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  1. Justin posted a message on Facebook the other day saying that Austin Koon is leaving the South Carolina program to open his own production company. Justin will be able to hire another really great person to refill the opening though.
  2. Want to party in a Cockaboose? They cost more than a house — but, boy, are they sweet March 18, 2019 THE STATE REPORT .mcclatchy-embed{position:relative;padding:40px 0 56.25%;height:0;overflow:hidden;max-width:100%}.mcclatchy-embed iframe{position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%} COLUMBIA, SC Got a spare 400 grand burning a hole in your pocket? Step right up. Your Cockaboose awaits! A rare real estate opportunity has come up, and if you manage to round up enough pennies, you could be the proud new owner of not one but two of Columbia’s iconic Cockaboose tailgating cars at the University of South Carolina football stadium grounds. Cockabooses No. 16 and No. 17 are for sale as a pair for $399,000. The two cars are unique because they are conjoined in a corner with more than 600 square feet of outdoor deck space set up between them. Each car has a bathroom, full-sized refrigerator and kitchen area. Eight surface parking spaces — which come at a premium around Williams-Brice Stadium, sometimes selling for tens of thousands of dollars apiece — are included in the sales price. Plus, the cars come with five TVs, heating and air conditioning. “They’re just iconic. No other university has anything like it, and an opportunity to own one doesn’t” come around often, said John Saunders, one of the co-owners of the Cockabooses for sale. A third Cockaboose, car No. 21, also is listed for sale for $259,000 in a separate Craigslist posting by another owner. It’s not often Cockabooses (Cockabeese?) go up for sale. Sometimes, they’re passed along within families for years. On the rare occasions they do hit the market, the famous railroad tailgating cars typically don’t sell cheap. In 2006, for instance, Cockaboose No. 4, along with a Touchdown Zone parking space, was put on the market for $300,000, The State reported at the time. For comparison, the median price of homes for sale in the Columbia area is $184,900, according to Zillow. .mcclatchy-embed{position:relative;padding:40px 0 56.25%;height:0;overflow:hidden;max-width:100%}.mcclatchy-embed iframe{position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%} Saunders’ family and three others jumped at the chance to purchase a pair of Cockabooses several years ago, Saunders said. “It was something everybody aspired to. They were just so cool,” said Saunders, an international pilot who lives in Greenville. “We all just told each other as friends, hey, we need to do that one day.” The four co-owning families are full of Gamecock grads and diehard fans, and their children are USC grads or current students, too. Saunders was a student at USC when the first Cockabooses were installed just outside Williams-Brice Stadium in 1990. The first 20 cars, unfurnished, sold for $45,000 apiece; they sold out in two days, The State reported. The allure of the Cockabooses was immediate and has endured. They are a unique icon in all of college football culture, and they’ve become a beloved tradition and symbol of USC football and tailgating. Even Darius Rucker, he of Hootie and Gamecock idolization, is sometimes seen tailgating at the Cockabooses. After years of good times, some of the partner families’ situations have changed, and Saunders’ group thought it best to sell the cars and move on, Saunders said. Since posting the cars for sale on Craigslist a little over a week ago, Saunders said he’s already received several bites, including from as far away as Dallas. You can find Saunders’ listing for Cockabooses No. 16 and No. 17 at craigslist.org.
  3. South Carolina Athletics Engages Legends to Conduct Fan Survey for Williams-Brice Stadium Planning March 12, 2019 University of South Carolina Athletics today announced it is partnering with Legends, a leader in global planning, sales and hospitality, to conduct a comprehensive study of Williams-Brice Stadium with a focus on enhancing the fan experience. Gamecock fans will be receiving a survey via email starting on March 14 that will be asking for feedback to help guide long-term decision-marking for the future of Williams-Brice Stadium. The scope of work developed from this project will expand into the future beyond the $21 million slate of work that is currently proposed for Williams-Brice Stadium in 2020. "The investment we are about to make into Williams-Brice Stadium is another step in improving the fan experience and maximize quality seating," said Athletics Director Ray Tanner. "In working with Legends, we are looking at a long-term plan that will make Williams-Brice a quality fan experience for many years to come. This will take a large investment, but we know there is competition for the entertainment dollar, and we want to give our fans the best experience possible when attending events at Williams-Brice Stadium." The upcoming investment in Williams-Brice Stadium for 2020 focuses on maximizing the use of spaces vacated by the Gamecock football program's move to the $50 million Long Family Football Operations Center. The project should result in providing new access to air-conditioned spaces to approximately 9,000 patrons. "The goal of our work with Legends is to take a fan-first approach," added Tanner. "We will be able to get feedback from our fans and then have Legends take the information to help us create options for that will positively impact fan experience at Williams-Brice Stadium for years to come." "Legends is excited to partner with South Carolina Athletics to leverage our collaborative, data-driven research capabilities to engage loyal alumni and Gamecock supporters, to help identify future opportunities to enhance the overall experience for those attending football games at Williams-Brice Stadium," said Mike Behan, Legends Vice President of Collegiate Partnerships. "Coach Tanner has created a culture within the Athletic Department that both understands the responsibility to their fans to provide a world-class entertainment experience and embraces innovation. This will be integral to our approach to help reimagine fan experience at Williams-Brice Stadium to meet the challenges of today's environment." Legends brings a wealth of experience to the table, working with premier venues across professional sports, events and collegiate partners, including, AT&T Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Banc of California Stadium, University of Notre Dame and the University of Oklahoma, in addition to international teams including Liverpool and Manchester City soccer clubs. About LegendsFounded in 2008, Legends is a holistic experiential services agency with more than 1,200 full-time and 30,000 seasonal team members globally. Legends has three core divisions operating worldwide: Global Planning, Global Sales and Hospitality, offering clients and partners a 360-degree platform to elevate their brand and execute their vision. Currently, Legends works with marquee clients across business verticals including professional sports; collegiate; attractions; entertainment; and conventions and leisure. We are the industry leaders in designing, planning and realizing exceptional experiences in sports and entertainment. For more information, visit Legends.net and follow Legends at Facebook.com/TheLegendsWay, Twitter and Instagram: @thelegendsway
  4. Where Ryan Hilinski thinks he can benefit from spring practice with the Gamecocks March 17, 2019 THE STATE There’s a line of demarcation when a recruit such as Ryan Hilinski finally enrolls early with a college football team. Before that line, it matters how he shows in all-star games, practices and camp, how he plays on a high school field. These all give a sense of what a player can be. Then he enrolls, and all of a sudden, those accolades no longer earn him credibility. He makes his case for the next season based on workouts, impressing teammates in player-run practices or coaches in meetings, showing leadership and most importantly, hitting the field for spring ball. That’s a time to make a mark, and earn a role next season. Hilinski comes into a room with a senior quarterback who has started for years. So his first goal in his first semester on campus is more modest. “One of the big things I want to get out of it is just getting closer with all the teammates,” Hilinski said. “Just building relationships because all these newcomers coming in, I’m a Cali kid, and so maybe some other kids know each other, they’ve been a part of this team for a while and I’ve got to come in, and being the quarterback, you’ve got to have a good relationship with kids on the team.” That said, he’s also there for the competition. He said he also has a goal of doing whatever he could to show he belongs on the field at some point. When asked about redshirting in the past, he said he’ll probably do it if Jake Bentley didn’t go pro. Asked again just before enrolling, the plan has shifted slightly, and he’s putting it in the hands of his coaches. “I talked to my parents about it,” Hilinski said. “I think that will probably be the best decision for me.” His chances of redshirting are likely good. He is competing with dual-threat passers Dakereon Joyner and Jay Urich for the backup spot behind Bentley, unless he just shows out. Both of those players showed some need to develop as passers at the end of last season, but if Hilisnki’s skills match his recruiting hype, he’ll be right there in the mix for the backup spot. But the NCAA’s new redshirt rules make it easier to redshirt given a backup can play in four games. Michael Scarnecchia only played in four last season behind Bentley, and there wasn’t any real incentive to keep it that low. Hilinski said before coming to campus he had already studied up on protections, the run game and the offensive formations. And although the all-star experience won’t have any tangible impact on whatever role Hilinski can carve out. He said working around the best players in the county and with good coaches helped develop the player who arrived on campus. He hopes a spring with USC’s staff has a similar effect. “It’s definitely a big advantage for me,” Hilinski said. “I’m just starting to hit my ceiling and I think with coach Werner and coach (Bryan) McClendon and coach (Will) Muschamp and coach (Jeff) Dillman and Kristin (Coggin), our nutritionist, I think all of those guys will play a role in how I can break through that ceiling.”
  5. Watching Thomas Brown mic'd up at South Carolina's spring practice will be the most entertaining thing you'll see all day Simply put, South Carolina hasn’t gotten enough out of the team’s running backs in the Will Muschamp era. To fix that issue, the program made a change shifting Bobby Bentley to tight ends coach and bringing in former Georgia running back Thomas Brown, who coached running backs at Miami last season. This spring was Brown’s first in Columbia and based on the video recently put out by the official Gamecock Football Twitter account, the team’s new position coach is bringing some much-needed energy and enthusiasm to the practice field. It’s impossible to watch this video and not root for Brown, who wouldn’t want to play for this guy after watching him celebrate achievements on the practice field? If that energy translates to his position group moving forward, South Carolina should expect a significant boost in production from the team’s running backs in 2019. When that happens, there’s no doubt the program’s new assistant coach will be celebrating from the sideline:
  6. He didn’t see field for Gamecocks last year but has ‘all the ability in the world March 11, 2019 THE STATE With the new NCAA redshirt rule, South Carolina’s football team got the majority of its last class on the field for at least a few games even if they took a redshirt. But a few players remain a mystery, like Darius Rush, who did his work well behind the scenes. In that role, he’s shown a little something. “He’s good,” starting slot Shi Smith said. “I mean, when he gets over the injury, he’s a pretty good guy. He’s a great person, so just whenever he gets over that injury, he’ll be good.” A wrist injury limited the 6-foot-2, 185-pound pass catcher during the season, and he’ll be in a receiver group with some experience at the top, but the need to develop depth. Deebo Samuel is gone. Smith and Bryan Edwards are back as starters, and if OrTre Smith is healthy, he’ll likely hold the third spot after starting 10 games as a freshman and missing last fall after knee surgery. Beyond them, Josh Vann had 18 catches last year. Chavis Dawkins and Randrecous Davis combined for nine. USC will add a couple more blue-chip players in the summer, but Rush will have a chance to make his case. “Darius Rush is a funny kid, personality-wise,” Edwards said. “Talent, he’s got all the talent and all the ability in the world. He’s going to keep growing, keep getting stronger and he picks up on things very easily. He’s a fast learner, and he’s very smooth in everything he does.” The part about picking up on things is notable because Rush was asked to do a lot at a small high school. He played receiver, option quarterback, wildcat quarterback and safety. He played in two dramatically different offenses going from a power-option scheme to a spread. He had 47 catches for 863 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior and rushed for 125 yards as a senior, leading C.E. Murray High to one of the better seasons in school history. After watching the former early enrollee for a year in practice, Shi Smith projects Rush to be a solid deep threat and possession receiver. “You’ve just got to smooth out the edges and I think he’ll be a great player,” Edwards said. He’ll be in a battle to be sure. Beyond the top four, Chad Terrell is coming back from a knee injury. Dawkins and Davis are running out of chances to make an impact. Three more players are set to come in during the summer. But Rush, who spent his season even more behind the scenes than most, will get his chance. “Every year in camp, it’s a competition from top to bottom,” Edwards said.
  7. THE DAILY CROW | What to watch for during Gamecocks spring practice including storylines, position battles and more February 28, 2019 South Carolina has hit the football field for the first time in 2019. What should fans be looking for from the Gamecocks this spring?
  8. Five offensive storylines to follow entering spring practice February 22, 2019 South Carolina begins spring football practice on Wednesday. The Gamecocks were 7-6 a year ago. The spring game will be held April 6 at noon and broadcast by the SEC Network. Here are the top five storylines surrounding the Gamecocks offense headed into spring: THE BACKUP QUARTERBACK If South Carolina coaches get their wish, no quarterback other than senior Jake Bentley will play a meaningful snap in 2019. There is not a competition for the starting job, but the backup spot looks totally up for grabs. The contenders are redshirt freshman Dakereon Joyner, sophomore Jay Urich and early enrollee freshman Ryan Hilinski. Joyner was South Carolina’s Mr. Football in 2017; Hilinski was one of the top quarterback recruits in the country last year. If Hilinski jumps in line and wins the backup job, it could prompt Joyner to change positions or even consider a transfer. For that reason alone, it’s likely the Gamecocks will exit spring without naming a No. 2 at the position. WIDE RECEIVER SHAKEUP Leading receiver Deebo Samuel is gone, clearing the way for Bryan Edwards to take on the No. 1 target role in his final season. Edwards has had at least 44 catches and 590 yards in his previous three seasons and seems up to the task. The bigger questions are what OrTre Smith will look like after missing most of last year with a knee injury, whether Shi Smith can take up all the slack left by Samuel’s exit and if sophomore Josh Vann can go from a freshman who showed flashes to a reliable No. 3 or 4 target. WHO WILL PLAY LEFT TACKLE? Sadarius Hutcherson, who has played guard the last two seasons, probably will get the first look. The junior doesn’t have a typical tackle frame, but he’s been the team’s most consistent lineman the last two years. Sophomore Dylan Wonnum, who started seven games as a true freshman at right tackle, could also get a look on the left side. Sophomore Jordan Carty and redshirt freshman Max Iyama also are options, Muschamp said. RICO DOWDLE’S LAST STAND The senior running back has a new position coach in Thomas Brown, who already has hinted that all the tailbacks underachieved last season, and no longer has competition from Ty’Son Williams, who is transferring, and perhaps A.J. Turner, who ended last season playing defensive back. Brown wants a clear No. 1 running back to emerge, and it seems like the decks are clearing for Dowdle to be that person. He’s had six 100-yard games in his career and had a career-high of 226 in 2016, but he’s also gone through periods of ineffectiveness. He’s got one more chance to have a statement season. WILL A TE EMERGE FROM PACK? In 2018, South Carolina went from Hayden Hurst, a first round NFL Draft pick, to tight end-by-committee, and it will probably rely on that same approach again this season. Jacob August is gone, but Kiel Pollard, K.C. Crosby and Kyle Markway all return. Meanwhile, tight end Evan Hinson has given up basketball to focus solely on football and to try and gain a larger role. Pollard led that group with 15 catches for 181 yards last year. Crosby added 11 catches for 101 yards.
  9. Another coach joins growing chorus calling South Carolina an NCAA Tournament team February 24, 2019 Ben Howland’s coached in 29 NCAA Tournament games since making his Big Dance debut with Northern Arizona in 1998. He’s been to five Sweet 16s, three Final Fours and led UCLA to a national runner-up finish in 2006. “I know what an NCAA Tournament team looks like,” Howland said Saturday after helping Mississippi State to a 76-61 win over South Carolina. “That’s one that we played today.” The Gamecocks dropped to 14-13 overall and 9-5 and into a tie for fourth place in the SEC standings with the latest result. They led the Bulldogs (20-7, 8-6) by 16 points with four minutes to go in the first half before being overwhelmed by a team pegged this week by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi as a No. 6 seed for the NCAA Tournament. “I told the guys at halftime, ‘Hey, we can’t play any worse than we did those first 10 minutes,’” Howland said. “And a lot of it was South Carolina. “South Carolina is a really, really good basketball team. They’re coming here to beat us to get in the NCAA Tournament. Their only losses in our league are Tennessee twice, at LSU, at Kentucky. They’re very good. That’s an NCAA Tournament team we beat today.” The SEC’s Mississippi coaches have been high on the Gamecocks this week. Following a 79-64 loss to USC on Tuesday, Ole Miss leader Kermit Davis went as far as saying Carolina could do damage in the Big Dance. “If they can get to the (NCAA) Tournament,” Davis said, “they sure can win games in the tournament.” Lunardi’s latest bracket projection, updated Friday morning, had Carolina among his last eight teams out for the field of 68. The trip to Humphrey Coliseum was likely USC’s last opportunity for a fourth “quadrant one” win this regular season. KenPom.com gives the Gamecocks at least a 38 percent chance to win their last four games, starting with Tuesday’s home clash with Alabama (16-11, 7-7).
  10. Vandy got in at 17-14, they didn't win hardly any of their top 25 games. Also, Andy Katz says any SEC team that finishes.500 or better in league play is in including SC. I feel like 11-7 with at least 1 win in the tournament is the bare minimum to have a chance though personally. 16-14 just worries me quite a bit though.
  11. Hilinski cheers on Joyner during an offseason workout Feb. 08, 2019
  12. An in-depth breakdown of Gamecocks defensive lineman Jaquaze Sorrells FEBRUARY 8, 2019 by THESPURSUPSHOW An in-depth breakdown of Gamecocks defensive lineman Jaquaze Sorrells One of the last pieces to sign the ink to become a Gamecock, Jaquaze Sorrells should be a great and late addition to the class. Sorrells chose South Carolina over Alabama and Penn State. When I first started going through his film, Sorrells was really underwhelming in his highlights from The Opening Finals. He was going through 1 on 1 pass blocking drills, which isn’t an amazing indicator of how good a player is in my opinion, and he was just not doing a whole lot. He had didn’t have a win for my standards for defensive lineman. They were only in helmets and shorts, and anyone can look really bad or really good in helmets and shorts, so I wasn’t too worried. And just like that, I was right to not be worried. Once the pads came on, he looked like a different beast. Sorrells showed a really quality bull rush, a good spin move, and he had the ability to make offensive lineman pay for guessing which direction the defensive lineman was going. He also had great feet and rarely stopped moving, which is a big problem in high school lineman. Jaquaze showed to me that as a freshman, he would be able to a guy who can come in third down and line up at the nose or 3-technique and get after the passer. A quality interior rusher is something South Carolina has been missing for a while, and Sorrells would bring that. As far as his run stopping talent, the Orlando native is listed at 6’3” and 310 pounds. He obviously has the size to be a player who can be in the rotation as a college freshman on any down for the defense. Whether or not he finds himself in the rotation on 1st and 2nd down isn’t something I can really tell based purely off of high school film, but I could see him breaking in there at some point this season purely based on the lack of depth in the defensive line group. I honestly would think Jaquaze Sorrells would be a considered a top 150 recruit in the nation if it weren’t for off the field concerns. Add this kid to an already signed defensive line class including Zacch Pickens, Joseph Anderson, Rodricus Fitten, and Devontae Davis, and it may be the best group in the country. He should be a great addition to the Gamecocks 2019 class.
  13. Phil Kornblut's show new station on at 6:05 on 100.7 and 1470 AM The Point. And you can get it online: https://makethepointradio.com/ PHIL KORNBLUT IS ON THE POINT When the South Carolina Radio Network was shut down—-Hall of Fame broadcaster Phil Kornblut was a talk-show host without a home. While we’ve always considered him a part of the family here at The POINT, we decided to make sure his 35 years of broadcasting to people of The Midlands and all over the Palmetto State wouldn’t be interrupted. Phil will broadcast from The POINT studio every night—from 6pm-8pm. We’ll grow his program and do everything we can to provide the highest level of coverage of sports in our state. Local radio matters—and nothing is more local, than Phil Kornblut talking about sports every night from our studio.
  14. THE DAILY CROW | Chris breaks down the Gamecocks SS for 2019 + “best bet”, prediction for tonight’s game vs. UT January 29, 2019 Who will be South Carolina’s starting shortstop on Opening Day? Plus, Chris gives his “best bet” and prediction for tonight’s game against Tennessee.
  15. Projects coming up for William Brice Stadium Supposed to happen after 2019 season -95000 sq ft fan amenity space -Crews building renovations -Work underneath south stands -New loge seating area in southwest corner -West 100 level renovations -Renovations and structural expansion of the east club 400 level
  16. FeatheredCock

    What's the latest on DL coach

    Apparently, Muschamp has Marion Hobby as #1 with Diron Reynolds (Stanford) as #2. Need an answer at least by Friday on Hobby. If not select Reynolds. I longer terms Reynolds to me will be with the Gamecocks longer. Hobby seems to me to be the type guy who will head back to the NFL within a couple of years. To me, Reynolds should be the #1 candidate.
  17. THE DAILY CROW | Chris breaks down the Gamecocks starting pitching heading into the 2019 season January 16, 2019
  18. THE DAILY CROW | Gamecocks basketball keeps it rolling + why new RB coach Thomas Brown is a game-changing hire January 15, 2019 Chris breaks down the Gamecocks 3-0 start in SEC play + why new running backs coach Thomas Brown is an instant upgrade for the USC backfield.
  19. Tour the team's new ops building here January 14, 2019 In his time, new South Carolina running backs coach Thomas Brown has been around a few high-powered programs. He’s seen the facilities at Georgia and at Wisconsin. He was at Miami as it started to up its investment in recent years. So how does that compare to South Carolina’s new 110,000-square foot, $50-million building? “Not even close,” Brown said. “It’s the best I’ve been around by far. I just left a place where we just built a brand new indoor, which is a really nice facility. But that one doesn’t compare to anything else I’ve been around. It’s phenomenal.” The players who returned to campus on Sunday got their first look at the Cyndi and Kenneth Long Family Football Operations Center., and the school’s social media team followed them through. Some posted videos on social media as well, showing off the palatial weight room, recording studio in the players’ lounge and locker rooms. In the video a few players can be heard giving their thoughts on the new building. Offensive lineman Eric Douglass: “I ain’t seen nothing like this.” Defensive back Jamyest Williams: “Nothing like it, the best in the SEC.” Defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw: “”Things changing around here, things changing.” Running back A.J. Turner: “Why you even left the building? There is no reason to leave. Everything is right here.” Move in started late on Jan. 7, but most of the players were still on winter break. They started offseason work on Monday.
  20. THE DAILY CROW | How do Gamecocks fans cope this off-season? January 09, 2019 Chris talks about Clemson’s win over Alabama in the National Championship and how Carolina fans can cope with it this off-season.
  21. South Carolina vs. Virginia: 10 bold predictions for the Belk Bowl December 28, 2018 SDS Despite South Carolina’s disappointing finish in the SEC East and conference overall, it has been a historically above-average season. A win in the Belk Bowl Saturday against Virginia would mark the seventh back-to-back eight-win seasons for the Gamecocks. It would also be the 17th win in the last two seasons, an accomplishment the program has reached just five times and not since 2013-14. South Carolina’s recent bowl history is a loss to South Florida in the Birmingham Bowl two years ago and a win over Michigan in the Outback Bowl last year. The Gamecocks have won five of their last six bowls since the end of the 2011 season. The Cavaliers, meanwhile, are in a bowl game in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2002-06. Here are 10 bold predictions for the Belk Bowl: 1. A high-scoring affair Virginia allowed at least 30 points in four games during the regular season while South Carolina had five such games, including two opponents who topped 40 points. The Belk Bowl has a history of being a high-scoring bowl, with the winner in each of the past six meetings scoring at least 30 points and three scoring at least 48. The over/under opened at 54.5. 2. Jake Bentley will pass for 3 TDs The South Carolina QB is slowly making his way across the program record book, and he is in striking distance of 30 touchdowns, which would make him the first player in program history to accomplish such a feat. Steve Taneyhill set the school record of 29 in 1995. Bentley is sitting at a career-high 27 touchdowns and 2,953 yards. The yardage mark is still a ways out, 3,564 from Dylan Thompson in 2014. But 254 yards would give Bentley second place. 3. Bryce Perkins will torch the Gamecocks secondary The Virginia QB set the Cavaliers’ single-season record for total yardage this year with 3,314, plus 31 touchdowns. He has drawn comparisons to former South Florida QB Quinton Flowers, who lit up the Gamecocks for 261 passing yards and 105 rushing yards in the 2016 Birmingham Bowl. However, Flowers is 5-foot-11 and 214 pounds and moved to running back in the NFL, while Perkins is 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds. 4. Airing it out South Carolina will have a sixth pass of at least 70 yards this season. The five in the regular season are already a school record, and Bentley has thrown 9 completions of at least 50 yards, including one in six straight games. 5. Dakereon Joyner will make a splash Gamecocks fans have waited for this all season, and there have been glimpses, such as when Joyner passed Jay Urich on the depth chart. Joyner is an ideal scout team performer to model after Virginia QB Perkins. But that doesn’t mean he’ll make a play at quarterback. Look for a trick play at wide receiver or running back to deliver something to talk about in the offseason. 6. A receiver not named Deebo Samuel will shine With the star wide receiver sitting out the game, the Gamecocks will have plenty of time and space to give Bryan Edwards and the rest of the receivers a chance to make a play. There have been plenty of games, such as against Tennessee and Ole Miss, in which Samuel hasn’t made the most plays. And with him leaving for the NFL, the bowl will offer a glimpse of the passing offense in 2019, meaning Shi Smith and Josh Vann will get more opportunities. 7. Rashad Fenton will deliver an interception The team interception leader hasn’t made one since the Kentucky game on Sept. 29. But he’s one of a handful of Gamecocks playing their last game, and coach Will Muschamp has made it clear that they should focus on turning in a memorable effort as their final college football memory. While Fenton has struggled some late in the season, he also can line up at nickelback, which gives him plenty of opportunities to make at least his fourth pick. 8. Bryson Allen-Williams will make silver-screen performance The once-injured linebacker was initially thought to be finished for the season, but after ankle surgery, he’s set to start at the “Buck” position. He was injured in the Ole Miss game on Nov. 3; at the time he was fifth on the team with 36 total tackles to go with 2 sacks and 5 quarterback hurries. He’ll return after missing four games and will leave an indelible memory on the season. 9. South Carolina will spark dark horse talk again The Gamecocks were a popular dark horse pick to win the SEC East this season. But after they started 3-3, that discussion quickly evaporated. However, they shrugged off inconsistent play to win four of their final six games. With an upgraded recruiting class, a bowl win and one of the more experienced quarterbacks around, South Carolina will kickstart another round of offseason talk that it can unseat Georgia in the East. 10. Rico Dowdle again emerges as the featured back Dowdle has shown flashes, such as against Tennessee with 140 rushing yards and a touchdown, but overall he has topped 100 yards just three times this season. Against the ACC’s sixth-ranked rushing defense, Dowdle will make another splash with a 100-yard game and 2 touchdowns. The team hasn’t had a rushing touchdown the last two games, and with A.J. Turner moving to defense, Dowdle has a clear path to retake the featured role.
  22. South Carolina will attempt to get defensive end D.J. Wonnum an additional year of eligibility following an injury-shortened 2018 December 13, 2018 .mcclatchy-embed{position:relative;padding:40px 0 56.25%;height:0;overflow:hidden;max-width:100%}.mcclatchy-embed iframe{position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%} "South Carolina Gamecocks football coach Will Muschamp previews his team's Dec. 29 Belk Bowl matchup with the Virginia Cavaliers" “We are going to try to get a medical redshirt for him,” Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp said Thursday at a news conference for the Dec. 29 Belk Bowl. If the medical redshirt season is approved, Wonnum would play next year as a junior again and would have the option of returning for the 2020 season. Wonnum played in only five games this year after suffering an ankle injury in the first game of the season. He had 11 tackles and two sacks and will not play in the Belk Bowl against Virginia after having surgery to repair the injury. The team is also applying for medical redshirts for safeties J.T. Ibe and Nick Harvey and linebacker Eldridge Thompson.
  23. South Carolina football: 5 recruits who can help immediately in 2019 December 10, 2018 South Carolina is in decent position with a 5-star in-state recruit and 4 4-stars. The Gamecocks plan to sign 18-20 recruits this month, coach Will Muschamp said after the Akron game, so that means there’s work to be done. The staff was on the road immediately after the Akron game with a push to close the Early Signing Period (Dec. 19-21). The tough part for the Gamecocks is, even though they have the No. 21 recruiting class nationally, that’s still in the bottom third of the SEC. That’s a departure from the past three classes that each ranked in the top 10 of the SEC. The Gamecocks need a strong close. The key piece of the recruiting class is QB Ryan Hilinski, the No. 2-ranked pro-style QB in the country, but South Carolina is set at quarterback with Jake Bentley, so Hilinski is not the kind of recruit expected to play as a freshman. South Carolina easily had a handful of impact players from the 2018 class, so this is not only plausible, it’s likely. Here are five recruits who can help immediately: Cameron Smith, CB If this season proved anything, it’s South Carolina needed more depth in the secondary. It was so bad late in the season, they played a walk-on. By the looks of visits to Columbia, and staff travel, the Gamecocks are trying to close on at least three other DB recruits, too. Smith, listed at 6-1, 175, is a talented prospect, but his talent is even more valuable because of what position he plays. Another bonus? He’s the No. 2-ranked player in the state. Zacch Pickens, DE The Gamecocks were 11th in the SEC in sacks, and that included 5 against Akron to close the regular season. They do get key players back like Javon Kinlaw, but the team in general needs an upgrade in production. If he signs, Pickens would be the first 5-star recruit to land at South Carolina since Jadeveon Clowney in 2011, so obviously the first for Muschamp. Pickens, who is 6-4, 268, is not only the state’s best prospect, but he’s the No. 2 SDE in the country, and No. 18 player in the country in this class. The Gatorade Player of the Year for South Carolina, Pickens showed his athleticism by rushing for more than 800 yards and 21 touchdowns. Traevon Kenion, TE When Hayden Hurst left for the NFL, the production from the tight end position experienced a significant drop. Hurst had 44 catches in 2017, and the top tight end this year, Kiel Pollard, had 15 catches. Now it loses K.C. Crosby and Jacob August, who had a combined 18 catches. Kenion’s 6-4, 220-pound frame also lends itself nicely to a college transition. Kenion can also split out as a wide receiver, and the Gamecocks beat out several ACC schools to reel in that talent from a top 20 player from North Carolina. He’s from the same high school (Wake Forest) that produced Clemson DE Dexter Lawrence and Stanford RB Bryce Love. Keveon Mullins, ATH Mullins, a 4-star, is listed as an athlete, but he is expected to play wide receiver, and help cushion the blow from the loss of Deebo Samuel. He’s arguably the best receiver in the Memphis, Tennessee area, and his 6-4, 220-pound frame is well-suited to transition to the college level. He flipped after originally committing to Memphis. Joseph Anderson, DL The simple reason the fourth-ranked player from Tennessee has a chance to play early is his versatility: He can play defensive end and outside linebacker, which is where he is being recruited. Along those pass rush deficiencies, the defense also loses LB Bryson Allen-Williams. A coveted 4-star, he chose the Gamecocks over Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Tennessee, among others.
  24. The five biggest surprises from South Carolina’s football season December 06, 2018 THE STATE South Carolina’s regular season is finished. The Gamecocks (7-5) will play one more game, against Virginia (7-5) in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 29, but most of what their season will be remembered for has already happened. With that in mind, here are the five biggest surprises from the 2018 football season: The offense against Clemson It is still stunning that South Carolina gained 600 yards against the No. 2 Tigers and their second-ranked defense. Muschamp’s first two teams gained 425 yards against Clemson combined. The Tigers boast one of the most decorated (and rightly so) defensive lines in recent college football history, and South Carolina scorched them. It was enough to make a 21-point loss, and a fifth loss in a row to Clemson at that, almost palatable to swallow for South Carolina fans. In terms of cementing confidence in first-year offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon and giving the Gamecocks something positive to build on in the offseason, it was tremendously important. The injuries There were a couple of areas where the Gamecocks just couldn’t afford many if any injuries if they were going to have a competitive defense, those being at defensive end and in the secondary. Both were leveled by injuries. Five safeties suffered season-ending injuries, including the two graduate transfers brought in during the offseason because the safety depth was poor before all the injuries. At defensive end, the top three players — D.J. Wonnum, Bryson Allen-Williams and Aaron Sterling — missed a combined 15 games during the regular season. Michael Scarnecchia Throughout the offseason, many South Carolina fans thought the senior backup was just keeping the clipboard warm until freshman Dakereon Joyner unseated him, so the first surprise was how early and how definitively Scarnecchia locked up the No. 2 job. The second surprise, of course, was the Missouri game. Filling in for an injured Jake Bentley, Scarnecchia threw for 249 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions and led a dramatic comeback victory in a second half rain storm. His performance has been somewhat forgotten because of how well Bentley played in the second half of the season, but Scarnecchia’s moment came in a moment when South Carolina badly needed him. Parker White White was terrible as a freshman, hitting only 14-of-25 kicks and leaving fans wondering what the Gamecocks were going to do for a kicker in 2018. Instead of being undone by the failure, though, White bounced back to hit 13-of-15 kicks this year, including a 33-yarder with two seconds remaining that gave the Gamecocks their 37-35 win over Missouri. His 84 points this season put him in the top 10 of single-season scoring seasons in USC history. Who would have thought that would happen a year ago? Jaycee Horn The true freshman defensive back started nine games this year not because injuries left South Carolina shorthanded but because he was one of the best defensive backs on the team the minute he got to campus. Horn finished the regular season with 39 tackles, eight pass breakups and a sack. The son of former NFL wide receiver Joe Horn could be a first-team All-SEC cornerback next year. He’s that good.

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