USC coach Will Muschamp had two scholarships left for his 2018 class after the February signing day. He will now give one of those to Rice graduate transfer safety JT Ibe (6-0 200) who announced Saturday his intentions to play his final season with the Gamecocks. He chose USC over Iowa State and Indiana.
Ibe started 17 games in is career at Rice. After redshirting his freshman season, he totaled 121 tackles over the last three seasons. He also earned recognition for his weight room work and was named to the Conference-USA academic honor roll three times.
Ibe never played on a winning team in his three seasons with the Owls and with the program going thru a coaching change he thought it was best for him to look elsewhere for his final season. He sees USC as a place where there’s an opportunity to start and also win.
“I think everything is lined up, the coaches, teammates, atmosphere, degree. It’s everything someone would want in a program and I see myself thriving in it,” Ibe said. “I want to come in and whether I have to compete or I don’t have to compete, I want to come in and start, and I want to win as well. If winning means I have to compete with another guy for a starting spot, I’m willing to compete. That’s nothing to me.”
“I’m looking to play on a bigger stage and prove myself a little more,” he continued.” “I talked to Coach Muschamp and I talked to Travaris Robinson. He (Muschamp) said I’m a player with experience and I can come in, if I’m better than the guys, and come in a play right away. He feels like they are trying to win an SEC Championship and they need to do that right away.”
Ibe added that there was not one thing Muschamp said to him to convince him to join his program, it was simply the overall looks of things in Columbia that convinced him to join the Gamecocks.
“It was all me, I like the way they coach. They’re perfectionists, that’s how everybody should be. I want to start. I think that’s everybody’s goal, and stay healthy to play the whole season. And go win an SEC championship.”
Ibe (pronounced E-bay) is a native of Mansfield, TX. He also had an offer from Minnesota coming out of high school.