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  1. This analyst has a bold prediction for USC in 2018. Fans might love it or hate it July 16, 2018 ATLANTA - College football analyst Chuck Oliver doesn’t believe South Carolina can beat Georgia or Clemson this season, but that doesn’t mean he’s not high on the Gamecocks. “What do I expect of them after they lose Week 2 to Georgia?” Oliver asked Monday on the opening day of SEC Media Days. “I honestly expect they could win every other game except Clemson, and it would surprise me if they don’t win every other game other than Clemson.” Oliver, an Atlanta sports radio host and longtime college football analyst, thinks the Gamecocks could finish with as many as 11 wins in head coach Will Muschamp’s third season. “You tell a South Carolina fan they are going to finish with nine or 10 regular season wins and then you’re playing one of those really good bowl games, maybe you’re in Miami, maybe you’re in Atlanta, maybe you’re in one of those New Year’s Six bowls, folks that’s not nothing, especially for a head coach who recruits a state where there just aren’t players,” Oliver said. The difference in the Gamecocks and their SEC East rival Bulldogs at the moment is on the line of scrimmage, Oliver said. “It’s still about the big ’uns up front and even though you’ve got some grown men, some upperclassmen, (D.J.) Wonnum is a ball player, on the offense from center all the way out to left tackle, grown men, experienced, returning starters, they are not on the same level as Georgia yet,” he said. “And in a ferociously competitive conference like the SEC, it’s still about moving people around the field every Saturday. I don’t think they are deep enough or talented enough to beat Georgia even in Week 2 before depth really rears its ugly head, and they don’t play the same game Clemson does, but there truly isn’t anybody else on that schedule that I will say they will be overmatched. Danny Sheridan, an analyst and handicapper for USA Today, last week predicted USC would win eight games at most in the upcoming season, and likely only seven. Missouri has a better chance than USC to win the SEC in 2018, according to odds from the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook. Oliver is more bullish on the Gamecocks’ chances this year. “The needle is pointing north and he’s getting the talent level improved all across that roster,” Oliver said.
  2. USC schedule change in 2019 could mean return to ‘Orange Crush’ July 16, 2018 The tradition is a common one around SEC football: Spend the game before rivalry week beating up on an FCS or small-conference opponent. South Carolina has done plenty of that for most of the past decade, getting in tune-ups before Clemson. That will change next season. The future schedules section of the team’s media guide lists a game against FCS Charleston Southern, previously scheduled for that Nov. 23 weekend, as moved to Sept. 7. With a neutral site opener against North Carolina, and a Nov. 9 game against Appalachian State, it means USC will almost assuredly close the season with three consecutive weeks of power conference opponents (or two with a bye). And that’s a big departure from previous seasons. South Carolina has played small schools the week before Clemson dating back to 2009. All but two have been FCS opponents, often in-state ones. Mixed in was also a game against Troy (2010) and a South Alabama program in only its sixth year of existence in 2014. USC notably lost to The Citadel in 2015. It could also mean the return of something older Gamecocks fans know well. The end of the season used to be reserved for the “Orange Crush,” a gauntlet of Tennessee, Florida and Clemson that ended every season from 1993-2000. For most of the 2000s, Arkansas was an opponent in the weeks leading up to the Clemson finale. The construction of the schedule makes it possible for a return of the “Orange Crush,” though the SEC part of the schedule won’t be set until sometime during the 2018 season. In conference play USC will host Alabama, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Florida, while playing at Missouri, at Texas A&M, at Tennessee and at Georgia. Charleston Southern is coming off a 6-5 season, which followed a 2016 campaign that opened with a scandal that saw more than 30 players suspended. 2019 USC games with currently set dates 08/31 North Carolina (in Charlotte) 09/07 Charleston Southern 11/09 Appalachian State 11/30 Clemson
  3. The seven scariest opposing players on South Carolina’s 2018 football schedule July 14, 2018 Here’s an odd but accurate indicator of the fact South Carolina’s 2018 football schedule could be a lot tougher than it actually is: ESPN’s Todd McShay released a very early NFL mock draft that featured 14 SEC players in the first round but the Gamecocks will face only six of those players in the regular season this fall. With no Alabama or Auburn or LSU on the regular season schedule, here are the top seven players South Carolina will face in the 2018 regular season, listed by order on schedule: DeAndre Baker, Georgia cornerback Start looking forward now to Baker versus South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel. Baker, 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, had three interceptions last year and allowed a passer rating of 38.7 when he was targeted (according to Pro Football Focus). He spurned early entry into the NFL Draft last year, and you can be sure plenty of scouts will be watching Samuel versus Baker in Williams-Brice Stadium on the second Saturday of the season. Josh Allen, Kentucky linebacker The 6-foot-5, 252-pounder turned down a chance to be an NFL Draft pick this spring in hopes of becoming a first-rounder next spring. Allen had seven sacks last year (and has 14 in the last two seasons) despite not having a sack in the final five games of 2018. He had 66 tackles a year ago and will be the focal point of the Wildcats defense this year. Drew Lock, Missouri quarterback Lock set the SEC’s single-season record for passing touchdowns last year with 44. That he did it with such little fanfare speaks to the fact that Missouri is not a terribly threatening opponent even with Lock under center. His talent is undeniable and his statistics will be gaudy when he’s done, but Tigers fans have been wondering for a while now how much better he actually makes Missouri. Lock has one more collegiate season to see. Trey Smith, Tennessee offensive lineman Ole Miss offensive tackle Greg Little might be a better offensive tackle, but he might just be an older offensive tackle. Little, a senior who also is on the Gamecocks schedule, could be a top 10 selection in next year’s draft, but Smith is an up-and-comer in the league. As a true freshman last year, he started all 12 games on the offensive line, including three at left tackle. He’ll be a name South Carolina fans hear a lot for a while, and he’ll be an interesting matchup for D.J. Wonnum. A.J. Brown, Ole Miss wide receiver This is the kind of player that worries Will Muschamp because of the concern around South Carolina’s secondary and because of how good Brown is. The 6-foot-1, 225-pound junior has been listed by ESPN’s Mel Kiper as the top offensive prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft. He led the SEC with 75 catches for 1,252 yards last year and had 11 touchdown catches on top of that. It will be interesting to see who matches up with Brown on Nov 3. Dexter Lawrence, Clemson defensive tackle All four of the Tigers defensive linemen could potentially be on this list, but Lawrence is a good starting point. The 6-foot-4, 340-pounder clogs up the middle along with Christian Wilkins. He’s a junior but this likely will be his last season in Clemson. He’s already projected as a top five pick in several 2019 NFL Mock Drafts. Clelin Ferrell, Clemson defensive end While Lawrence and Wilkins are taking up a lot of attention in the middle, Ferrell is going to be difficult to deal with on the end. The 6-foot-5, 260-pounder had 9 1/2 sacks last year and surprised some by returning for his junior year (he was eligible for the draft as a redshirt sophomore). Another projected first round pick next spring, he will be expected to have a double-digit sack season this year. THE STATE
  4. Some observations: Brad Johnson up to 250LBs....Gibson listed as same height as Horn and both are 6'1" Brunson 6'1" 240.Ricky Sandidge is at 6'5" 285. Enigbare 6'4 285. Jabari Ellis 6'3" 280. Kier Thomas 6'2 276.A.J. Turner 5'10" 195. Aaron Sterling 6'1" 245. 2018 Football Roster No. Name Pos. Hgt. Wgt. Cl. Hometown/High School/Last College 4 Bryson Allen-Williams LB 6-1 230 RS SR Ellenwood, Ga./Ceder Grove 85 Michael Almond K/P 6-3 225 RS JR North Augusta, S.C./Westminster 45 Ben Asbury LS 6-0 199 RS SR Atlanta, Ga./Holy Innocents' Episcopal/Berry College 40 Jacob August TE 6-6 252 RS SR Columbia, S.C./Cardinal Newman/Fork Union Military 78 Zack Bailey OL 6-6 314 SR Summerville, S.C./Summerville 23 Korey Banks DB 5-11 191 RS SO Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek 19 Jake Bentley QB 6-4 224 JR Opelika, Ala./Opelika 91 Shameik Blackshear DL 6-5 270 RS JR Bluffton, S.C./Bluffton 33 Zay Brown DB 5-11 200 RS FR Athens, Ga./Clarke Central 6 T.J. Brunson LB 6-1 240 JR Columbia, S.C./Richland Northeast 68 Wyatt Campbell OL 6-6 305 FR Elgin, S.C./Lugoff-Elgin 63 Blake Camper OL 6-8 309 SR Virginia Beach, Va./Frank W. Cox 73 Summie Carlay OL 6-5 300 RS FR Laurens, S.C./Laurens 33 Slade Carroll RB 5-9 210 RS FR Lexington, S.C./Lexington 75 Jordon Carty OL 6-7 315 RS FR Lauderdale Lakes, Fla./South Broward 17 Javon Charleston DB 6-1 187 RS JR Gurnee, Ill./Warren 20 Joseph Charlton P 6-5 188 RS JR Columbia, S.C./A.C. Flora 3 K.C. Crosby TE 6-1 229 RS SR Bamberg, S.C./Bamberg-Ehrhardt 74 Dennis Daley OL 6-6 324 SR Columbia, S.C./Ridge View/Georgia Military College 8 Randrecous Davis WR 5-10 189 RS SO Atlanta, Ga./Mays 83 Chavis Dawkins WR 6-2 220 JR Duncan, S.C./Byrnes 59 Alex DeLoach LB 6-3 209 RS FR Summerville, S.C./Ashley Ridge 34 Mon Denson RB 5-10 212 RS JR LaGrange, Ga./LaGrange 26 Jaylin Dickerson DB 6-1 191 RS FR Southern Pines, N.C./Pinecrest 4 Darius Douglas QB 6-0 199 RS FR Moncks Corner, S.C./Berkeley 71 Eric Douglas OL 6-4 298 RS FR Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek 5 Rico Dowdle RB 6-0 215 JR Asheville, N.C./A.C. Reynolds 61 Javion Duncan DL 5-11 273 RS SR Simpsonville, S.C./Woodmont/Citadel 45 Spencer Eason-Riddle LB 6-0 225 RS SO Raleigh, N.C./Leesville Road 89 Bryan Edwards WR 6-3 220 JR Conway, S.C./Conway 99 Jabari Ellis DL 6-3 280 JR Vance, S.C./Lake Marion/Georgia Military 52 Kingsley Enagbare DL 6-4 285 FR Atlanta, Ga./Hapeville Charter Academy 60 Chandler Farrell OL 6-3 290 RS SO Summerville, S.C./Summerville 35 Daniel Fennell DL 6-2 246 RS JR Loganville, Ga./Grayson 16 Rashad Fenton DB 5-11 188 SR Miami, Fla./Miami Carol City 14 Deshaun Fenwick RB 6-1 220 FR Bradenton, Fla./Braden River 47 Jaylan Foster DB 5-10 184 RS SO Duncan, S.C./Byrnes/Gardner-Webb 50 Griffin Gentry DL 6-1 270 RS SO Birmingham, Ala./Homewood 93 Jesus Gibbs DL 6-3 280 FR Dumfries, Va./Potomac 36 Jonathan Gipson DB 6-1 186 FR Hoschton, Ga./Mill Creek 80 Shemar Glenn WR 6-0 165 RS JR Union, S.C./Union County/USC-Union 11 Corbett Glick QB 6-1 203 FR Columbia, S.C./Hammond School 17 Danny Gordon QB 6-0 211 RS SR Worthington, Ohio/Worthington/Miami (Ohio) 44 Sherrod Greene LB 6-1 228 SO Rocky Mount, N.C./Rocky Mount 54 Jovaughn Gwyn OL 6-2 296 FR Charlotte, N.C./Harding University 16 Bailey Hart QB 6-3 178 RS SO Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Wando 1 Nick Harvey DB 5-10 190 RS SR Lancaster, Texas/Richmond Travis/Texas A&M 15 Evan Hinson TE 6-4 230 RS SO Deltona, Fla./Deltona 39 Dawson Hoffman DB 5-11 197 FR Spartanburg, S.C./Dorman 7 Jaycee Horn DB 6-1 195 FR Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta 50 Sadarius Hutcherson OL 6-4 310 RS SO Huntingdon, Tenn./Huntingdon 29 J.T. Ibe DB 5-10 191 RS SR Mansfield, Texas/Mansfield/Rice 51 Maxwell Iyama OL 6-5 310 FR Murfreesboro, Tenn./Siegel 28 Tavyn Jackson DB 5-9 185 RS FR Tallahassee, Fla./Rickards 41 Caleb Jenerette TE 6-2 221 RS FR Aynor, S.C./Aynor 19 Brad Johnson DL 6-2 250 SO Pendleton, S.C./Pendleton 61 Cameron Johnson OL 6-6 289 RS SO Bennettsville, S.C./Marlboro County 85 Tyquan Johnson WR 6-2 193 FR Sylvania, Ga./Screven County 92 Tyreek Johnson DL 6-3 270 FR Sumter, S.C./Lakewood 53 Ernest Jones LB 6-2 235 FR Waycross, Ga./Ware County 7 Dakereon Joyner QB 6-1 208 FR North Charleston, S.C./Fort Dorchester 32 Caleb Kinlaw RB 5-10 198 RS SR Goose Creek, S.C./Goose Creek/Pearl River C.C. 3 Javon Kinlaw DL 6-6 305 JR Charleston, S.C./Goose Creek/Jones C.C. 42 Rosendo Louis Jr. LB 6-2 240 FR Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach 70 Hank Manos OL 6-4 289 FR Chapin, S.C./Chapin 84 Kyle Markway TE 6-4 242 RS JR St. Louis, Mo./St. John Vianney 48 Sean McGonigal LB 6-1 221 RS FR Myrtle Beach, S.C./Myrtle Beach 22 Steven Montac DB 5-10 186 SR Covington, Ga./Newton/Coffeyville C.C. 24 Israel Mukuamu DB 6-4 200 FR Bossier City, La./Parkway 9 Keisean Nixon DB 5-10 193 SR Compton, Calif./Salesian/Arizona Western 57 Jazuun Outlaw DL 6-2 238 RS SO Dillon, S.C./Dillon 55 Christian Pellage OL 6-7 305 RS JR Brooksville, Fla./Nature Coast Tech 87 Kiel Pollard TE 6-1 235 JR Moultrie, Ga./Colquitt County 66 Will Putnam OL 6-5 297 RS SO Harrisburg, N.C./Hickory Ridge 46 Patrick Reedy TE 6-7 240 FR Columbia, S.C./Cardinal Newman 88 Will Register TE 6-4 251 RS FR Chapin S.C./Chapin 76 Jordan Rhodes OL 6-4 325 RS FR Fairburn, Ga./Creekside 10 R.J. Roderick DB 6-0 207 FR Summerville, S.C./Cane Bay 81 Darius Rush WR 6-2 184 FR Greeleyville, S.C./C.E. Murray 1 Deebo Samuel WR 6-0 210 RS SR Inman, S.C./Chapman 90 Rick Sandidge DL 6-5 285 FR Concord, N.C./Concord 12 Michael Scarnecchia QB 6-3 216 RS SR Fleming Island, Fla./Fleming Island 40 Jason Senn DB 5-8 186 RS JR Beaufort, S.C./Beaufort 95 Kobe Smith DL 6-2 295 JR Lawrenceville, Ga./Archer 49 Matthew Smith LS 6-0 209 RS FR Roswell, Ga./Roswell 18 OrTre Smith WR 6-4 222 SO Mount Pleasant, S.C./Wando 13 Shi Smith WR 5-10 187 SO Union, S.C./Union County 30 Damani Staley LB 6-0 225 SO Columbia, S.C./Ridge View 72 Donell Stanley OL 6-3 315 RS JR Floydale, S.C./Latta 15 Aaron Sterling DL 6-1 245 SO Atlanta, Ga./Tucker 86 Chad Terrell WR 6-3 219 SO Bogue Chitto, Miss./North Paulding 5 Keir Thomas DL 6-2 276 JR Miami, Fla./Miami Central 11 Eldridge Thompson LB 6-1 229 RS SR Houston, Texas/White Station/Coffeyville J.C. 48 Will Tommie PK 5-10 167 RS JR Greenwood, S.C./Emerald/Tusculum 25 A.J. Turner RB 5-10 195 RS JR Clifton, Va./Centreville 10 Jay Urich QB 6-5 210 RS FR Greenville, S.C./Wrenn 31 Lavonte Valentine RB 6-0 190 FR Melbourne, Fla./Melbourne Central Catholic 6 Josh Vann WR 5-10 185 FR Tucker, Ga./Tucker 94 M.J. Webb DL 6-3 288 RS FR Rutledge, Ga./Morgan County 43 Parker White PK 6-5 200 RS SO Mount Pleasant, S.C./Wando 21 Jamyest Williams DB 5-8 182 SO Dacula, Ga./Grayson 27 Ty'Son Williams RB 6-0 219 RS JR Sumter, S.C./Crestwood/North Carolina 8 D.J. Wonnum DL 6-5 258 JR Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson 79 Dylan Wonnum OL 6-5 310 FR Tucker, Ga./Tucker 42 Alexander Woznick PK 5-11 166 RS SO Greenville, S.C./Eastside 77 Malik Young OL 6-3 287 RS SR Pelzer, S.C./Woodmont Coaches/Staff Will Muschamp - Head Coach Bobby Bentley - Running Backs Coleman Hutzler - Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers Kyle Krantz - Special Teams Assistant/Nickels and Sam LB Bryan McClendon - Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers Mike Peterson - Outside Linebackers Travaris Robinson - Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Lance Thompson - Asst. Head Coach - Defense/Defensive Line Pat Washington - Tight Ends Dan Werner - Quarterbacks Eric Wolford - Offensive Line Coach Jeff Dillman - Director of Strength & Conditioning George Wynn - Director of Football Operations Matt Lindsey - Director of Player Personnel Marcus Lattimore - Director of Player Development Charles Jackson Jr. - Director of Character & Life Skills Kristin Coggin - Director of Football Nutrition Jessica Jackson - Director of On-Campus Recruiting Kristin Sheetz - Director of Football Creative Services Larry Waters - Director of Football Equipment Operations Clyde Wrenn - Director of High School Relations Andrew Belluomini - Analyst Demarco McNeil - Analyst Landon Martin - Analyst Seth Strickland - Analyst Logan Hall - Assistant Director of Football Player Personnel Ryan Bellerose - Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach John Griffin - Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach Mark Campbell - Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach Corey Miller - Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach Taylor Burns - Assistant Director of Football Nutrition Zach Frehse - Assistant Director of Football Creative Services Shuler Hayes - Assistant Director of Football Equipment Operations Kim Fields - Assistant to Head Coach/Assistant Director of Operations Carina Hargreaves - Coordinator of Football Administration Caroline Rietkovich - Coordinator of Offensive Operations
  5. R Lewis looks like a all SEC junior, Brunson is jacked. And Louis is huge for a freshman
  6. The Great Debate: Deebo Samuel vs. A.J. Brown July 13, 2018 armchairallamericans.com Who is the best receiver in the SEC this season? Everyone has different opinions, but it seems there is a clear top two which consists of South Carolina's Deebo Samuel and Ole Miss receiver AJ Brown. Two of the best receivers in the country come from the SEC. South Carolina receiver Deebo Samuel and Ole Miss receiver A.J. Brown are the two best receivers in the SEC, but which one is better? The case for Samuel Samuel was a part of the 2014 recruiting class. He is from Inman, South Carolina and was only a three-star receiver according to 247sports. He was the 112th ranked receiver and 838th player in the nation according to the 247sports composite ranking. Samuel broke out in his Sophomore year when he recorded 783 receiving yards and nine total touchdowns. Last year, Samuel lit a spark when he returned the first kickoff of the season against NC State for a touchdown. He went on to score five more touchdowns in three games before breaking his leg, which kept him out for the season. He was clearly the most explosive player on the field, and the Gamecock offense seemed to lack some energy without him. The case for Brown A.J. Brown was a four-star receiver who was part of the 2016 recruiting class. Brown was 36th overall player in the country and the fourth ranked receiver according to the 247sports composite rankings. As a sophomore, Brown started nine games and posted 1252 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. Those stats alone cemented him as the top receiver in the SEC last season. Final verdict Deebo Samuel has the advantage of experience and leadership, but A.J. Brown has the size and stat advantage. Only time will tell who ends up on top after this season.
  7. Tori Gurley goes on Finebaum, makes himself a guarantee July 13, 2018 Former South Carolina football wide receiver Tori Gurley was almost deliberate as he delivered the guarantee. He was talking with the SEC Network’s Paul Finebaum on Thursday as part of Gamecocks Takeover Day, breaking down the finer points of what Georgia lost in the backfield, and the challenges of a young back in pass protection. Then he slipped it in. “That’s something I’m going to guarantee that South Carolina gets the win at home,” Gurley said. “Yes. In Williams-Brice in front of 80,000, on CBS. “It’s a primetime game. The Gamecocks will be ready.” USC’s showdown with the defending national runners-up is Sept. 8 at 3:30 in the SEC on CBS slot. The Gamecocks have lost three in a row in the series, with the last two being low-scoring affairs. Gurley, who had 905 yards on 75 catches in two college seasons, went on to praise top play-makers Deebo Samuel and Bryan Edwards (he called the group the best receivers in the SEC). He identified the running game as something the offense need to come thought. And he has some nice things to say about Jake Bentley. “I’m blessed to watch this guy grow right in front of my eyes,” Gurley said. “Like I’ve sat down and watched film of him. I’ve watched film with him. “To see how this guy is developing into a pocket passer, he’s going to be able to beat guys with his brain and his arm.”
  8. Stephen Davis Jr leaves South Carolina football team, again July 11, 2018 Stephen Davis Jr. is back off South Carolina’s football roster. The former Dutch Fork High School standout and son of former Auburn star Stephen Davis is not on the updated roster released by the teamTuesday. A school spokesperson confirmed he is no longer on the team. It marks the second, and almost certainly final, time Davis has left the Gamecocks. After starting his career at Auburn out of high school, Davis left the Tigers and walked on at South Carolina in 2017, showing up on the roster as a running back but never showing up on the field. He left the team in late August but was allowed to return to the team in the offseason. The 6-foot-3, 212-pounder worked at linebacker with the Gamecocks during spring practice. “He’s very athletic, and obviously being athletic in our conference, it helps,” defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson said at the time. “He’s got to get a little bigger obviously, but you look at him and you look at Skai (Moore), I’m not saying player-wise, but from a size standpoint, there’s not too much of difference of the guys in how they look. He’s just got to continue to develop his body, get stronger that he can handle the blocks.” Davis, the son of former NFL, Auburn and Spartanburg High star Stephen Davis, bounced between safety and running back in high school. South Carolina redshirt freshman Stephen Davis Jr. (35)
  9. Five Questions Will Muschamp Will Face at Media Days July 12, 2018 SEC Media Days begins on Monday, which means South Carolina football head coach Will Muschamp will face dozens and dozens and dozens of questions while in Atlanta for his day on Thursday. Today, we’re predicting the five he will hear the most often, including about senior wide receiver Deebo Samuel,starting quarterback Jake Bentley, the loss of Skai Moore, the promotion of Bryan McClendon to offensive coordinator, and the Georgia game. Just for fun,we’re also predicting how he will answer. Feel free to check back Thursday and see how close we get to the actual answers. How’s Deebo Samuel? “Fast.(Insert chuckles here, Muschamp generally works the big room pretty well.) We’re very excited to have Deebo back. We were maybe overprotective of him this spring but we wanted to make sure he got to the fall 100 percent healthy and he is. He’s a difference-maker. He’s proven that. Heck, the guy scored six touchdowns in 11 quarters of football last year. We need to put the ball in the end zone more, and Deebo can do that. We’re going to put a lot of responsibility on his shoulders this year, and I expect him to handle it well. I think he’s going to have a big year.” Will this be a big year for Bentley? “First of all, Jake Bentley positively affects his teammates and the people around him every single day, and that’s what I want from my quarterback. He’s in the film room all the time. He’s a passionate guy and he’s the same guy at practice on Tuesday that he is in the games on Saturday, and his teammates appreciate that.Are there some passes he’d like to have back from a year ago? Yes, but Dan Werner has spent a lot of time with him concentrating on his footwork, and I think his accuracy will be improved this year. Jake’s our guy, and we feel very comfortable with Michael Scarnecchia as our backup if something happens to Jake.” How will your defense recover from losing Skai Moore? “T.J. Brunsonis going to be a very good linebacker for us this year. I’m more worried about how my defense is going to recover from losing defensive linemen Taylor Stallworth, Dante Sawyer and Ulric Jones. We need more depth up front defensively. I might be playing three true freshman defensive linemen in the SEC this year with Kingsley Enagbare, Tyreek Johnson and Rick Sandidge. That’ll keep you up at night.” Why did you promote Bryan McClendon? “It’s all about fit. We had a lot of people interested in coaching Jake Bentley and Deebo Samuel, let me tell you, but the players all believe in Bryan. He’s ready for this opportunity and he proved that by beating Michigan in the Outback Bowl even after we got off to a really ugly start. Your players have to believe in what you’re doing, and they believe in Bryan. I know you’ll all make jokes about my offenses, but with Bryan calling plays and Dan Werner coaching quarterbacks, I think we’ve got it figured out this year.” What do you think about that Week 2 matchup against Georgia? “We’ve got Coastal Carolina on Week 1. We need to win that game. That’s all I’m worried about.” (Narrator’s voice: The listener can choose to believe this response as much or as little as they choose.) THE STATE
  10. Which numbers South Carolina’s newest batch of freshmen will be wearing in 2018 July 11, 2018 With the college football season just around the corner, South Carolina has updated its official online roster to include its newcomers and their jersey numbers. Freshman numbers: OL Dylan Wonnum N. 79 DB Jaycee Horn No. 7 DB Jonathan Gipson No. 36 WR Josh Vann No. 6 WR Tyquan Johnson No. 85 DL Rick Sandidge No. 90 DL Jesus Gibbs No. 93 OL Jovaughn Gwyn No. 54 JUCO DL Jabari Ellis No. 97 Grad Transfers DB Nick Harvey No. 1 DB J.T. Ibe No. 29 Walk-ons QB Corbett Glick No. 11 TE Patrick Reedy No. 46 DB Dawson Hoffman No. 39 South Carolina junior defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw has also changed from jersey No. 99 to No. 3. Redshirt sophomore tight end Evan Hinson has switched from No. 82 to No. 15.
  11. Ryan Hilinski headed to prestigious All-American Bowl before he enrolls at USC July 11, 2018 Ryan Hilinski tweeted it's something he's hoped to do since he was little. Soon enough, the four-star passer will join South Carolina's football team. But before that, he'll play in the All-American Bowl, formerly the U.S. Army game. Hilinski tweeted the news out Tuesday evening. He'd receiver the invite days earlier, and also was invited and had planned to play in the the Under Armour All-America Game. The All-American Bowl game is January 5, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. Hilinski has made the Elite 11 and went to The Opening, performing well at both. He's currently the No. 73 player in the 247 composite rankings and the No. 2 pro-style quarterback. Last season, he threw for 3,749 yards, 33 touchdowns and six interceptions, playing in one of the toughest conferences nationally. That included 538 yards in one game. He committed to South Carolina in early April, after spreading the ashes of his brother Tyler in Hawaii. Tyler Hilinski was a quarterback at Washington State who took his own life early this year.
  12. Where Will Muschamp falls on CBS hot seat rankings (Hint: It's warmer than you think) July 10, 2018 The number that might surprise: 52 coaches ranked ahead of Will Muschamp. That's how many CBS national college football writer Dennis Dodd put ahead of the South Carolina head man in his annual coaches hot seat rankings. Dodd gave Muschamp a rating of two out of five, which indicates "All good ... for now." The better ratings are "Untouchable" (a zero, which 11 coaches got) and "Safe and secure" (a one, which 42 coaches got). A three got the title of "Pressure is mounting." Only 35 coaches had a rating of three or higher. Some coaches ahead of Muschamp included a slew of first-year coaches (Florida's Dan Mullen, Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher, UCF's Josh Heupel), coaches at small schools who were either older or primed for a move up (Appalachian State's Scott Satterfield, Butch Davis at FIU, Frank Solich at Ohio, Lane Kiffin at FAU, ) and some who've seen high-level success in big conferences (Mark Richt at Miami, Paul Chryst at Wisconsin, Lincoln Riley). Muschamp stayed at that "All good ... for now" spot, which he also got last season. That's despite leading his team to nine wins and a bowl upset in a year when it lost its best offensive player and had an attack that struggled enough it cost the offensive coordinator his job. USC has outperformed expectations in back-to-back season, winning six and nine games. Oddmakers have the Gamecocks pegged for a step back, though the schedule has a lot of uncertainty.
  13. per 107.5 the game. Doggies -14.5 I don’t believe it will happen but it’ll be a sad day in Columbia if it does!
  14. Projecting South Carolina's defensive depth chart for 2018 July 10, 2018 South Carolina’s projected 2018 depth chart on defense. Defensive tackle No. 1 group: Javon Kinlaw, Keir Thomas No. 2 group: Kobe Smith, Jabari Ellis The nomenclature at this point is a little tricky, as USC is in position to deploy a lot of three-down looks with flexible fronts. Kinlaw has the makings of a star who could jump to the NFL after next year, while Thomas was subtly very good as a sophomore (he jumped a productive senior in the lineup). Thomas can play a hybrid end-tackle role. Smith was a solid reserve at the position last season, while Ellis was brought in out of junior college, which means he’ll likely factor in. The most interesting part of the group might be the rest fighting for snaps and angling to surprise: former ends bulking up to tackle in Tyreek Johnson and Kingsley Enagbare, four-star signee Rick Sandidge and former four-star M.J. Webb. One to watch: Sandidge, who could have star potential early at a tough position (the staff also said Enagbare will play, but life is tough as an undersized first-year tackle). Defensive end No. 1: Aaron Sterling No. 2: Shameik Blackshear The coaches made clear they’ve been enamored with Sterling, who carved out a role as a true freshman. He’s not big at 6-foot-1, 240 pounds, but they like what he can do. Blackshear is still looking to make good on his considerable rating as a recruit. This is perhaps a position that most bears watching, because outside those two, no one cleanly fits the role but several others (Keir Thomas, buck/strongside linebacker Danny Fennell) might also slide over there. One to watch: Without a lot of up-and-comers at the spot, it’s Sterling. He’s making a big jump in role into a crucial spot. Buck No. 1: D.J. Wonnum No. 2: Brad Johnson Wonnum has emerged as one of USC’s best defensive players. His big question is, can he take a next step to being hyper-productive and perhaps competing for honors in the stacked world of SEC pass rushers. Johnson has added 10-plus pounds since he arrived on campus, and worked his way into the rotation by the end of last season (a tall order considering Wonnum’s presence). The Buck spot is often about trying to fit pieces into the role and seeing how they take, so what comes behind them will have to develop. One to watch: Johnson, if he can built off the end of last season, and if anyone else finds his way into the group. Weakside linebacker No. 1: Bryson Allen-Williams No. 2: Eldridge Thomson No. 3: Damani Staley In some ways, this might be a placeholder for Allen-Williams. He can play all three spots and Buck. He’ll be used where needed, but he was here primarily the last time Skai Moore was off the field. Thompson has the mobility to do a lot at this spot from a coverage standpoint, and his growth could set the table at the spot. Staley is still young, and Sherrod Greene can also play the spot because of USC’s aggressive cross-training. Middle linebacker No. 1: T.J. Brunson No. 2: Sherrod Greene No. 3: Rosendo Louis Brunson remains the guy in the middle, a tackling machine as a centerpiece in his first starting season last year. There were some spots he could clean up according to some advanced metrics, but the staff trusts him as a leader. Louis could well be the No. 2, as he showed a good bit in the spring and brings a good bit of heft, but Greene also did some nice things as a freshman and could work a few spots. One to watch: Louis. If he can be a rotation guy, it gives USC even more flexibility at these spots. Strongside linebacker No. 1: Danny Fennell No. 2: Sherrod Greene This is an odd position because it’s hardly used in some games and a big factor in others. Fennell got most of the snaps in the bowl game and generally held his own (he was considered a Buck for parts of the start of the season). Greene got his first start at the position and showed promise. Allen-Williams started last season here, so it will likely be in a lot of flux. One to watch: It's tricky, since the position isn't always part of the defense, but probably Allen-Williams if he can provide a different dimension there. Nickel No. 1: Keisean Nixon No. 2: Jamyest Williams Will Muschamp moved Nixon inside after spring with the aim of getting more run support from the position. Based on how Nixon played in the bowl, that seems like a good choice. He was slowed by enrolling late, but looked competent. Williams was moved to safety after spring, but this staff hasn’t been shy about dropping safeties to nickel in the past. One to watch: Nixon, just how he takes to being a real contributor after last season. USC remains perilously unproven at defensive back,so there could be movement depending on who emerges. Cornerback No. 1 group: Nick Harvey, Rashad Fenton No. 2 group: Israel Mukuamu, Jaycee Horn Fenton is a stalwart and has been for two years. Harvey was good enough to start his junior season at A&M and play a lot as a sophomore before his injury. Behind him, it’s less clear. Mukuamu played well in spring despite his size (6-foot-4) and Horn has the pedigree (four-star prospect, son of an NFL player). There will likely be spots where corner robs some other spots (Nixon from nickel or Williams from safety). USC has played little more than two guys at the two spots for long stretches the past few years. Maybe this is when it changes. One to watch: Horn. Mukuamu showed he might be a guy who contributes quickly. Horn has ground to make up in a short time. Safety No. 1 group: Jamyest Williams, Steven Montac No. 2 group: J.T. Ibe, Jaylin Dickerson On his Spurs Up tour stops, Muschamp said Montac is the only safety he fully trusts, high praise for a former late roster addition. Williams is moving to the spot, but he’s got range for days and a lot of potential (he alternated brilliant plays with some struggles in coverage and injuries as a true freshman starter). If he can stay healthy, Dickerson has a good chance to establish himself as a starter, but he’s hardly been healthy across the past year-plus. He could add nice size at 6-foot-1. As a grad transfer moving up a level, Ibe probably provides steady backup. Behind that top four are newcomer R.J. Roderick and redshirt Zay Brown. One to watch: Roderick. As an early enrollee, he already looked like a college player at 6-foot, 210 pounds. He’s transitioning from playing almost exclusively offense in high school, but Muschamp raved about his instincts and said he will play this season.
  15. https://collegefootballnews.com/2018...s-preview-201821. D.J. Wonnum, Jr. South CarolinaThe all-star in the classroom has been a big-time producer on the field, too, as the best returning player on a strong Gamecock D. The 6-5, 258-pounder is a dangerous pass rusher with 57 tackles, six sacks and 13 tackles for loss.
  16. http://www.espn.com/college-football...-receiver-2018Andrea Adelson: Deebo Samuel, South CarolinaIf Samuel can stay healthy for an entire season, he has the potential to be not just the best receiver in the country, but also the most electric player. Even though he played in just three games last season after breaking his leg, he still tied for the team lead with six total touchdowns. He also averaged 16.7 yards per catch. With Jake Bentley back at quarterback, Samuel will have his shot at a huge year.
  17. https://collegefootballnews.com/2018...s-preview-201823. Rashad Fenton, Sr. South CarolinaA good starter for the Gamecocks over the last three seasons, Fenton has 5-11, 186-pound size and the speed to be a fantastic kickoff returner. He made 48 tackles with a pick and eight broken up passes. A sure hitter, he doesn’t miss in the open field.
  18. Jaycee Horn could have big USC career. First things first, freshman says July 06, 2018 Jaycee Horn, a former Tennessee commitment from Alpharetta, Georgia, isn’t looking forward to any particular South Carolina football game this season. “I mean, I just got to work my way into playing first,” he said. “That’s No. 1, and then I’ll look into what game.” Horn is a four-star cornerback who is rated among the top 25 nationally at his position in the 2018 class. It was viewed as a late steal when Will Muschamp, Travaris Robinson and the USC staff got Horn to pledge two days before the start of the December signing period. The son of a four-time Pro Bowl receiver seems ready-made, but let Horn earn a role before he begins dreaming of clashes with the Volunteers and Bulldogs. “You always want to set high standards, so even if you don’t land there, you land somewhere close,” Horn said. “So that’s my main goal, to come in and compete with the 1s and play with the 1s. But if not, I still want to be able to learn from those guys (starting players).” Horn is in Columbia and enrolled for summer classes. He’s scheduled to room with fellow freshman DB Israel Mukuamu – and join a position group that already includes veteran returnees Keisean Nixon and Rashad Fenton and now Nick Harvey, a graduate transfer from Texas A&M. “I know we got a graduate transfer coming in,” Horn said. “He’s an older guy. So it would be good to learn from him, Keisean and Fenton. All those dudes are older guys that have been doing it for a long time. “So even if I don’t end up starting, it’ll be good to learn from them. So that when it is my time, I know that I’m ready.” Horn, who said he’s up to 193 pounds, has spent the last five months on a strict training regimen in anticipation of such a moment. “I started off about three times a week, going to the field and just running,” he said. “And then I worked my way into doing drills these last three weeks. I’ve been doing ladder drills, positional drills. But still getting a run in, trying to run longer distances. “Basically I’m just trying to get in shape. But of course it’s still going to be a challenge when you first get there. But I’m prepared for it.” South Carolina is coming off a 9-4 season, which included a win in the Outback Bowl. Horn is part of, according to 247Sports, the nation’s No. 19 recruiting class. The 2018 Gamecocks, with the return of star receiver Deebo Samuel, are trending toward big things. “I’m anxious,” Horn said. “I mean, it’s an exciting time for South Carolina football. Since Muschamp’s been there, we’ve improved every year, but if you talk to the coaches and to the guys, we’re not just OK with what we’re doing. We’re trying to take it to the next level of winning national championships. “We know it’s not going to happen right away, but the more we win, the more recruits we get. We’re just trying to build a dynasty. “We’re excited, but we’re not complacent." THE STATE Read more here: https://www.thestate.com/sports/college/university-of-south-carolina/usc-football/article211863494.html#storylink=cpy Read more here: https://www.thestate.com/sports/college/university-of-south-carolina/usc-football/article211863494.html#storylink=c “You always want to set high standards, so even if you don’t land there, you land somewhere close,” Horn said. “So that’s my main goal, to come in and compete with the 1s and play with the 1s. But if not, I still want to be able to learn from those guys (starting players).” Horn is in Columbia and enrolled for summer classes. He’s scheduled to room with fellow freshman DB Israel Mukuamu – and join a position group that already includes veteran returnees Keisean Nixon and Rashad Fenton and now Nick Harvey, a graduate transfer from Texas A&M. “I know we got a graduate transfer coming in,” Horn said. “He’s an older guy. So it would be good to learn from him, Keisean and Fenton. All those dudes are older guys that have been doing it for a long time. “So even if I don’t end up starting, it’ll be good to learn from them. So that when it is my time, I know that I’m ready.” Horn, who said he’s up to 193 pounds, has spent the last five months on a strict training regimen in anticipation of such a moment. “I started off about three times a week, going to the field and just running,” he said. “And then I worked my way into doing drills these last three weeks. I’ve been doing ladder drills, positional drills. But still getting a run in, trying to run longer distances. “Basically I’m just trying to get in shape. But of course it’s still going to be a challenge when you first get there. But I’m prepared for it.” South Carolina is coming off a 9-4 season, which included a win in the Outback Bowl. Horn is part of, according to 247Sports, the nation’s No. 19 recruiting class. The 2018 Gamecocks, with the return of star receiver Deebo Samuel, are trending toward big things. “I’m anxious,” Horn said. “I mean, it’s an exciting time for South Carolina football. Since Muschamp’s been there, we’ve improved every year, but if you talk to the coaches and to the guys, we’re not just OK with what we’re doing. We’re trying to take it to the next level of winning national championships. “We know it’s not going to happen right away, but the more we win, the more recruits we get. We’re just trying to build a dynasty. “We’re excited, but we’re not complacent." Read more here: https://www.thestate.com/sports/college/university-of-south-carolina/usc-football/article211863494.html#storylink=cpy py
  19. CFN Preview 2018 College Football Rankings & Previews: No. 1 to 130 July 04, 2018 16. South Carolina Gamecocks Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Linebacker Relative Concerns: Secondary, Ground Game Here’s The Deal: Getting WR Deebo Samuel back adds some pop and explosion to a passing game that should be far more dangerous. Jake Bentley is a cool, calm veteran passer, but he needs more from the ground game to help out the rest of the O. As always, the Will Muschamp defense and special teams will be strong, but it’ll be the improvement of the of the nation’s 108th-best offense that will make USC a player. 2017 Final Season Ranking: 31 1. Clemson Tigers Relative Strengths: Defensive Line, Quarterback Relative Concerns: Special Teams, Quarterback Controversy Here’s The Deal: No pressure, but the defensive line should be among the best of all-time for a defense that will camp out in opposing backfields all season long. The spotlight will be on the front four, but the linebacking corps and secondary are rock-solid, too. A few new receivers have to emerge, and the running game needs to be great behind one of the ACC’s best lines, but the offensive focus is all about the quarterback situation. Kelly Bryant is a terrific incumbent who’s good enough to lead the way to another ACC title and the College Football Playoff, but superstar recruit Trevor Lawrence could be the instant fix for a passing attack that was among the worst in the nation in yards per completion. 2017 Final Season Ranking: 7 SEE ALL
  20. QB Ryan Hilinski talks South Carolina football, recruiting and more from #TheOpening Finals in Texas today. July 05, 2018 Watch this exclusive recruit interview with South Carolina quarterback commit Ryan Hilinski from The Opening Finals in Frisco, Texas
  21. New post from CFNhttps://collegefootballnews.com/2018...s-preview-2018Citrus BowlTuesday, January 1st1:00, ABCCamping World Stadium, Orlando, FLSEC vs. (likely) Big Ten or ACC Projection: South Carolina vs. Penn State
  22. Breaking down South Carolina's 2018 football schedule July 01, 2018 South Carolina's football team has the 46th-toughest schedule in the nation, according to ESPN's Football Power Index. Today, we'll take a look at each game, and South Carolina's prospects for it. (Game times are set for the first three weeks of the season.) Sept. 1, vs. Coastal Carolina (noon, SEC Network) About the Chanticleers: Coach Joe Moglia, the 2015 FCS coach of the year, returns this fall after missing the 2017 season because of a medical issue. Coastal needs him. It finished 3-9 last year, and the defense gave up more than 34 points per game. Gamecocks prospects: South Carolina beat the Chants 70-10 in 2013, which was Coastal’s only other appearance in Williams-Brice Stadium. A similar score would be a good start for Bryan McClendon’s offense. Sept. 8, vs. Georgia (3:30 pm, CBS) About the Bulldogs: Georgia won the SEC and played in the national championship game last year. The Bulldogs must replace running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel but still have quarterback Jake Fromm and added five-star QB recruit Justin Fields. Linebacker Roquan Smith, a first-round NFL draft pick, also is gone. Gamecocks prospects: South Carolina is happy to have this game back at the front of the schedule, when, theoretically, the Bulldogs could be torn between two quarterbacks and still getting comfortable without some of last year’s stars. Still, this will be one of the toughest tests on the entire slate. Sept. 15, vs. Marshall (7:30 p.m., ESPN) About the Thundering Herd: Marshall should have been led into this game by senior quarterback Chase Litton, who is fifth in school history in passing yards. Instead, Litton skipped his senior season to enter the NFL draft, where he went undrafted. That’s a big blow to a team that went 8-5 and beat Colorado State in a bowl game last year. Gamecocks prospects: Marshall finished 17th in the nation in total defense last year, so this won’t be a blowout, but it should be a nice resting spot between the Bulldogs and the first road trip of the year. Sept. 22, at Vanderbilt About the Commodores: Coach Derek Mason’s seat is getting warm in Nashville. Vanderbilt was 1-7 in the SEC last year and finished No. 88 in the nation in total defense, which is Mason’s area of expertise. Mason is 6-26 in league games in four seasons. Gamecocks prospects: South Carolina is riding an eight-game winning streak against the Commodores, and it won’t end this year. This is the first in a two-game road stretch for USC. Sept. 29, at Kentucky About the Wildcats: Running back Benny Snell and linebacker Josh Allen are the bright spots for Kentucky, but about the only ones. The Wildcats, who were 4-4 in the SEC last year, will be replacing quarterback Stephen Johnson. Gamecocks prospects: Inexplicably, South Carolina has lost four in a row to the Wildcats. It’s Kentucky’s longest winning streak in the SEC, and if it doesn’t end this year, Gamecocks fans might go crazy. Oct. 6, vs. Missouri About the Tigers: Quarterback Drew Lock is back and could have the best statistical season of any SEC quarterback this year. However, no one knows what new offensive coordinator Derek Dooley’s offense will look like. Dooley, the former Tennessee head coach, has never coordinated a unit. Gamecocks prospects: Lock’s talent make this a dangerous game, but it’s one South Carolina should win, especially at home. USC is 4-2 against the Tigers since Missouri joined the SEC. This begins another three-game stretch at Williams-Brice. Oct. 13, vs. Texas A&M About the Aggies: First-year coach Jimbo Fisher, a longtime friend of South Carolina coach Will Muschamp, leads probably the biggest question mark on the schedule. The Aggies have talent but must transition from former coach Kevin Sumlin to Fisher’s offensive system. Gamecocks prospects: South Carolina has never beaten the Aggies. They are 0-4 all-time, with all those meetings coming since Texas A&M joined the conference. This is South Carolina’s best chance in any of those meetings. Oct. 27, vs. Tennessee About the Volunteers: Another opponent with a new head coach, the Volunteers will be led by Jeremy Pruitt, like Muschamp a former Nick Saban defensive coordinator. It will take Pruitt a while to dig Tennessee out of the hole it has dug for itself in recent years. Gamecocks prospects: It’s critical for South Carolina to take advantage of this time that one of the SEC East’s traditional powers is struggling. A win this year would give the Gamecocks just their second three-game winning streak against UT. Nov. 3, at Ole Miss About the Rebels: Coach Matt Luke had his interim tag removed in the offseason, and he may have the most underrated quarterback in the conference in Jordan Ta’amu, a junior college transfer who completed 67 percent of his passes and had a 164.5 efficiency after replacing Shea Patterson last year. Gamecocks prospects: This will be South Carolina’s first trip to Oxford since 2008. Overall, the Gamecocks are 2-3 in games at Ole Miss, and this game should even that mark at 3-3. Nov. 10, at Florida About the Gators: Another first-year head coach pops up on the schedule in Dan Mullen, who jumped from Mississippi State to Florida. Mullen has a proven track record in the SEC and probably will have had enough time by this point in the season to find a quarterback and get the Gators comfortable in his spread offense. Gamecocks prospects: Like the Tennessee game, this game has symbolic implications as well. South Carolina needs to beat Florida to cement itself as the second-best team in its division, while the Gators and Vols are in transition. Nov. 17, vs. Chattanooga About the Mocs: Chattanooga finished 3-8 in coach Tom Arth’s first season. That’s quite a fall for a team used to being in the FCS playoffs. The Mocs return 15 starters, including quarterback Cole Copeland. Gamecocks prospects: Clearly a must-win, this game is positioned to give South Carolina a tune-up for the season finale against Clemson. Nov. 24, at Clemson About the Tigers: Clemson made its third consecutive appearance in the College Football Playoff a year ago and returns a frightening defensive line that includes surprise returnees Christian Wilkins and Clelin Ferrell. Quarterback Kelly Bryant might be supplanted by five-star freshman Trevor Lawrence by this point in the season. Gamecocks prospects: Clemson is on a four-game winning streak and will be a big favorite to extend it to five this year. An upset here would be the biggest feather in Muschamp’s cap thus far at South Carolina, but it would be a big upset.
  23. Connor Shaw getting back in the huddle? His response to Steve Spurrier reaching out June 30, 2018 Steve Spurrier and Connor Shaw enjoyed great success as a coach and quarterback tandem during their time at South Carolina. Spurrier was hoping the two could reunite on a professional level. The former Gamecock and Florida coach is the head coach of the Orlando squad in the Alliance of American Football League, which begins play in February of 2019. “He asked if I was interested but my body is thanking me I am on the sidelines, coaching instead of playing,” Shaw said Saturday at an All-Pro Dads event at the Jerry Spurrier Practice Facility. “I wish him nothing but the best. Everyone is excited for him to be back on the sidelines so it will be fun.” Shaw is in his first season as tight ends coach at Furman after retiring from professional football in 2017. He played four seasons in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears with injuries ending his season each time. Shaw was the winningest quarterback in USC history with a 27-5 mark, including 17-0 at Williams-Brice Stadium. He threw for 6,074 yards and 56 touchdowns and led the Gamecocks to a trio of bowl wins under Spurrier. Shaw said he learned a lot as a player under Spurrier and things he can apply now as he begins his coaching career. “So many things that you can take away from coach Spurrier on and off the field. You can write a book on some of the antics he’s had,” Shaw said. “The greatest thing about him is he is a competitor and he demands perfection. He has been there and succeeded and does a great job of maximizing his players. He definitely got the best out of me. So I am very appreciative.” THE STATE
  24. Jake Bentley talks facing UGA's Jake Fromm in Week 2 June 30, 2018 College quarterbacks are eager to help out at the Manning Passing Academy not only for the opportunity to learn from one of football’s most iconic families, the Mannings, but also to talk shop and bond with their peers, fellow college football signal-callers. South Carolina QB Jake Bentley considers two of his fellow SEC quarterbacks, Georgia’s Jake Fromm and Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham, friends. He told Paul Finebaum that the three bonded at the Manning Passing Academy. “Me and Jarrett Stidham and Jake Fromm, we really hung out all four days we were down there,” Bentley said. “We’re all so close because you go through the same issues and same experiences throughout your college careers so there is a lot of stuff we can relate to.” Bentley recognizes that he and Fromm won’t be quite as friendly when Week 2 of the season rolls around with the Bulldogs coming to Columbia to take on the Gamecocks. “We kind of say what’s up to each other before the game and maybe speak to each other after the game, but really during the game (and week) there is not much talking,” Bentley said. “I’m sure he’s not rooting for me and I’m not trying to root for him. We want to go out there and win the game just like any other quarterback around the country wants to. There is a mutual respect for each other, but when it’s in between the lines all bets are off and it’s time to play ball.” Bentley and Fromm, along with Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and others, are part of an increasing number of young quarterbacks able to step in and thrive as true freshmen. He told Finebaum that he credits high school coaches. “I think it’s a testament to high school coaches around the country,” he said. “I know my coach, Coach Blackmon at Opelika, was a great football coach that really taught me a lot and prepared me for college.” Interestingly enough, Blackmon is now on staff at Auburn. The full segment from “The Paul Finebaum Show” with Bentley can be seen here . SDS
  25. Dan Werner's unique coaching start helps explain South Carolina offense June 28, 2018 Dan Werner couldn’t have had a childhood that better prepared him to be a college football coach. A college football player? That’s a different story. Werner played high school football for his dad George’s team at Dowagiac High School in Dowagiac, Mich., across Lake Michigan from Chicago. George Werner ran the Houston veer offense, and his son played wide receiver. That meant Dan Werner’s high school football career consisted mostly of blocking, not the type of the thing that makes an impressive recruiting highlights tape. “I wasn’t fast enough to play wide receiver or big enough to play tight end” in college, Werner said. So Werner’s playing career ended after high school, making him a rarity, a successful collegiate coach who never played the game at the collegiate level. “Maybe early in my career it was a factor, but I don’t know that for a fact,” Werner said. “Nobody ever questioned me about it. Once I started proving myself, it definitely wasn’t a factor anymore.” Werner, who has made stops at Alabama, Ole Miss and Miami among many other places, is set to begin his first season as South Carolina’s quarterbacks coach this fall. Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp said Werner’s lack of a collegiate playing career made no difference in the hiring process. “It’s not a prerequisite for the job,” Muschamp said. “Dan’s track record speaks for itself.” Washington State head coach Mike Leach, Duke head coach David Cutcliffe, Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson, former Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis and former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze are among the notable recent coaches who never played college football, but it’s a small fraternity. “I’m sure there are more, but I think it’s less than most people believe,” said Vince Thompson, media relations director for the American Football Coaches Association. South Carolina's Jake Bentley and coach Dan Werner Tim Dominick tdominick@thestate.com After high school, Werner attended Dowagiac Junior College for one year and then transferred to Western Michigan. “I could have walked on, but I decided I didn’t want to go be a blocking dummy. Looking back on it, I wish I had,” he said. “If I had it to do over again, I would have gone and walked on at Western Michigan and seen what happened.” But at the time, it looked like the Werner family might be getting out of the football business entirely. George Werner had recently left coaching to join his father’s business in St. Louis, and Dan Werner was planning to major in business at Western Michigan. “I realized that while people in my class were reading the Wall Street Journal, I was reading the sports page so it wasn’t a good fit,” Werner said. About the time he was wondering about his future, his dad came back to high school coaching. “That pretty much sealed the deal,” Werner said. Dan Werner decided then and there he wanted to be a football coach, and he wanted to start immediately. While still in college, he took a job as the offensive coordinator of the eighth grade team at a local junior high school. The next year, he was promoted to offensive coordinator of the freshman team. “I got paid $300 for the whole season,” he said. “I thought I’d hit the lottery. I got paid to coach football. At the time I knew I wanted to coach and I saw that I could get jobs that actually paid money and everything, and I could get started in the profession I wanted. I had buddies that did play (college football) and they learned their position but they didn’t learn why they were learning certain plays.” Meanwhile, Werner was taking a crash course in football, just like he did as a kid when George Werner set up the school projector in the family living room to watch game film. “I just loved sitting and listening to him,” Werner said. Werner’s first collegiate job came at Cornell, where the offensive coordinator was a friend of his father. “He said, 'Your dad is one of the best football coaches from high school to the NFL that I have ever been around,' ” Werner said. “I thought he was just maybe being nice or something, but as I’ve gone through and been with other guys, I realized he was right.” Werner’s childhood and his experience starting in the high school ranks gave him an appreciation for coaches and schemes at all levels. He credits his father, George, former Western Michigan offensive coordinator Bob Wyman and former Portage Central High School head coach Bob Knight with teaching him the most about the game in his developmental years. Those influences are also the reason, he said, that he's always looked to high schools for ideas to incorporate in his own offense, a system he and Freeze, another coach who got his start in high school football, stitched together years ago at Ole Miss. “I got to learn from my dad, Coach Knight and Coach Wyman before I had turned 21 years old,” Werner said. “There were a lot of guys who played who didn’t know close to as much as I did before I graduated college.” THE STATE

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