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  2. OL Darius Washington firms up USC visit date AUGUST 16, 2018 BY PHIL KORNBLUT LINK: SPORTSTALK Darius Washington OL Darius Washington of Pensacola, FL has now firmed up his official visit to USC for September 7th. The Mississippi State commitment already had set officials to Mississippi State for September 28th and Miami for October 5th. Washington said USC coach Will Muschamp is leading the Gamecocks’ recruiting efforts and is in touch daily, primarily thru text messages. “He just asks me how I’m doing, how school is going,” Washington said. “We’re just keeping in contact and he’s just telling me about practices. I need to get up there and see the camp and see how everything goes on my official visit. I can’t pinpoint my feelings without getting there. As of relationship wise, talking on the phone, we have a phone-built relationship.” Washington committed to Mississippi State in early June and the Bulldogs have remained in firm control of his recruiting since then. It won’t be easy for the Gamecocks or Hurricanes to turn him from the Dogs. “It’s going to be very hard to get me away from Mississippi State,” Washington said. “Mississippi State just knocked it out of the park on my last visit. They showed me everything and I just love the coaches so much and I just love the school in general. If a school shows me they are more comfortable to my situation and specifically it’s better for me at that school than Mississippi State, then I’d basically change my mind, but right now my heart is committed to Mississippi State and it’s going to be very hard.” Washington said his grandmother and uncle will join him on his visits. Right now he does not plan to sign early.
  3. FeatheredCock

    Clemson in, USC out as James cuts list to four

    Gamecocks sure have a very hard time in getting top talent instate, kind of alarming.
  4. Clemson in, USC out as James cuts list to four AUGUST 15, 2018 BY PHIL KORNBLUT Link: SPORTSTALK Josiah James The state’s top basketball prospect in the 2019 class will consider Clemson among his final four schools but not USC. 6-6 Josiah James of Porter Gaud told Frankie Mansfield of The Moultrie News he will take official visits to Clemson, Duke, Michigan State and Tennessee. USC was on James’ list of nine before he cut it to four. Also cut were Kansas, Virginia, Arizona and Florida State. James told Mansfield he will visit Clemson, Tennessee and Duke, in that order, in September, then Michigan State, his father’s alma-mater, in October. He plans to sign in November. “It’s a great list of schools to go and visit and try to get to know before he makes his decision, no question,” said Porter Gaud coach John Pearson. “I mean, I’m happy for him. He had several schools to choose from that all would have been very good for him. To narrow it, I know that takes a little bit of pressure off of him to be able to narrow his focus.” James had a logical reason for picking each of the finalists. Tennessee was one one of his first offers going back to his ninth grade. His father played at Michigan State in the early 80’s. Duke is Duke. And Clemson give him the home state connection. “They (Clemson) able to forge a good enough relationship,” Pearson said. “It was a process. Clemson was in there and did a great job and I think it has intrigued Josiah to the point that he’s going to make an official visit.” USC also recruited James hard, and even has a commitment from his close friend and AAU teammate Trae Hannibal. But all of that was not enough to help the Gamecocks get an official visit. “Surprise, I was surprised,” Pearson said. “I thought that Carolina did a great job of getting to know Josiah and the family. I don’t know what it came down to, and that’s fine. It’s a process Josiah and his family have to go through and they have to take the phone calls and they have to make that decision.” Duke already is heavy on James’ mind as he’s coming off an unofficial visit there last weekend with his family and coach. “He had a good time, everybody did,” Pearson said. “We drove up there and visited with the coaching staff, watched a little basketball. I felt like Duke did a fantastic job. He (Mike Krzyzewski) gave him a lot of attention, he really did. Coach K talked to the family for a good while. He was impressive, he really was.” James further enhanced his national reputation this summer playing for the gold medal winning USA national team in the FIBA Americas U18 tournament in Canada where he averaged 5 points and 6 rebounds per game. In his career at Porter Gaud, he has scored over 1600 points.
  5. FeatheredCock

    Dawg fan here, just throwing a little love at ya!

    Thanks hope you are right about the Gamecocks as a dark horse. But hands down the 2 best are Bama in the West and Georgia in the east. Several games stand out as snake bits Georgia, Kentucky, and Clemson. Winning in the swamp is still hard to do. Could go 10-2 at the best but I feel more like 7 to 8 wins as the Gamecocks still need to build on their talent pool to catch up with the like of Clemson and Georgia. Like seeing Clemson and LSU having a home in home series. GO COCKS!!
  6. Josh Belk already has the attention of one of South Carolina’s most veteran linemen August 15, 2018 Josh Belk’s first South Carolina football practice with pads started out with a bang. The freshman, who transferred from Clemson and is waiting to hear on an appeal to play this season, got an early rep Wednesday against four-star tackle Dylan Wonnum, who has shown well enough to be with the second team. And Belk kind of whipped him. “It was his first practice in pads today,” senior guard Zack Bailey said. “Getting after it, so that was fun to see him, see what he could do. So I’m interested to kind of get my hands on him.” Bailey did get his hands on four-star tackle Rick Sandidge, and got the best of the freshman from Concord, N.C. Belk was the No. 102 player in the class of 2018 and enrolled early at Clemson. But after going through spring, he decided to depart and eventually picked USC. He arrived in Columbia at a listed 359 pounds and has been working to drop that. He had to wait on medical clearance and then needed a few practices without pads before Wednesday. Then he made a real first impression. “He’s a big body,” Bailey said. “There’s no slowing down on him. He outweighs us.” He made a similar mark early at Clemson, when Dabo Swinney praised some of his work against five-star offensive lineman Jackson Carman. Belk had 116 tackles, 34 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, seven caused fumbles, a recovered fumble and a pass deflection in his final high school season, but saw his recruiting rankings slip. He played in the U.S. Army All-American Game and reportedly delivered a strong performance in practices. It remains to be seen if he’ll be able to play this season, and if he’ll be able to be effective before he slims down. But his first showing went well, and USC’s top lineman is intrigued enough to want a shot at him. “He’s sticking blocks very well,” Bailey said. “From what I saw of him, he had an awesome day (Wednesday). So I wouldn’t be surprised if he shows up on my side pretty soon.” THE STATE
  7. Yesterday
  8. Hello GC fans....UGA fan here. Just figured I drop in to see if you guys think I'm crazy. Some folks in the Dawg nation seemed to think I was when recently discussing 'dark horses' for the Playoffs and I picked...you guessed, SC. Now, before yall think I'm joking, hear me out....Bentley is a winner. He's not flashy, but tough as nails and a winner. WM always has his teams playing tough D and with ol Deebo back, you got a game changer. Your schedule sets up perfect by playing us early in the year. You get us at home, and even if you lose to us, you miss Bama, LSU and Auburn from the west. The toughest game after that is a trip to Clemson. But suppose for a moment that you lose to us and then run the table. Say by then we are #1 or #2 in the nation and that is your only loss. You'll be pushing the top 7 or 8 in the country and if you knock off Clemson, holy cow, I'd say you could make the playoffs without even winning the SEC, like Bama did last season. And of course, if you take us down, they'll have a mountain of momentum to run the table. Is that far fetched...maybe TOO far fetched?
  9. Hello Darindawg, Welcome to Gamecock Fanatics. Please feel free to browse around and get to know the others. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. Darindawg joined on the 08/15/2018. View Member
  10. Gamecocks star makes prestigious preseason All-American team August 15, 2018 It’s been a few years since South Carolina football boasted an All-American on its roster. One venerable publication predicts a current Gamecock will land on the first team at the end of this season. USC wide receiver Deebo Samuel was slotted as the all-purpose player on the Sports Illustrated preseason All-American team. It’s part of a litany of preseason hype for the redshirt senior who missed the final 10 games of last season with an injury. “Samuel had a kick return TD in each of the first two games of 2017, but he was lost for the year to a broken leg in the third,” The story said. “Somehow, he still ended up tied for the team lead in touchdowns. If the Gamecocks emerge as an SEC East dark horse, it’ll be because their offense runs through their best receiver.” He’s one of seven SEC players on the list, that includes Ole Miss’ A.J. Brown, LSU’s Devin White and Georgia’s DeAndre Baker. Clemson also had defensive linemen Christian Wilkins and Clelin Farrell. Through nearly three games last season, Samuel was a darling of the sport. He counted the kick return scores and two highlight-reel catches among his six touchdowns. His big plays had sparked South Carolina to a win at Missouri and proved vital in topping North Carolina State in the season opener. But on what he explained was a 12-yard curl route against Kentucky, a defender got on his back and fell awkwardly on his ankle. He was taped up and played out the drive, but at the end of the night, Muschamp declared his season over. He thought he’d have a chance to come back, and after it looked possible, a foot injury ensured the fourth-year junior, who sat with the seniors on photo day, would return to Columbia for another year. He said Wednesday he feels 100 percent fine and has been full go.
  11. FeatheredCock

    Baseball Facilities Video

  12. Interesting information on Gamecock recruiting trends.
  13. LINK: TERIYAKI CHICKEN Wins & Recruiting AUGUST 13, 2018 Last year I took a look at how South Carolina recruiting has stacked up against the rest of the SEC East and Clemson. I wanted to take it a step further by expanding the list of teams to include the entire SEC and ACC and look at how recruiting is affected by wins in previous years. This grouping basically includes all the major programs in the Southeast, and typically accounts for ~50% of the Top 25 in the recruiting rankings in a given year. The general belief in college football is that the rich get richer, and that recruiting acts as a positive feedback loop, i.e. more wins lead to better recruits which lead to even more wins. In reality recruiting is affected by a variety of factors. Some teams have more tradition, some schools are in regions with better demographics and access to top talent, and some teams are known to flat out cheat more than others. A splashy new coaching hire can also bring immediate benefits on the recruiting trail. All these other factors are hard to quantify, but win totals are readily available, so let's see what we can discern with those. The rankings I used this time are the team composite rankings from 247 Sports, which are generally considered to be the most accurate as they pool data from multiple scouting services. I went back as far as I could (the year 2000), at which point the rankings are a bit wonky and max out at 44. For the analysis below I only used recruiting rankings from 2002 onward as those appear to be reliable from that point. Here's some other notes about the data: Teams included are all SEC and ACC teams as those conferences are currently constituted. So all years for Texas A&M, Missouri, Miami, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Pittsburg, Syracuse, and Louisville are all included despite those teams being in other conferences for a portion of the years being reviewed. That also means no Maryland. Years 2003 and 2004 only had 11 regular season games, as they were sandwiched between the 2-year trial of 12 games in 2001 and 2002 and college football officially moving to a 12-game regular season from 2006. I looked up the RGB and Hex values for the set of official team colors for every team, and used those to customize the markers for the data points in the charts below. As you can imagine, this took quite a bit of effort and a not insignificant amount of time to accomplish. To save space and make each chart more legible I've included a single legend for each data point in Figure 1 below. Please refer to this when looking at the following charts. Figure 1. Legend showing all teams included in the following charts and their associated marker using official team colors. Preceding Year Wins and Recruiting I believe the prevailing thinking amongst college football fans and pundits is that a winning (or losing) season leads to an immediate impact on the recruiting trail, so in Figure 2 below I've plotted the 247 Composite Team Rankings against each team's win total for the year immediately prior. Figure 3 shows the same data, but is more narrowly focused by showing only teams with Top 25 recruiting rankings. Figure 2. 247 Composite Team Recruiting Rankings for each year over the period 2002-2018 vs each team's win total for the preceding year. There's currently 65 'Power Five' teams in existence, so the worst you'd ever really expect a team from the SEC or ACC to finish is around 65th in the recruiting rankings. There are some notable exceptions (looking at you, Kentucky and Wake Forest), but you can certainly see a ceiling around 65 in the data. As you'd expect, no team that has a 13+ wins in this group finished outside of the Top 20 in recruiting. On the other side, no team that had 2 wins or less finished inside the Top 20. Apart from that, there's not really a clearly evident trend here. You can win between 3 and 11 games and end up anywhere in the Top 80 in recruiting. The average number of wins in this data set is 7.36, with the mode being 7. The average recruiting ranking is 31.50, with a mode of 11. Two easily identifiable outliers in the data are Louisville and Missouri. Both finished two seasons with 12 wins but ended up outside the Top 25 in recruiting. Both schools are located in areas not known for producing football talent, and Louisville's 12-win seasons came while they were a member of the Big East conference. Figure 3. 247 Composite Team Recruiting Rankings (Top 25 only) for each year over the period 2002-2018 vs each team's win total for the preceding year. There's not a lot more that can be determined from looking at Figure 3 other than just getting a closer look at who's in the Top 25. A team can win as few as 2 games and end up in the Top 25, although that is much more likely to happen with 8+ wins. Alabama dominates the bottom-right of this chart. The bottom-left has a group of suspicious characters that will be discussed in further detail later. Over the 17 year period referenced, only Georgia, Florida, LSU, and Florida State have finished in the Top 25 in recruiting every year. Auburn has done this 16 times while Tennessee, Alabama, and Miami have done it 15 times. South Carolina has 13 Top 25 finishes over this period, and Clemson has 12. Not a surprise, but worth pointing out, is the fact that the SEC dominates the ACC in terms of Top 25 recruiting rankings. Of the 222 data points in Figure 3, 154, or 69.4%, belong to SEC teams. Two Years Prior Wins and Recruiting I've heard on multiple occasions that given the time required to build relationships with players and their family members, a big winning season has more impact on the recruiting class two years later than it does on the class immediately following the season (i.e. win totals for the 2000 season impact the 2002 recruiting class more than they do the 2001 class). In Figures 4 and 5 I've plotted recruiting rankings against wins from the season two years prior to see if this postulation is supported by the data. Figure 4. 247 Composite Team Recruiting Rankings for each year over the period 2002-2018 vs each team's win total for the season two years prior. At first glance Figure 4 looks very similar to Figure 2, but upon closer inspection the data does appear to be more closely grouped towards a central trend. In particular the 7 to 9 win range exhibits a denser grouping of data points. Figure 5. 247 Composite Team Recruiting Rankings (Top 25 only) for each year over the period 2002-2018 vs each team's win total for the season two years prior. As we saw with regards to Figure 4, there's not much to differentiate Figure 5 with Figure 3 above. Alabama has slightly less of a stranglehold on the bottom-right, while Ole Miss (2013) and Auburn (2014) look very suspicious by themselves in the far bottom-left. Both of those recruiting classes occurred one full season after a coaching change. Overall I'd say there's maybe a little bit of truth to the thinking about wins having more impact two years down the road, but there's not anything definitive in this analysis, at least in this view of the data. Given the recent addition of an early signing period in December, I expect wins from two years prior to be much more relevant to recruiting going forward, as most teams now have a vast majority of their recruiting class locked in before bowl season. Preceding 4-Year Win Average and Recruiting In my personal experience, I didn't really become aware of the wider world of college football until around 9th grade. I certainly followed the Gamecocks in depth (as much as was possible pre-Internet at least) and generally knew what teams were historically good, but I really didn't know much about what went on beyond the borders of SC. I assume that I was a fairly typical young guy and that not much has changed in the past 20 or so years. I'm sure that as these potential recruits start playing more competitive football and getting contacted by coaches their awareness of the college football landscape increases dramatically, and when it's finally time for the some of them to choose a program their impressions of teams are based mainly on what has happened since they entered high school. Four years ago I would often see a recruit say something like 'South Carolina always beats Clemson' in an interview. Clemson's current run of success would likely result in a high school senior not realizing that Clemson is a historically mediocre program. In Figures 6 and 7 below I've plotted the recruiting ranking against the average win total for the previous 4-year span. Figure 6. 247 Composite Team Recruiting Rankings for each year over the period 2002-2018 vs each team's average win total for the preceding four years. Now we're seeing a much clearer trend in the data in Figure 6. The data grouping is much tighter and follows the trendline you'd expect to see: top-left downwards toward the bottom-right (i.e. better recruiting with more wins). If a team averages more than 10 wins over a four year period, their next recruiting class is almost guaranteed to be in the Top 20. A major exception to this is Virginia Tech, which finished inside the Top 20 only once out of six years with a 4-year average of 10+ wins. This illustrates that that program has some sort of major disadvantage with regards to recruiting compared to other high-achieving teams. Something jumped out at me that I didn't expect when looking at this chart, and it has to do with team colors. If your team has a single primary color and that color is any kind of shade of blue, it will almost never average more than 8 wins over a 4-year period. Duke average 8.3 wins from 2012-2015, and UNC averaged 8 wins for the last two years of the period 2012-2016. That's it. Also, of the 'blue' teams only UNC has ever had a Top 20 recruiting class. Figure 7. 247 Composite Team Recruiting Rankings (Top 25 only) for each year over the period 2002-2018 vs each team's average win total for the preceding four years. Again, notice the much tighter distribution of data points in Figure 7 compared to Figures 3 and 5. Three teams have gotten their 4-year win average to 12 or above: Alabama, Florida State, and Clemson. Of these Clemson has underachieved relative to the other two in recruiting rankings. Clemson finished 16th in 2017 and then 7th in the most recent recruiting class after averaging more that 12.3 wins in the those years. The lowest the other two have ranked when averaging more than 12 wins is 6th (Alabama, 2018), with most rankings ending up as either 1st (Alabama) or 3rd (FSU). In Figure 3 you can see that many teams have been able to recruit at a Top 25-level after having only 4 or fewer wins the previous season. Figure 7 shows, however, that it is almost impossible to pull that off if you only average less than 4 wins over a 4-year period preceding the recruiting class. North Carolina managed a 10th ranked finish in recruiting in 2007 despite averaging only 4 wins. Weird. Ole Miss and Tennessee also managed Top 10 recruiting rankings while averaging less than 6 wins. Again, we'll talk more about these classes a little later. Extrapolations from Wins and Recruiting Data So far we've seen recruiting rankings compared against three different views of prior wins: wins in the season immediately preceding the recruiting class, wins in the season two years prior to the class, and average wins for the four season prior to the recruiting class. In Figure 8 you can see the trendline for each of the three separate datasets. Figure 8. The trendlines for each of the full datasets in Figures 2, 4, and 6. The first thing to notice is that the trendlines for the 'Preceding Year' and '2 Years Prior' datasets are nearly identical. These trendlines project for every 1 win either the previous season or two season back, a team's recruiting ranking would be expected to improve by 3.9 spots. You can write this equation to roughly predict a team's recruiting ranking based on a given win total: Recruiting Ranking = 60 - 3.9 * # of Wins That equation won't be very good, however, as the R-squared number for those trendlines is fairly low. R-squared is a measurement that shows how closely data fits a particular model. In this case the R-squared values for the 'Preceding Year' and '2 Years Prior' trendlines are 22.8% and 24.2%, respectively. In other words, only about 23.5% of recruiting rankings will fit a linear model based on wins from recent single seasons. As we visually saw in the data earlier though, the linear model fits the '2 Years Prior' dataset slightly better than it does the 'Preceding Year' dataset. The correlation coefficient for the 'Preceding Year' and '2 Years Prior' datasets are -0.48 and -0.49, respectively. This indicates a moderate linear relationship. The R-squared value for the linear model of the '4-Year Average' dataset is much better at 35.0%. This certainly jives with a visual inspection of Figure 6 compared to either Figures 2 or 4. The slope of the line here is much steeper, with every increase in 4-year average of 1 win corresponding to a 6.1 improvement in recruiting ranking. The equation for this line can be written as: Recruiting Ranking = 76 - 6.1 * 4-Year Win Average The steeper slope of the trendline for the '4-Year Average' dataset isn't all that surprising when you consider that improving your 4-year win average by 1 represents a total of 4 additional wins over that period. This corresponds to roughly winning 8% more of your total games. The correlation coefficient for the '4-Year Average' dataset is also much stronger at -0.59, which represents a moderately strong linear relationship. Improvement in Wins and Recruiting OK, so now we've shown that there is a (weak) correlation between wins and recruiting rankings, but what about the effect of improvement in wins? Does the excitement generated by a drastic increase in the win column spill over to the recruiting trail?As we see in the Figure 9, the answer to that question is: Nope! Figure 9. Year-over-year change in Recruiting Rankings from 2003-2018 compared against year-over-year change in win totals in the preceding year. If rising (or falling) win totals had an effect on recruiting ranking, the logical expectation for what you'd see in Figure 9 would be a diagonal line moving from the bottom-left up towards the top-right of the chart. The chart above doesn't show anything like that, however. Given the symmetrical clustering around the origin in the chart, what is shown is that change in recruiting ranking appears to move independently of change in preceding year win totals. This is backed-up by the very low correlation coefficient of this dataset of -0.10, indicating almost no linear relationship whatsoever. So, combining this with what we saw above, we can say that while wins themselves are somewhat correlated with future recruiting performance, change in win totals in themselves do not correspond to change in recruiting rankings. Top 10 Recruiting with 6 Wins or Less the Previous Year I've called attention a few times above to the relatively rare phenomenon of teams achieving elite recruiting results despite limited success on the field. Given the small number of teams involved I was able to add labels to the chart in Figure 10. For further clarity I've listed the teams that have managed to pull in Top 10 recruiting classes after winning 6 or less games in the preceding year: 2004 Texas A&M - #10 after 4 wins 2007 North Carolina - #10 after 3 wins 2008 Miami - #1 after 5 wins 2009 Tennessee - #8 after 5 wins 2011 Clemson - #10 after 6 wins 2011 Georgia - #7 after 6 wins 2012 Miami - #10 after 6 wins 2014 Florida - #9 after 4 wins 2014 Tennessee - #7 after 5 wins Figure 10. 247 Composite Team Recruiting Rankings (Top 10 only) during the period 2002-2018 for teams that finished with less than 6 wins in the preceding year. Of the 9 teams that have achieved this feat, a surprisingly (or maybe unsurprisingly???) large number of them were caught up in varying degrees of scandal afterwards. The 2007 class for North Carolina included two 5-star recruits, DT Marvin Austin and WR Dwight Jones, as well as six 4-star recruits, one of which was WR Greg Little. Austin was later kicked off the team and Little declared permanently ineligible in an improper benefits scandal that ensnared 9 other Tar Heel players. Also, the notorious North Carolina academic scandal was concurrent with this time period. As a result of multiple violations during this period Head coach Butch Davis was fired in 2011, North Carolina vacated all 16 wins from the 2008 and 2009 season, and the NCAA imposed a post-season ban in 2012 along with 15 scholarship reductions. The 2008 Miami recruiting class occurred in peak Nevin Shapiro years. Shapiro was convicted in 2010 of running a $930M Ponzi scheme, and between 2002 and 2010 spent more than $2M on Miami athletics. Shapiro has admitted to providing cash, booze, hookers, and even abortions to Miami players throughout this period. Six players from the 2008 recruiting class were later suspended for accepting impermissible benefits from Shapiro, and Miami gave itself a post-season ban for 2 years, which prevented the Hurricanes from playing in the 2012 ACC Championship Game. The NCAA later docked 9 scholarships from the team. The 2009 Tennessee recruiting class was Lane Kiffin's first and only class as head coach for the Volunteers. The headliner of the class was 5-star RB Bryce Brown, who was involved with a very shady character named Brian Butler and signed with Tennessee a more than a month after signing day after previously committing to Miami. Aside from just generally pissing everyone in the SEC off for 14 months, Kiffin's recruiting methods during his tenure resulted in probation and other penalties levied by the NCAA, which were enhanced further after assistant coach Willie Garza was found to have paid notorious scout Willie Lyles for reimbursement of recruit travel and then lying to the NCAA about it. 3 years after Texas A&M pulled in the #10 recruiting class in 2004 head coach Dennis Franchione was forced to resign for distributing a secret $1,200 per year subscription newsletter. The newsletter apparently included information on injuries and recruiting that weren't publicly disclosed, and this information was likely used by recipients to gamble more effectively. An internal investigation found that distribution of this newsletter and the profit gained from it were NCAA violations. One team that just missed being included in the list above by squeezing out 7 wins immediately prior to finishing #8 in the recruiting rankings is Ole Miss. The sordid history there has been well documented, but if you have the time you should definitely check out Steven Godfrey's long-form piece on the subject. Given the assumed prevalence of cheating in college football and relative rarity of any team actually ever getting caught, the fact that 4 out of the 9 teams listed above were later involved in scandals of varying degrees is telling. In a lot of cases, though, appearance on this list could be the result of a traditional recruiting powerhouse simply having a bad year (Geogia in 2011, Will Muschamp's 2014 Florida team), or former blue-blood program getting a jolt of energy from a new head coach in his first full recruiting class during a rebuild (Butch Jones, Tennessee 2014). A Closer Look at the Rivals The charts above can be hard to decipher given the 475 data points (on Figures 2, 4, and 6). I'm obviously interested to see look at what happens to all teams in the SEC and ACC, but what I'm most interested to see is how the Gamecocks compare to the two main rivals, Clemson and Georgia. Figure 11. 247 Composite Team Recruiting Rankings for South Carolina, Georgia, and Clemson each year over the period 2002-2018 vs each team's win total for the preceding year. As I have noted previously, South Carolina and Georgia have been very consistent this century in terms of recruiting ranking. Georgia just tends to recruiting about 14 spots better than SC on average. Georgia's average ranking is 6.9, with the standard deviation being an incredibly low 2.8. The Gamecocks' average is 20.7, with a relatively low standard deviation of 7.8. On the other hand, Clemson recruiting has been all over the place the last few 17 cycles. The average ranking is less than 1 better than SC's at 19.8, but the standard deviation is large at 11.4. Clemson has also demonstrated a lot more variance in terms of number of wins, driven by their rapid improvement in that area since the beginning of this decade. Figure 12. 247 Composite Team Recruiting Rankings for South Carolina, Georgia, and Clemson each year over the period 2002-2018 vs each team's average win total for the preceding four years. Look at how tight that Georgia data cluster is in Figure 12. None of the 28 teams viewed for this analysis came anywhere close to the same level of consistency in both recruiting and wins as Georgia has this century. Average Results by Team and Conference As a finale I thought it would be interesting to look at how each team in the SEC and ACC have performed on average for the past 17 years. In Figure 13 I've plotted that data, along with average values and trendlines for each conference. Figure 13. Average wins over the period 2001 - 2017 and average recruiting ranking over the period 2002 - 2018 for each team and conference. ACC teams have averaged 7.15 wins from 2001 to 2017, and had a average recruiting ranking of 39.1 from 2002 to 2018. SEC teams averaged 7.57 wins and a recruiting ranking of 24.0. Consider that the ACC and SEC both play 113 conference games each year (14 teams, 8 regular season conference games, 1 conference championship game). This means that each conference starts with a baseline average of 4.04 wins per team just from conference games. The SEC has therefore done a good bit better than the ACC in non-conference games and bowl games, with each team netting an average of 0.42 more wins per year. In total, SEC teams have accrued 1,801 wins over the past 17 years, while the ACC has exactly 100 less at 1,701. The head-to-head record between the two conferences over this period is 86-65 in favor of the SEC. This is a win percentage of 57.0%. The bottom-right of the chart is dominated by 4 SEC teams (Alabama, LSU, Georgia, and Florida), with an intrusion by only one ACC team (Florida State). The most representative ACC team based on averages is Pittsburg. For the SEC, the most representative team is .......... South Carolina. Looking at the data sets you can almost see two distinct groups, with the ACC teams forming a downward sloping line above the one formed by the SEC teams. The trendlines added for each conference highlight this, and you can see that these are almost parallel with one another. Overall data for the ACC teams tend to be above and to the left of that for the SEC teams. From just looking at the conference averages you can see that SEC teams recruit at a level about 15 spots above ACC teams. Looking at the trendlines you can also say that an average ACC team will win about 1.8 games more per year than an SEC team that recruits at the same level. Conclusions I started writing this post way back at the end of June, but as I progressed I kept getting ideas for things to add and other ideas about how to look at the original data. As a result it has grown much longer and more random than I initially intended. There are a lot of words written out above, but here are the main points I think you can draw from the various views of the data: Wins from the preceding year and two years back are nearly indistinguishable in terms of ability to predict recruiting ranking. Both show moderate linear correlation with recruiting, although a linear regression of the data only fits a little less than 25% of the results. The 4-year win average is much better at predicting recruiting rankings, as the data shows a moderately high correlation. A linear regression fits 35% of results. A team that averages less than 4 wins over a 4-year period will not be able to recruit at a Top 25 level. Conversely, a team that averages over 10 wins will almost certainly recruit at a Top 20 level. If a team has a single primary color and that color is blue, the team is most likely terrible. If a team improves (or reduces) it's win total, the magnitude of the improvement / reduction itself doesn't appear to have any impact on any change in the team's recruiting ranking. A team that wins less than 6 games and then hauls in a a Top 10 recruiting class will find itself mixed in with some disreputable company. The SEC has dominated the ACC since 2001 not only in head-to-head record, but also recruiting and total wins. See the table below for the details of the dataset used to create the above charts. 2 LIKES SHARE
  14. PODCAST: The Spurs Up Show: By Chris Phillips - August 15, 2018 LISTEN : 2018 Gamecocks Special Teams Preview + 2020 QB Commit Luke Doty RATE/SUBSCRIBE : https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-spurs-up-show/id1223831373?mt=2#episodeGuid=https%3A%2F%2Farmchairallamericans.com%2F%3Fpost_type%3Dpodcast%26p%3D149896 … … New podcast!!! Note from Featheredcock Chris has a great website along with his enjoyable podcast so make sure to visit and please feel free to ask question on his podcast. Enjoy the show fanatics!!!
  15. WITH VIDEOS: Belk the best, offensive depth chart, Short-yardage running, plus more Gamecocks practice observations August 15, 2018 (Pat Washington, Bobby Bentley and requested offensive players available in the media room after practice) The South Carolina Gamecocks football team opened the start of Wednesday’s practice to media, one of the last times it will open any practice this camp season. A few observations: (MORE)
  16. Belk the best, offensive depth chart, Short-yardage running, plus more Gamecocks practice observations August 15, 2018 Bobby Bentley Media Availability — 8/15/18 Pat Washington Media Availability — 8/15/18 Rico Dowdle Media Availability — 8/15/18 OrTre Smith Media Availability — 8/15/18 Zack Bailey Media Availability — 8/15/18 Blake Camper Media Availability — 8/15/18 K.C. Crosby Media Availability — 8/15/18 Bryan Edwards Media Availability — 8/15/18 Deebo Samuel Media Availability — 8/15/18 A.J. Turner Media Availability — 8/15/18 The South Carolina Gamecocks football team opened the start of Wednesday’s practice to media, one of the last times it will open any practice this camp season. A few observations: ▪ We got another look at an approximation of an offensive depth chart” 1st group QB: Jake Bentley RB: A.J. Turner WR: Deebo Samuel, Bryan Edwards, Shi Smith TE: Jacob August OL: Blake Camper, Dennis Daley, Zack Bailey, Sadarius Hutcherson, Donell Stanley 2nd group QB: Michael Scarnecchia RB: Mon Denson WR: Josh Vann, OrTre Smith TE: Kyle Markway, Kiel Pollard OL: Malik Young, Eric Douglas, Chandler Farrell, Jordan Rhodes, Dylan Wonnum 3rd group QB: Jay Urich RB: Slade Carroll WR: Bailey Hart, Darius Rush TE: Evan Hinson, Will Register OL: Maxwell Iyama, Will Putnam, Summie Carlay, Jordon Carty, Wyatt Campbell Of note, Josh Vann was working with the second-team, two-tight end unit. It seems like they rotate the top tight end and running backs in this drill, so there’s not a ton to read into that. ▪ The offense was working against no defense, but that gave a good chance to see a couple plays. Of note was a pop-pass RPO, as well as a formation with pairs of wide receivers stacked out wide on either side (it allows for screens on both sides and a zone read in the box depending on defensive alignment). ▪ We got our first look at Josh Belk in a real contact situation, and he looked pretty good, whipping four-star freshman offensive tackle Dylan Wonnum in the Oklahoma drill. A few other outcomes from that. -Keir Thomas got the best of Zack Bailey to start. -Sadarius Hutcherson topped M.J. Webb early. -August also got D.J. Wonnum, either a good sign for his blocking or a reminder this drill tends to favor offense. -Ty’Son Williams just absolutely threw Sherrod Greene -Ernest Jones had one big win. Didn’t see who he got, but he was bouncing around after and getting dapped up. -Prized freshman Rick Sandidge was given the challenge of the veteran Bailey, and got the kind of lesson a veteran can only teach a freshman in the trenches. ▪ Offensive lineman Jovaughn Gwyn was back in uniform, but left the field with a trainer early in practice. ▪ Players in yellow included J.T. Ibe, Ben Asbury, Jaylin Dickerson, Rosendo Louis, Eldridge Thompson (not in pads), Chad Terrell, Chavis Dawkins ▪ Dickerson and Thompson are notable because both seemed to be in the thick of position battles and Will Muschamp didn’t mention them during his last availability. ▪ Right before practice, Muschamp seemed pretty energetic, but it felt like the energy was down in the first period. That turned up with a short-but-intense session of Oklahoma drill. ▪ Scouts from Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Kansas City, New Orleans, Cleveland and San Diego were on hand. Short-yardage running During Monday’s scrimmage, the South Carolina football team spent some time focused on a problem area — something that really irked fans through much of last season. “Had a whole period (Monday) just dedicated to short yardage and getting better and running the ball,” Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp said. “Executing better in short-yardage situations. I’ve been very pleased with our backs.” That became a nagging issue through much of last season. South Carolina was 86th nationally in converting third downs (38 percent). A part of that was converting in short yardage, where USC was at 65.1 percent (No. 88 in the country). That was boosted by going 8-for-9 against Missouri and Louisiana Tech early in the season. USC was often reliant on its inside zone scheme in those situations, and simply struggled to get push on a consistent basis. That might have been addressed with a more stout interior of Donell Stanley, Zack Bailey and Sadarius Hucherson. But running through contact was also sometimes an issue. On a key fourth down against Kentucky, Rico Dowdle was stopped by a corner in space. On at least a few other occasions, backs tried to bounce out and were dragged down where a surge might have secured a conversion. In working on those short-yardage situations, Muschamp saw a glimmer of promise going beyond even just the running backs. “Deebo’s got a big lower body,” Muschamp said. “He’s a hard guy to tackle. You saw him running through contact (Monday) on the perimeter. Rico’s been a guy that’s gotten a lot of positive yards. Ty’Son had a big run today in short yardage split of about 60. It was a big-time run on a 3rd and 1 situation. We really put an emphasis on the red zone offensively.” These two South Carolina running backs have ‘separated themselves’ atop depth chart South Carolina running backs coach Bobby Bentley is happy with his four top running backs so far this fall, but two are moving ahead of the pack so far this fall. “I think right now Rico (Dowdle) and Ty’Son (Williams) have separated themselves a little bit, but all four of them are going to play,” Bentley said. Dowdle, a 6-foot, 215-pound junior, had 66 carries for 251 yards in an injury-hampered season last year. “He’s healthy now. He looks better,” Bentley said. “He’s more violent. When he turns his shoulders downhill, he’s looking for contact.” Williams, a 6-foot, 219-pound junior, had 95 carries for 471 yards last year. Junior A.J. Turner was the team’s leading rusher with 531 yards on 98 carries, and Mon Denson had 41 carries for 152 yards. “Mon Denson has brought in a little extra edge in short yardage situations, a little bowling ball mentality we need in the system,” Bentley said, “and then A.J. Turner, you get a lot out of him every single day. He’s going to give you everything he’s got out of his body.” Still, if Bentley has his way, the carries won’t be as evenly dispersed this season. “I don’t want to rotate,” he said. “I want a dominant guy who can stay in the ballgame. Right now, all four of them are doing well. I’m excited about where we are right now.” The two players who answered a Gamecock assistant’s biggest concern of the offseason South Carolina football tight ends came into this offseason with the biggest questions and the biggest hole to fill. Do-everything star Hayden Hurst is off to the NFL. There was some experience returning, but no one guy who seemed destined to step right in. Through eleven practices, things appear to be settling into place. At least they’re going as expected for their seasoned position coach. “I think we are where I thought we would be at this point to be honest with out,” Gamecocks tight ends coach Pat Washington said. “My biggest concern going in was, with Jacob August, K.C. Crosby, those guys having experience, Kiel (Pollard) had some, not so much. My concern was, who were going to be the next two guys to step up. Hoping that maybe (Kyle) Markway and Kiel Pollard, and both have really done a nice job.” August was the No. 2 tight end most of last year, but is more of the mold of a blocker than pure receiver. Crosby was actually a starter on a thin team in 2016, but was hurt much of last year. He’s more in the mold of an H-back, smaller, stouter and a better receiver (he had 217 yards and four touchdowns in 2016). Markway is a bigger player at 6-foot-4, 242 pounds, and has been dogged by injuries though his career. Washington praised the way he worked on his body this offseason. The coach noted Evan Hinson is still somewhat behind because of missing spring with basketball. Pollard was an interesting case because he came to USC without a position. He’s been a short, explosive receiver in high school, but after getting him to change his commitment from Arkansas, the staff put him at tight end. In the spring he expressed frustration with not playing enough, and it appears he turned that into motivation. “Kiel has done a really nice job,” Washington said. “He’s making some noise. He’s making a case for himself to play.” None of those four match the profile of Hurst, who was both massive and a top pass-catching threat, but Washington wasn’t concerned by that. The offense will evolve with Bryan McClendon in charge, and Washington seems to think he’s got his guys.
  17. Martin vs. Martin, ACC flavor and other takeaways from USC’s schedule reveal August 15, 2018 THE STATE On June 7, shortly after the SEC announced each team’s league opponents for the upcoming season and 28 of South Carolina’s matchups were known, The State ran the headline, “Why USC’s 2018-19 basketball schedule is the toughest in the Frank Martin era.” Two months later, when USC published the final details to its non-conference slate, Martin pretty much agreed with our analysis. “It is probably the most challenging non-conference schedule that we have put together in my time at South Carolina,” the seventh-year coach said in a statement. “This will prepare us like no other year for conference play.” Under Martin, the Gamecocks have done everything from sweep the non-conference portion of the schedule (see a 13-0 mark in 2015-16) to barely win more than they’ve lost (see the 7-6 result in 2013-14). USC, since 2012, has averaged a 10-3 record outside of SEC competition. But, as Martin alluded to, the Gamecocks are on the brink of their most difficult stretch of non-SEC games in some time. How will they fare? A deeper dive into the slate: 1. A Martin vs. Martin opener South Carolina playing USC Upstate isn’t totally out of the ordinary. When the Gamecocks and Spartans meet on Nov. 6 in Colonial Life Arena, it will mark the fifth all-time matchup. Upstate is one of four Palmetto State opponents for Carolina this season. But when Frank Martin looks over the scouting report for this one, he’ll see a familiar name. Brandon Martin is a 6-foot-6, 210-pound freshman forward who averaged a double-double and totaled over 500 rebounds during an all-state career at Cardinal Newman. He spent this past year at St. Thomas More School in Connecticut. He’s also Frank’s oldest child. Martin has been a college head coach for 374 games. He’s never had to face his son. This game will also mark the Upstate coaching debut for Dave Dickerson, a candidate for Carolina assistant openings in the past. The Spartans went 8-25 last season. 2. ACC flavor It’s been nearly five decades since South Carolina last called the Atlantic Coast Conference home. When the Gamecocks take on Virginia and Clemson in consecutive games in December, it’ll mark the first time they’ve faced back-to-back ACC foes since the 1996-97 season when they lost to North Carolina on Dec. 7 and Clemson on Dec. 17. UVa was the No. 1 overall seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament -- before becoming the first regional No. 1 seed to fall to a No. 16 in the Big Dance’s first round. The 2018-19 Cavaliers are No. 7 in the latest CBS rankings. USC last beat a top 10 team in the non-conference on Jan. 3, 2015, when it upset No. 9 Iowa State in New York. Clemson, which returns stalwarts Marcquise Reed and Shelton Mitchell and is coming off a Sweet 16 appearance, is No. 24 on CBS. The Tigers have taken two of their last three games at CLA. 3. Two shots at the defending national runners-up? Fun fact: The last time a reigning national runner-up appeared on USC’s non-conference schedule came during the 1976-77 season against, yes, Michigan. USC, of course, wasn’t in a league at the time, but there’s still a tiny connection to what the Gamecocks will face this winter. The 2018-19 Wolverines, which fell to Villanova in last year’s title game, lost their best player in Moe Wagner, but bring back former Kentucky transfer Charles Matthews. USC is guaranteed to see them Dec. 8 in Ann Arbor and could see them Nov. 18 in Connecticut as part of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off tournament. The Dec. 8 game is followed by home clashes with UVa and Clemson. The Wolverines, Cavaliers and Tigers combined to go 89-21 last season. 4. No true road games until December Four 2018 NCAA Tournament participants are in USC’s way, sure, but at least the Gamecocks only have to face one of of them (Michigan) in a true road game. After home dates with Upstate, Stony Brook and Norfolk State to open the year, South Carolina will play neutral site games against Providence and Michigan or George Washington in Connecticut. It won’t be a true road opponent until Dec. 5 at Wyoming. The Gamecocks began last season at Wofford and played Nov. 27 at Florida International. Martin’s USC teams are 39-7 in home non-conference games, 8-6 away and 11-6 in neutral site games. The 2018-19 Gamecocks will leave CLA for five games in the non-conference, including a trip to Oklahoma State on Jan. 26 for the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. 5. An in-state tradition continues South Carolina’s second-to-last non-conference game is scheduled for New Year’s Eve against North Greenville. This will mark the fifth straight season in which USC is taking on an in-state Division II opponent. The Gamecocks beat Coker (2014), Francis Marion (2015), Lander (2016) and Limestone (2017) by a combined 105 points. Why does Martin keep this tradition going? “Playing all these coaches in this state, it’s phenomenal,” Martin said last December. “It allows me to get to know them. It allows me to see their teams in person. “It keeps the money in the state, which to me is huge. These smaller schools, the reason they’re small is because their budgets are small. So giving them the opportunity to collect that kind of money is something they’re not afforded very often.” --------------------------------------------------------- South Carolina 2018-19 basketball schedule Oct. 26 – Augusta University (exhibition) Nov. 6 – USC Upstate Nov. 9 – Stony Brook (Hall of Fame Tip-Off) Nov. 13 – Norfolk State (Hall of Fame Tip-Off) Nov. 17 – vs. Providence ( Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Connecticut) Nov. 18 –vs. Michigan OR George Washington ( Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Connecticut) Nov. 26 – Wofford Nov. 30 – Coastal Carolina Dec. 5 – at Wyoming Dec. 8 – at Michigan Dec. 19 – Virginia Dec. 22 – Clemson Dec. 31 – North Greenville Jan. 26 – at Oklahoma State TBA – Georgia TBA – Mississippi State TBA – Tennessee TBA – Missouri TBA – Texas A&M TBA – Alabama TBA – Arkansas TBA – Auburn TBA – Ole Miss TBA – at Georgia TBA – at Mississippi State TBA – at Tennessee TBA – at Missouri TBA – at Texas A&M TBA – at Florida TBA – at Kentucky TBA – at LSU TBA – at Vanderbilt
  18. Daniel knows who will get the call on Thursday AUGUST 15, 2018 BY PHIL KORNBLUT LINK: SPORTSTALK DJ Daniel CB DJ Daniel of Georgia Military JC will announce his college commitment Thursday at 2:00 PM in the school gym with his family, coaches and teammates. Daniel has been considering USC, Georgia and Kentucky and he said Tuesday night he has made up his mind. “I feel like I have. I haven’t told any schools,” Daniel said. As for what he based his decision on, Daniel said, “Me feeling the defense scheme-wise. Just me visiting those schools, me feeling the comfort of how my family felt comfortable, and the communications I had with the coaching staff.” Recruiters from all three schools were in touch with him Tuesday. USC defensive coordinator and secondary coach Travaris Robinson has been heading up the Gamecocks’ recruiting efforts. “We talk every day. I feel comfortable. He knows how I rock and I know how he rocks,” Daniel said. “He asked me have I come to a conclusion and I told him I felt like I had. So, we’ll just see Thursday. There was no pressure. We just talked like we normally talk, like how camp is going and if I’m ready for Thursday. That’s really about it.” Daniel is from Griffin, GA. He was not heavily recruited coming out of high school so he had to prove himself last season and in camps this summer to draw those major offers. “It’s been a truly blessed journey, to do what I’ve been through,” he said. “I feel good. Now, I feel like focusing on this season, focusing on the classroom. I’ll be out in December.” Last season Daniel had 26 tackles and 3 interceptions. He also broke up 5 passes and blocked 3 kicks.
  19. Georgia safety looking forward to visiting the Gamecocks AUGUST 14, 2018 BY PHIL KORNBLUT LINK: SPORTSTALK Dedrrick Holmes USC has offered SAF Dedrrick Holmes of Evans, GA. Holmes is hearing a good bit from the Gamecocks at this point. He camped with the Gamecocks this summer and plans a return visit for the Georgia game. “They like the way that I vision the field and they like the way that I come down hill making tackles,” Holmes said of USC coaches Will Muschamp and Travaris Robinson. “They like the fact that I’m a good open field tackler, really the best in the CSRA. When they found out I had 9 interceptions, that was a big thing. He (Robinson) told me that if you have 9 interceptions in college, you’ll be one of the leaders in the nation. That surprised me.” Holmes said he talked with Muschamp and Robinson last week. Robinson is more in his ear than the head coach. “One of the guys that he wants,” Holmes said. “He wants me to continue to talk with Coach Muschamp and see him when I go up there for the Georgia game. He’s really looking forward to me to see him and come up there for games, and for a recruiting photo shoot.”” Holmes also has an offer from Liberty and is also hearing from Auburn and Troy. He plans to make a decision around mid-season. Along with his 9 interceptions last season, Holmes had 7 pass break ups and 49 tackles. He also caught 21 passes for 354 yards and 3 touchdowns.
  20. Gamecock Fanatics would like to wish all members celebrating their birthday today a happy birthday. Cody --
  21. Last week
  22. How South Carolina’s newest crop of linemen impressed Will Muschamp August 14, 2018 In football, linemen are often the slowest to come along. They work in tight quarters, and the gaps in physical maturity are most apparent, even before considering the shock of a big guy facing players his size every rep. The South Carolina football team brought in a large batch of players up front in its most recent recruiting class. Most have been on campus since spring, a few came later. But he and his staff have had their chance to work hands-on with the whole group: ▪ On Dylan Wonnum: “Has got really good athleticism. Exactly what we felt in the recruiting process. Really moves well. I’m very pleased with where he is right now.” ▪ On Jordan Rhodes: “Was redshirted last year, but I think has made tremendous strides. Plays extremely hard. A guy that we think has got a really good future as well.” ▪ On Hank Manos: “Has done a really nice job at the center position.” ▪ On Jovaughn Gwyn: “A guy that has power and athleticism. He’s just got to learn more of what to do. That’s the issue. It’s not the athleticism, it’s not the power, it’s not the punch. Those are things you all see with what he’s able to bring to what we’re doing.” ▪ On Wyatt Campbell: “Been slowed a little bit with a knee. He’s missed some practice. We’ve got to get him back out there. It’s nothing long term. But we’re got to get him back on the field.” ▪ On Kingsley Enagbare: “Continues to play well.” ▪ On Rick Sandidge: “Has some some really nice things. Can really anchor and hold the point. Is an explosive guy and needs just to learn what we’re doing.” ▪ On Jabari Ellis: “I would say the same thing (as Sandidge). Been cleared about three days ago and has shown some things, showed some flashes to me of running and playing with some effort and some toughness, which was exciting.”
  23. Dew

    2018 Opponent Preview: Ole Miss

    Inreally think we can win this one
  24. TaySC

    2018 Opponent Preview: Ole Miss

    This game will be a sure win
  25. 2018 Opponent Preview: Ole Miss South Carolina has beaten the Rebels the last two times they've played. Down in the Grove of Oxford in November, the Land Sharks will look to turn the series around. armchairallamericans.com OPPONENT: Ole Miss Rebels WHEN: Saturday, November 3, 2018 at TBD WHERE: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, MS ALL-TIME SERIES RECORD: South Carolina is 7-8 (Won last two) LAST MEETING: September 24, 2009 – South Carolina defeated the Rebels in Columbia, 16-10. Ole Miss was ranked #4 in the country at the time. 2017 RECORD: 6-6 overall; 3-5 in SEC (#6 in West) Head Coach… Matt Luke is going into his second season as the coach of the Rebels since former coach Hugh Freeze was fired. Luke walked-on at Ole Miss in 1995 as a center. He played there for four years and graduated in 1999. His father and older brother both played at Ole Miss as well. He came onto staff as a co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach under Freeze in 2012. He led the Rebels to a 6-6 season in 2017 that included a win over archrival, Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl. Returning Starters… OFFENSE (8) WR, AJ Brown (6-1, 225) Junior WR, DaMarkus Lodge (6-2, 199) Senior WR, DK Metcalf (6-4, 225) Sophomore TE, Dawson Knox (6-4, 250) Junior C, Sean Rawlings (6-5, 294) Senior LG, Javon Patterson (6-3, 314) Junior RT, Alex Givens (6-7, 300) Junior LT, Greg Little (6-6, 325) Junior DEFENSE (7) DT, Josiah Coatney (6-4, 302) Junior NT, Benito Jones (6-2, 315) Sophomore MLB, Detric Bing-Dukes (6-1, 254) Senior CB, Myles Hartsfield (5-11, 199) Junior CB, Ken Webster (5-11, 194) Senior ROV, Zedrick Woods (5-11, 201) Senior FS, Jaylon Jones (5-11, 186) Junior How did they fare in 2017? Ole Miss finished last season with a .500 record but could not attend a bowl game and no matter the results of this season, the end will be the same due to their two-year bowl ban. They won their first two games of the season at home but got destroyed their next three games which were all on the road. They lost to Cal, Alabama and Auburn by a combined score of 137-42. Their three league wins came against Vanderbilt (57-35), Kentucky (37-34), and Mississippi State (31-28). Best Returning Player… WR, AJ Brown (6-1, 225) Junior In 2017, Brown caught 75 passes for 1252 yards and 11 touchdowns Given a 143.9 passer rating when targeted by Pro Football Focus (+53.5 higher than NCAA average) According to Austin Gayle of PFF, Brown averaged 8.27 yards after the catch per reception on non-screen passes; averaged 6.25 receptions and 104.4 yards per game across 12 games played with 15+ offensive snaps in 2017 Overall Outlook… With the postseason being no option, the Rebels will be playing for pride and a couple guys will be playing for their shot at the NFL. Make no mistake about it though, there is a lot of talent on this team. Quarterback Jordan Ta’amu, left tackle Greg Little and one of the better receivers in the country in AJ Brown headline the offense. The defense doesn’t have any household names as of yet but they return their entire secondary from a year ago. It’s tough to tell what will come of this season for Ole Miss but Matt Luke will have this team ready to compete in every game and they will not be an easy out for anybody. 2018 SEASON PROJECTION: 7-5 (3-5 in SEC)
  26. Bentley Named to Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award® Watch List Gamecock Quarterback Makes Preseason List for National Award August 14, 2018 COLUMBIA, S.C. (August 14, 2018) – University of South Carolina junior Jake Bentley has been named to the preseason Watch List for the 2018 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award® Presented by A. O. Smith, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc. announced today. Named after one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, the prestigious award has been presented annually since 1987 to the nation’s top college quarterback. Criteria to be considered for the award include character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership qualities and athletic accomplishments. Bentley, a 6-4, 224-pound junior from Opelika, Ala., has started each of the last 20 games for the Gamecocks, compiling a 13-7 ledger. He ranks 10th in completions (370), second in completion percentage (63.3), 11th in passing yards (4,214) and 11th in passing touchdowns (27) in school history. Additionally, he was named the 2017-18 winner of the SEC Sportsmanship Award for the compassion he showed following the Gamecocks’ thrilling win over Tennessee. It was recently announced that A. O. Smith will be presenting the 2018 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award®, which will be hosted on December 7 at the Embassy Suites Baltimore Inner Harbor Hotel & The Grand. Proceeds from the event help support the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, which provides assistance to underprivileged and deserving student-athletes throughout Maryland and Kentucky. “A. O. Smith has a legacy of innovation and performance in the water heating and water treatment industries, much like Johnny Unitas did on the football field," said Jeff Storie, A. O. Smith’s director of marketing. "Both of these iconic names have been around for decades and share many of each other’s values. For A. O. Smith, partnering with the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation and the Golden Arm Award makes perfect sense. We’re excited to tie our own efforts to further education in our trade with the Foundation’s efforts to help further the education of youths interested in football around the country.”
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