muschamp said. "And they want to be able to see a track record. Our staff's got a great track record, not necessarily here at South Carolina with only one player being drafted in our first three seasons, but certainly I'm hoping that changes as we continue to move forward."
Approximately 53 scouts were in Columbia on Thursday as South Carolina football held its annual Pro Day.
Notable performances included Blake Camper in the bench press, raising the bar 30 times, and Deebo Samuel impressed as well, showing scouts his route running abilities alongside his punt return skills.