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  1. Coaches preaching pad level. So what does that mean? May 26, 2019 South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp will talk about “pad level” often when discussing where his younger players need to improve. At least a few of his assistants will mention it during their biannual chats with the media. It’s an important part of how a player plays, but something most folks don’t notice in the flow of a game. So what exactly are we talking about here? The short of it is players training so that more often than not, at the point of collision, their pads are lower than whoever they’re hitting, blocking or tackling. Being lower means leverage, usually means being a little more coiled and able to explode forward into somebody else. But it’s something players don’t tend to start with. “It’s not a natural movement,” running backs coach Thomas Brown said. “So obviously, guys that are used to running can just stand straight up and run really fast. In the game of football, if you understand leverage and angles, you can become a much better football player.” For his backs specifically, it means having the upper torso close to parallel with the ground. The aim is not to bend at the waist but at the knees and hips. For example, if a running back comes at a tackler with low pads instead of straight up, it gives the defender less to hold onto. Rather than wrapping arms around a straight-up body, they’d have to wrap around head, shoulders and backside, a near-impossible task without freakishly long arms. “I don’t care if you’re playing running back, playing receiver, playing DB, playing linebacker, O-line, D-line,” Brown said. “Normally the guy with better pad level normally wins that battle.” The USC coaches try to reinforce that stance with players working on drills under a large tarp or running them through small frames that force them to get low. Brown said that ideal stance starts with bent knees, a chest up and eyes straight ahead, able to finish at high speed. All of that goes toward the challenge facing Brown and his backs. All three Gamecocks seniors, Mon Denson, A.J. Turner and Rico Dowdle, have had moments, but none grew into consistent, carry-the-load type runners. Muschamp has registered disappointment several times with the group, specifically the inability to win more matchups in space where a back needs to throw a move or just run through a defender (he felt the offensive line often delivered the space needed). Brown will be tasked with both recruiting a runner who fits that bill and getting some of the current backs better on that front. The solution isn’t particularly groundbreaking but the most solid ones rarely are. “I think just being consistent every single day, making the most of every opportunity given to you when it comes,” Brown said. “On the field, off the field, and also when we have chances to win 1-on-1 in space, we’ve got to win.”
  2. Gamecocks Dot Athlon Sports Preseason All-SEC Teams 5/23/2019 | Football Eight University of South Carolina football players dot the 2019 preseason All-SEC units as selected by Athlon Sports, it was announced today. The Gamecocks had two players, wide receiver Bryan Edwards and defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw, earn second team recognition. Edwards, a 6-3, 215-pound senior from Conway, S.C., caught 55 passes for 846 yards a season ago, and has 163 career receptions for 2,229 yards. He is among the school's all-time career leaders in receptions (5th), receiving yards (6th), and receiving touchdowns (t9th) with 16. (CLICK TO VIEW)
  3. South Carolina finally has defensive line depth. What’s the best way to deploy it? May 17, 2019 South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp will tell anyone who asks about his defensive line. After three seasons of throwing in newcomers often out of need more than anything else, he and his staff believe they have all the pieces for an SEC defensive line that boasts the depth he wants, potentially three deep at every spot. But that leads to another question, how does a staff manage that? Is there a rotation at the start? This guy gets two drives, someone else the next two? Or is it more about feel and flow of the game? “It’s a little bit of both,” defensive line coach John Scott said. “I think you go in a game with a number kind of in your mind.... You kind of have somebody helping you count the reps that somebody is getting. It’s a feel thing too, if it’s one of those games where you’ve got to have your best, best guys the whole time, you’ve got to navigate how to get other guys in because you’ve got to give them a blow sometimes as fast as offenses are going.” The word he came back to was freshness, keeping everyone fresh enough so that if the best guys need to be out there late, they have enough in the tank for that This year, South Carolina’s defense was on the field for 92 or more plays twice, 82 or more four times and 77 or more plays seven times. In 2017, before USC installed an up-tempo offense, an opposing offense got to 77 plays only three times. At the moment, this is an approximation of what South Carolina’s depth could look like: Buck: D.J. Wonnum/Brad Johnson/Rodricus Fitten Defensive tackle: Javon Kinlaw/Rick Sandidge/Zacch Pickens/Jabari Ellis Defensive tackle: Kobe Smith/Keir Thomas/Devontae Davis Defensive end: Aaron Sterling/Kingsley Enagbare/Joseph Anderson That’s not to say everyone will play a full role, as linemen can sometimes get lost in the mix (Ellis hardly played last year, but Muschamp was high on his spring performance). But in theory, the Gamecocks could be rolling bodies. USC took a step back last season in terms of work up front against the run, and the pass rush lagged as well. There’s a good bit of talent in there, but the question remains, can strength in numbers add something else as the Gamecocks look to bounce back. “One of the things that I’ve learned as a coach, and especially coaching the front, the deeper you are, the better you are,” Scott said. “So instead of a guy playing 50 snaps a game, he’s giving you 30-35 high-rep quality snaps, which means in the fourth quarter, most people don’t really sub their O-line, so you’re wearing them out. So I think that’s a huge, huge deal.”
  4. Bobby Bentley’s son leaving Gamecocks strength staff, joining former USC assistant May 15, 2019 The past three years have been a family affair for the Bentleys in South Carolina football. Bobby has been an assistant coach. Jake Bentley has been the starting quarterback. Chas Dodd, Bobby’s eldest son, has been on the strength staff. On Tuesday night, Dodd announced he’s moving on. He will join the strength staff at Miami under Manny Diaz. His strength coach is Dave Feeley, who coached at South Carolina under Jeff Dillman during the 2016 season. Dodd was a star quarterback at Byrnes High School and was a part-time starter through a tumultuous career at Rutgers. He threw for more than 4,000 yards in 31 career games. Feeley came to South Carolina after five years as top strength coach at Ball Stat. He left after a season to coach at Temple and then followed Diaz to Miami after Diaz took the Owls job for a short time before going back to the Hurricanes.
  5. Will Muschamp, Mack Brown reflect on time at Texas, preview Week 1 meeting in Charlotte May 11, 2019, | SDS South Carolina and North Carolina will meet in Charlotte in Week 1 of the 2019 season. Head coaches Will Muschamp and Mack Brown spoke to the Charlotte Country Club Friday to help preview the Aug. 31 neutral-site clash. The two coaches know each other well. Muschamp was Brown’s defensive coordinator and the head-coach-in-waiting at Texas. “He was great. I think it was great for both of us,” Muschamp told the club, per The Big Spur’s Hale McGranahan. “Our third year, we didn’t have as good a football team as we wanted to have. I think that put some stress on us from the standpoint of, number one, because our fanbase was asking, ‘Do we really want this guy to take over our program? And when are we getting rid of the other guy?’ “I think that created some difficulties, not between he and I, but as far as those questions. You get tired of hearing that, but that was part of it. It was a wonderful situation at Texas and I got a great opportunity to go to Florida, a place that I had grown up. I think Coach Brown understood the opportunity I had in front of me.” Brown sees a different Muschamp now at South Carolina. In between departing Texas and returning to North Carolina, Brown was an analyst at ESPN which gave him the opportunity to watch Muschamp as the head coach of the Gamecocks. “He’s much more settled now,” Brown said. “He’s still passionate, but he’s controlling everything now. At Texas, he just had the defense, so he could go crazy, go wild and butt his head on the sideline and get the blood coming down. I called his spring game a couple of years ago for ESPN and it was a lot of fun to see him with his team, see how he was coaching them and the respect they have for him. He’s got a really good staff. I’m really proud of the head coach that he’s become.” Even though Brown has been able to watch Muschamp closely, Muschamp says South Carolina will have some new looks come August. “Everybody is going to change a little bit schematically, whether the coaching staff is back from the year before or not,” Muschamp said. “You study the tendencies offensively, defensively and from a special teams standpoint – what you think – and you kind of go from there. You’ve got to be ready for the unexpected and adjust to those situations in game.”
  6. Gamecocks looking for a difference-making back. This is the plan to fix that May 11, 2019 LAGRANGE, GA. In far west Georgia, nearly to the Alabama line, only 55 miles from Auburn’s campus, South Carolina assistant football coaches Bryan McClendon and Bobby Bentley are well-known. “Those guys work very hard at what they do and they are very passionate about South Carolina football,” Callaway High School head coach Pete Wiggins said. “They are putting their time in.” McClendon and Bentley, and head coach Will Muschamp, who has been by when the NCAA calendar allows, are trying to rectify what has been the biggest hole in their recruiting swing since taking over the program prior to the 2016 season. “We need to get better at the running back position,” Muschamp said. “We have to run through contact. We have to make a guy miss. We haven’t consistently done that against good people.” That’s why the coaching staff is spending so much time at Callaway, where four-star running back Tank Bigsby will play his senior season this fall. “They are recruiting Tank very hard, but he’s talented so that makes sense,” Wiggins said. “I think he’s one of the top running backs not only in the state of Georgia but in the country. He has the characteristics that a program like South Carolina wants. He’s big; he’s fast; he’s explosive.” That’s what South Carolina needs in the backfield and has needed for a while now. The Gamecocks haven’t had a difference-making running back since Mike Davis left campus after the 2014 season. Davis is the last South Carolina player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season. He had 1,183 yards in 2013 with a 5.8-yard per carry average that was the highest for a Gamecock in a single-season since Duce Staley averaged the same in 1995. The Gamecocks have had only two 1,000-yard rushers in the last 18 seasons, the other being Marcus Lattimore in 2010. Last season’s leading rusher, Rico Dowdle, had 654 yards. Only one team in the SEC had a leading rusher with fewer yards (Tennessee’s Ty Chandler with 630), and Gamecock hasn’t finished in the top 10 of the SEC in rushing since Davis in 2014. The Gamecocks hired a new running backs coach for the 2019 season, but even he acknowledged the value of a running backs coach is much less than the value of the running backs themselves. “You want to recruit guys who can make a guy miss one-on-one,” Thomas Brown said. “I can’t tell a guy how to make a guy miss one-on-one.” South Carolina has cast a wide net this year to try to fix the issue. The Gamecocks have offered scholarships to 26 running backs in the 2020 class, including the likes of five-star MarShawn Lloyd of Maryland, four-star Jalen Berger from New Jersey, four-star Chris Tyree from Virginia and four-star Jaylan Knighton out of Florida. “It’d be nice if there was an in-state running back that they loved, but there really isn’t one,” Rivals.com national recruiting director Mike Farrell said. “There is a large group of running backs that are recruited to get one. You will have more offers out there, and it just comes down to which guy wants to jump on board and be that primary guy.” At the moment, Bigsby looks like South Carolina’s best bet. “He’s a guy that likes them a lot that they have a real good chance with, seems to be a good fit,” Farrell said. “Bigsby is a guy that I think is a real powerful runner. He fashioned himself as a bit of wide receiver early in his career, but he’s gotten so big and thick and physical.” The 6-foot-1, 212-pound Bigsby was the Class AA player of the year in Georgia last year after rushing for 2,221 yards on 238 carries. He could not be reached for comment for this article. “I think you go after that one guy that is your War Daddy, love him up as much as possible, sell him on the fact that you can be a difference maker,” Farrell said. “With Tank Bigsby, I think that’s what they are doing.” Bigsby has been “underrecruited” thus far by the home state Bulldogs, Farrell said. Of course, the Bulldogs already have two, five-star running backs on their roster in D’Andre Swift and Zamir White and are considered strong contenders with three in the Class of 2020. Georgia’s success at recruiting the running back position has become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, Farrell said. “Success recruiting at running back breeds success, so when guys see Knowshon Moreno be drafted high in the NFL, they notice that he made money. The next thing you know you’ve got (Todd) Gurley and (Nick) Chubb. That breeds running back success, and South Carolina hasn’t had that.” While Lattimore and Davis are the only South Carolina running backs drafted in the last 12 years, Georgia has had three drafted in the first two rounds in the last five years. Gamecocks fans well remember Lattimore leading the team to the 2010 SEC East championship while being named the nation’s freshman of the year, but recruits don’t, Farrell said. “These kids really have a reference of four or five years at the most,” he said. “It’s tough if you don’t have a marquee one that is in the NFL or on the NFL radar as a high draft pick it’s a much tougher sell. Georgia has that. That’s the type of stuff that really resonates with these running backs.” Auburn, LSU, Tennessee, Alabama have all “really recruited (Bigsy) hard,” Wiggins said.. “There are a lot of good options for him. He just has to find the right fit,” Wiggins said. “We want the kid to be successful. Whatever staff that Tank finds that will make him most successful, that’s where we want him to go.”
  7. How Mack Brown still influences Will Muschamp’s football program, coaching philosophy May 10, 2019 .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%} CHARLOTTE - North Carolina coach Mack Brown wanted to clear a thing or two up about his history with Will Muschamp. The two worked together at a turning point moment in Muschamp’s career. He was coming into his own as one of the most well-regarded assistant coaches in the country, working for a national champion coach and looking at some of the more prestigious jobs around. Then he was given a future: head coach at Texas when Brown stepped aside. Only what was categorized as a long-term move was actually just about the short term. “The reason we did the coach-in-waiting, and Will and I understood that, was not that I was getting out, which people thought, and it was not that Will was going to be the head coach at Texas at that point,” Brown said Friday. “I thought he was a good enough coach if we could keep him, we could win the national championship.” The pair, brought together Friday morning for an event connected to the USC-UNC kickoff game, almost did. Their 2008 team went 12-1, missing out on a shot at the title because of tiebreakers with an Oklahoma team it defeated. Their 2009 team made it to the title game. Brown still remembers the win against the No. 1 Sooners, a 45-35 game. It was the early days of up-tempo offenses, and after Oklahoma ran a play while Muschamp was looking at plays on his wristband, Muschamp pulled it off and tossed it away with a simple message. “OK man, let’s play,” Brown recalled. They’d been brought together by Greg Davis, who had coached at Georgia in the tail end of Muschamp’s playing days and was Brown’s offensive coordinator from 1996-2010. Muschamp ended up departing after the 2011 season to replace Urban Meyer at Florida. That tenure didn’t go as many expected, lasting four seasons. As Muschamp looked back at his departure, he said the struggles his final season in Austin, a 5-7 campaign, ultimately made the split an amicable one. “We didn’t have as good a football team as we wanted to have,” Muschamp said. “And I think that put some stress on both of us from the standpoint of No. 1 our fansbase asking, ‘Do we really want this guy to take over our program?”, and ‘When are we getting rid of the other guy?’ I think from that standpoint, it created some difficulties, not between he and I, but those questions, you get tired of hearing that.” Brown’s influence still can be felt in Muschamp’s program. Muschamp said he took a great deal in terms of building culture, how to manage a team and a staff and even the lessons about life outside of football. He said his team’s Beyond Football program, led by Gamecock great Marcus Lattimore, came from his time working with Brown. Back together this week, there was some of that amiability of two old friends. Their teams are in different spots. Brown came out of five years in the broadcast booth to rebuild a Tar Heels program that had fallen off. Muschamp is entering Year 4, having posted three bowl seasons but coming off a year that fell short of some lofty, perhaps overblown, expectations. Their programs are already facing off on the recruiting trail and soon enough will on the field. They wished each other the best, but maybe not so much on Aug. 31 at Bank of America Stadium. “(Brown) had a great first tenure at North Carolina,” Muschamp said. “Hope his second tenure is just as successful, starting with his second game.”
  8. USC moves one step closer to Williams-Brice renovation project By HALE MCGRANAHAN On Thursday morning, the University of South Carolina’s Board of Trustees voted to approve a $22 million revenue bond resolution for the renovation of Williams-Brice Stadium. FULL STORY: https://247sports.com/college/south-carolina/Article/South-Carolina-Board-of-Trustees-Williams-Brice-renovation-131895902/
  9. He’s a fast, powerful athlete and he might answer a big Gamecocks offensive question May 06, 2019, | THE STATE Jovaughn Gwyn’s cameo appearance in the South Carolina 2018 football season was most notable because it happened at all. His coach, Will Muschamp, promised he’d get a chance to play in his first game on campus if things got out of hand. They did against Coastal Carolina, and the true freshman, who picked USC on signing day and enrolled in the summer, got his first few career snaps. It seemed to be a precursor to some garbage time work here and there in a redshirt season, following the path most young linemen take no matter how talented they might be. Instead, his season was done less than two weeks later. A foot problem from high school lingered, and required surgery. It kept him out from the second week of the Gamecocks’ season until the middle of spring practice. But those around him saw the potential. “He’s going to be a good player,” defensive lineman Kingsley Enagbare said. “He’s very explosive and very strong, as y’all can see in the weight room. He’s very, very strong, and he’s going to be a good player once he gets healthy.” That apparently showed itself late in spring, as Gwyn stepped in from being injured and was promptly the No. 1 right guard in the spring game and in late open practices. Enagbare’s words nearly matched Will Muschap’s about his future and his talent. “He’s a fast-twitch, powerful athlete,” Muschamp said. “He’s got the right among of grit to him as far as his toughness is concerned, so he has a lot of the intangible qualities and a lot of the physical attributes we’re looking for in an offensive lineman. We’re very pleased with where he is.” The 6-foot-2, 305-pounder picked South Carolina over N.C. State and came out of a powerhouse high school program. Offensive line coach Eric Wolford only spoke with the media during spring before Gwyn returned to team play, but he saw some of the promise. “In the individual drills, you can see the traits that he has,” Wolford said. “That’s what we recruited. Obviously he’s a 500-pound bencher. He’s explosive. He can run. So it will be exciting to get him back in here. “Some of the things he did early in camp were encouraging.” If he can lock down that guard spot, it would mean the Gamecocks at least have a framework of a potential starting five for next season. Dylan Wonnum is a shoo-in at tackle, and sixth-year senior Donell Stanley will start somewhere, likely guard. The staff sounded plenty confident in Sadarius Hutcherson moving from guard to left tackle, and Hank Manos appears to have some kind of inside track for the center job. (Obviously, all positions are fluid to a degree.) That leaves the guard spot, likely right guard. The names in the mix before freshmen arrive are Gwyn, Jordan Rhodes, who got some work as an extra lineman in heavy looks, and Eric Douglas, the most versatile lineman of the group. “Eric Douglas has done some good things in there,” Wolford said. “Jordan Rhodes flashes at times as the guy that we expect him to be. So it’s kind of up in the air.” The coach said Douglas was more consistent with his assignments (he was the No. 1 center in the spring game), while Rhodes had a bit more punch. And that was all before Gwyn entered the fray. USC wants to go into the season with eight or so available linemen, maybe more should a long-term injury strike. To that end, the three options at guard plus Stanley can’t hurt, and the expectation of training at multiple spots allows for flexibility. “Who knows where the lineup is going to shake out?” Wolford said.
  10. ‘I’m disgusted, too.’ Muschamp still addressing bowl game 4 months later May 05, 2019 South Carolina’s spring speaking tour had barely started before Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp was asked about his team’s last game. The question came as soon as Muschamp offered to start answering at his appearance before the Gamecock Club in Columbia, and it was blunt: “Do you think they just didn’t care? That bowl game last year was a total waste. What do you think the problem was? Did they just not show up mentally?” The subject, of course, was the 28-0 shutout South Carolina suffered against Virginia in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 29 in Charlotte. It has come up a few times on Muschamp’s Spurs Up Tour circuit as he crisscrosses the state to talk to the team’s fans. “That’s fine,” Muschamp said. “I’m disgusted, too.” Where Muschamp pushed back against the fan in Columbia and again with reporters during his stop in Rock Hill on Thursday was with the idea that the Gamecocks did not play hard against the Cavaliers. “The frustration I get is, our guys tried,” Muschamp said. “We didn’t play very well. There’s a difference between not playing well and not playing hard. I have been coaching for over 20 years, and our guys played hard. We just didn’t play very well. That’s my responsibility, but to sit there and put a blanket statement that our guys didn’t care and didn’t play hard. That’s simply not true. Muschamp also addressed the idea that his team did not take its practice sessions seriously before the game. “We practiced two less practices than we did when we beat Michigan in the Outback Bowl,” he said. “We had the same practice schedule. I have heard some fantastic rumors that we didn’t practice.” The Gamecocks rushed for 33 yards and gained 251 yards overall, while allowing 413 to Virginia. “They’re all damn important and this past bowl game was really important to us, too,” he said. “We didn’t play very well.” After gaining 600 yards and scoring 35 points against eventual national champion Clemson on Nov. 24 last season, the Gamecocks finished the season totaling 635 points and 28 points against Akron and Virginia. South Carolina’s offense didn’t score in its final six quarters of the season. “This fan base is as loyal and passionate as they come. I have been a bunch of different places, and it’s awesome,” Muschamp said. “I want people to be pissed off at 7-6. I’m pissed. I think it’s awesome.”
  11. Javon Kinlaw projected first rounder in early 2020 mock draft April 29, 2019 The South Carolina football team got a boost when Javon Kinlaw rather gruffly informed the world he’d be forgoing a chance at the 2019 NFL draft and would return to school. But could his pro prospects get a boost from it as well? The Athletic’s Dane Brugler projected Kinlaw as a 2020 first rounder in his early 2020 Mock Draft. He had Kinalw going No. 21 to the Minnesota Vikings. “A disruptive force in the middle of the Gamecocks’ defensive line, Kinlaw accounted for 10.0 tackles for loss last season,” Brugler wrote. “His height works against him at times, but he flashes quickness to knife through gaps and find the ball carrier.” Kinlaw had an up-and-down junior season, getting slowed by a hip injury and a few other nicks. He posted 38 tackles, 10 for loss and 4 1/5 sacks and five pass break-ups in 12 games. The 6-foot-6, 295 pounder had worked his way into the lineup the season before, making 20 tackles and showing a good bit of promise. He was a four-star recruit out of Goose Creek High School and committed to Will Muschamp in the staff’s first cycle. But he had to go to junior college, decommitted for a stretch, looked at Alabama and ultimately ended up back in Columbia.
  12. Looking at the DL interior players for 2019 April 27, 2019 • Jabari Ellis, who transferred in last year from junior college, got off to a rockier start due to his late arrival and being limited with injury upon enrollment. He still played a bit last season but still was able to preserve his redshirt. He looked good in spring ball and should be in a position to help substantially this season. • True freshman Zacch Pickens played mostly inside during spring football, and while he was limited at times with a hamstring, showed the physical traits that made him a five-star recruit. As he continues to progress, he should see the field in year one. • Another newcomer, JUCO transfer Devontae Davis, can work inside or outside. He is still learning but he does have a lot of traits the staff likes. His progression this fall practice should continue. • There is more talent and more available bodies. New staff addition John Scott Jr. has seemed to garner positive reviews as well. • This unit will be bolstered tremendously by the return of Javon Kinlaw. He sat out spring football, but the Goose Creek product has certainly shown what he can do at times. Being healthy should have a big senior season, it’d be a big boost to this defense. • A couple of other very experienced players return on the interior as well. One is Kobe Smith, who’s a nose guard, and also Keir Thomas, who’s capable of playing inside and outside. Both have played a lot of football for the Gamecocks. • Sophomore Rick Sandidge had an excellent spring and should be a big factor this year at defensive tackle. He played plenty – more than expected – as a true freshman in the 2018 campaign. • Tyreek Johnson worked inside last year and sat out this spring recovering from an ACL injury. He was one of the surprises of the preseason last year prior to sustaining the knee injury. He will be one to keep An Eye on this fall. • Griffin Gentry has worked at BUCK and end during his career but played inside during spring football. • Four-star Jaquaze Sorrells, who signed with the Gamecocks in February, will be on campus this summer and participate in preseason camp later this year.
  13. Low NFL Draft picks ‘will change,’ Muschamp says April 24, 2019,/ THE STATE The 2011 South Carolina football team that started the Gamecocks’ streak of three consecutive 11-win seasons had 15 NFL Draft picks on the roster. Will Muschamp’s first three teams as South Carolina’s head coach have had four. “Moving forward, those numbers will change,” Muschamp said. They will have to if the Gamecocks are going to get back to double digit win totals. South Carolina had 33 players drafted from 2009-2016, the most of any eight-year stretch in school history, but they’ve only had one drafted in the last two cycles, tight end Hayden Hurst, a first-round selection last year. That number will grow this week when the NFL Draft is held in Nashville, Tennessee, starting on Thursday, but it might not grow by much. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel is expected to be an early round pick, but there are no guarantees after that. Cornerback Rashad Fenton, offensive linemen Zack Bailey and Dennis Daley and linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams all have a chance to be picked between the fourth and seventh rounds, NFL analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said. That group will mark the last of the Steve Spurrier signees to cycle through South Carolina. Muschamp’s first recruiting class, the 2016 group, will have its chance to start entering professional football beginning next year. “We will see how [Thursday] night goes, but I think next year’s class will be indicative of what we have done from a recruiting standpoint and development standpoint and how we continue to close that gap,” Muschamp said. “I think we are getting much closer to that situation.” Muschamp inherited a roster that former Spurrier acknowledged had fallen below SEC standards. The 2017 draft was the first to pass without a Gamecock being selected since 2001, and having one draft pick in a two-year span is a first for the program since 1949-’50. During a career that has seen stops at Auburn, LSU, Texas and Florida, Muschamp has coached 85 players who have gone to be drafted. That figure is “critical to recruits,” he said. “I do think that part of it is important and our staff has a very impressive track record as far as guys being developed and getting drafted,” he said. “That is something we are very proud of and we are looking forward to establishing that here at the University of South Carolina.” NFL DRAFT TV SCHEDULE Thursday, 8 p.m., Round 1: ABC, ESPN, NFL Network and ESPN Deportes Friday, 7 p.m., Rounds 2-3: ABC, ESPN/ESPN2, NFL Network and ESPN Deportes Saturday, noon, Rounds 4-7: ABC, ESPN, NFL Network and ESPN Deportes
  14. Gamecocks highest rated 2019 offensive lineman April 24, 2019 When South Carolina offensive line coach Eric Wolford started talking about Jakai Moore’s skills as a football player, he first started talking about his work on the basketball court. “He’s obviously a tremendous athlete,” Wolford said. “He’s a guy that can run the court, 300 pounds, 6-foot-6, can legitimately play left tackle.” Moore was part of a 22-3 team, operating as a solid shot blocker. That was after helping pave the way for a region championship team in football. As a sophomore, he averaged 15 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. The Virginia product will join the Gamecocks soon, and he already has one trait the coaching staff likes in all its linemen. He can play more than just left tackle. “I know he can play right tackle,” Wolford said. “I know he can play guard, so he’s a four-position player right there already. He likes football. I think he’s still raw, but the thing about him is when we get him down here in June, we’ll have two months with him, get him ready to go.” The Gamecocks have placed a premium on linemen getting in at multiple spots, with no fewer than six of the linemen who played last year having switched between guard and tackle or guard and center. At the moment, at least three projected 2019 starters have played multiple spots at some points in the past season/spring. Moore was a three-star recruit, the No. 505 player in the country and No. 13 player in Virginia by the 247 Sports rankings. He picked the Gamecocks over Penn State. South Carolina hasn’t been shy about getting young linemen involved early if they’re good enough. Dennis Daley broke into the lineup a few games into his first season coming out of junior college. Dylan Wonnum took a starting spot halfway through his freshman season. This year, freshman Jaylen Nichols found himself working as a second-string tackle only a few practices into his first spring on campus. Wolford wondered aloud if Moore could follow a similar path. He’s big, quick and will get a few months with the strength staff before August camp starts. Perhaps with work and some things going right, Moore could end up in the two deep or better. “He’s another guy, Jaylen Nichols-type guy as far as a guy who can come in and who knows how fast he learns the plays and how bad he wants it?” Wolford said. “He might go and just sneak up in there.”
  15. Muschamp talks Gamecocks 2019 football slate April 24, 2019 South Carolina’s spring speaking tour has only started and Gamecocks head football coach Will Muschamp already is a little tired of answering questions about his team’s 2019 schedule. “It’s tough every year,” Muschamp told reporters prior to speaking the Augusta and Aiken Gamecock Clubs as part of his annual Spurs Up tour. “Our schedule is difficult every year. I don’t understand why everyone is making a big deal about it. Success to us is winning our state and winning the East. That gives you the opportunity to play in the College Football Playoff, and that’s what our expectation is every year.” When the fan portion of event began, the subject came up again. “Everybody asks me about the schedule,” said Muschamp, who spoke before the Gamecocks baseball team played Charleston Southern in SRP Park. “Hell, the schedule is hard every year. It is what it is. They are looking at their schedule saying, ‘Damn, we have to go to Williams-Brice.’ That’s what I want them saying.” Muschamp, who will speak in Columbia at Williams-Brice Stadium on Wednesday night, is really going to be tired of the subject by the time the 2019 season kicks off Aug. 31 against North Carolina at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. South Carolina’s 2019 football schedule was ranked the second-hardest in the country by Bleacher Report. The Gamecocks play three of the nation’s top four teams — according to ESPN’s offseason Top 25 — in Clemson, Alabama and Georgia. They also play at Texas A&M and host Florida. The Gamecocks finished 7-6 last year. Muschamp is 22-17 overall and 12-12 in the SEC in three years at South Carolina. “At this time, there are some things to be excited about,” Muschamp said. “The competitive depth we have on our team. We have a deeper roster than we have had before, especially on both lines of scrimmage, which excites you. You have to be strong there. May, June and July are critical for us. You get better or worse every single day. That goes back to your leadership and your competitive depth. Guys know they have to work.” NFL Hall of Famers Ronnie Lott and Charles Haley addressed the Gamecocks in Columbia on Tuesday. “Charles Haley said it best: ‘Hoping and dreaming and wishing ain’t going to get you anywhere in life,’ ” Muschamp said. “Our guys aren’t hoping or wishing or dreaming. They are ready to get to work.” Lott had a word of advice for South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley, Muschamp said. “Jake asked Ronnie Lott about the great quarterback-receiver combinations you’ve been against. What’s the No. 1 thing they have done well?” Muschamp said. “He said the No. 1 thing is the quarterback took care of the football, and Jake has got to be better with that.” 2020/2019/2018/2017/2016 Date Opponent Location Time 8/31 vs N. Carolina Ch., N.C. 9/7  Charleston S. Col., S.C. 9/14 Alabama Col., S.C. 9/21 at Missouri Col., Mo. 9/28 Kentucky Col., S.C. 10/5 Open date - - 10/12 at Georgia Ath., Ga. 10/19 Florida Col., S.C. 10/26 at Tenn. Knox., Tenn. 11/2 Vanderbilt Col., S.C. 11/9 Appalachian St. Col., S.C. 11/16 at Texas A&M Col.St.Tex. 11/23 Open date - - 11/30 Clemson Col., S.C.
  16. Post-spring report card: What Gamecocks do well, need to do better April 15, 2019, | SDS Some fresh faces emerged for South Carolina this spring, and at more than one position, the coaching staff is pleased with the talented depth at hand. Entering Will Muschamp’s fourth season in Columbia, the Gamecocks return 16 starters and bring in two blue-chip recruits who were ranked higher than any recruit since the 11-win golden days under Steve Spurrier. Muschamp will take that roster into a difficult schedule against 6 opponents that finished in the Associated Press top 16. Here is a post-spring report card for a program that finished fourth in the SEC East in 2018: QB situation Between Jake Bentley’s experience, and the budding talent of Dakereon Joyner and Ryan Hilinski, there are plenty of options. Now it’s up to the coaching staff to decide the best way to deploy that talent. Not to mention, how the younger QBs can contribute in special situations. The modern challenge is keeping everyone happy after the competition ends and the season begins. Muschamp and his staff have yet to face this kind of situation at South Carolina. In many ways, Bentley puts Muschamp at ease with his leadership, experience, knowledge of the playbook and ability to make key throws. However, interceptions have continually plagued Bentley’s growth into the elite category of SEC quarterbacks. By Oct. 1, the Gamecocks could be 4-1, but that’s largely dependent upon quarterback play and turnovers. Grade: B Running game Kevin Harris was a bruising bright spot for the Gamecocks this spring as carries opened up following the transfer of Ty’Son Williams and a groin injury to Rico Dowdle, which sidelined him. The asterisk for the Gamecocks is Muschamp has said A.J. Turner and Mon Denson would be the top two backs entering the fall, but Turner played defensive back throughout the spring. Denson was South Carolina’s second-best runner last season, as he collected 432 yards on 80 carries as he made two starts in the revolving door of a backfield. Overall, it’s another area that seems to be poised for a breakout season, but too often in recent years has struggled to reach a higher gear. The Gamecocks haven’t finished better than 10th in the SEC in rushing since 2014, when they ranked No. 9. They were No. 13, No. 12 and No. 12 in Muschamp’s first three seasons, respectively. Dowdle is getting another crack at being a feature back, something he had the chance to grab in 2016 when he had 4 touchdowns and two 100-yard games in a month. However, Dowdle has struggled to find consistency atop the depth chart and on the field. Grade: C Passing game (including WRs/TEs) Jay Urich was arguably the brightest breakout performer across the roster. His long touchdown and versatility in the Garnet and Black Game was something not many expected. Add Urich to a veteran group headlined by Bryan Edwards and Shi Smith, and the Gamecocks have one of the best wide receiving corps in the SEC. Edwards will assume the Deebo Samuel leadership role, while Smith is looking to build on the 74 passes for 1,082 yards and 7 touchdowns in his first two seasons. Kiel Pollard and Kyle Markway are experienced tight ends capable of making one or two key catches per game. This unit is a team strength. Grade: A Offensive line The Gamecocks have a solid starting group, including several players, such as Donell Stanley, Sadarius Hutcherson and Dylan Wonnum with experience. However, depth is somewhat of a concern as the incoming freshmen will likely need to contribute, at least as backups. One question is at center where Hank Manos, Eric Douglas and former walk-on Chandler Farrell are competing. Grade: B- Run defense This area might be the most encouraging for Muschamp, purely from a depth standpoint. Of course, there’s 5-star Zacch Pickens, but some of Muschamp’s first comments following the spring game were about the number of athletic bodies moving in and out. Dowdle is getting another crack at being a feature back, something he had the chance to grab in 2016 when he had 4 touchdowns and two 100-yard games in a month. However, Dowdle has struggled to find consistency atop the depth chart and on the field. Grade: C Passing game (including WRs/TEs) Jay Urich was arguably the brightest breakout performer across the roster. His long touchdown and versatility in the Garnet and Black Game was something not many expected. Add Urich to a veteran group headlined by Bryan Edwards and Shi Smith, and the Gamecocks have one of the best wide receiving corps in the SEC. Edwards will assume the Deebo Samuel leadership role, while Smith is looking to build on the 74 passes for 1,082 yards and 7 touchdowns in his first two seasons. Kiel Pollard and Kyle Markway are experienced tight ends capable of making one or two key catches per game. This unit is a team strength. Grade: A Offensive line The Gamecocks have a solid starting group, including several players, such as Donell Stanley, Sadarius Hutcherson and Dylan Wonnum with experience. However, depth is somewhat of a concern as the incoming freshmen will likely need to contribute, at least as backups. One question is at center where Hank Manos, Eric Douglas and former walk-on Chandler Farrell are competing. Grade: B- Run defense This area might be the most encouraging for Muschamp, purely from a depth standpoint. Of course, there’s 5-star Zacch Pickens, but some of Muschamp’s first comments following the spring game were about the number of athletic bodies moving in and out. SDS YEAR TOP RUSHER YARDS/TDS TDS TEAM YPG (SEC RANK) 2018 Rico Dowdle 654 4 152.8 (12) 2017 A.J. Turner 517 3 122.2 (12) 2016 Rico Dowdle 714 6 134.4 (13) 2015 Brandon Wilds 567 3 154.7 (10) 2014 Mike Davis 927 9 161 (9) 2013 Mike Davis 1,134 11 198.5 (6)
  17. APRIL 9, 2019 by ALEX COSENTINO / THESPURSUPSHOW Which Gamecocks impressed most during Saturday’s spring game? On Saturday, the Spring edition of the South Carolina Gamecocks took the field at Williams-Brice in front of more than 25,000 fans. The young guys were given a chance to show what they could do, as the majority USC veterans sat out of Saturday’s game. Offense RB Kevin Harris Early enrollee running back, Kevin Harris, was a force for the offense. Harris had 14 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown. In the crowded Gamecock backfield, maybe Harris can push through as a short yardage weapon. QB Ryan Hilinski The guy everyone had their eye on didn’t disappoint. The highly touted true freshman QB showcased what he brings to the offense with 206 yards through the air. Hilinski’s decisions were quick, he got the ball out fast, he hit targets in stride, and displayed the ability to throw accurately on the run. Aside from a few throws that looked bad due to contact down field, Hilinski let the fans know he’s going to be a staple in the offense for years to come. Defense S Jamel Cook The long, athletic Cook had a great day for the defense. The transfer DB from Southern Cal brought the boom with several big hits. Cook moved well sideline to sideline and was in on most of the plays he was on the field for. The highlight of his day was a great break on a Dakereon Joyner pass on the goaline that he stepped in front of to pick off. To me, Cook solidified a starting safety role for the fall. Cook, Roderick, Horn and Mukuamu have the future of the DB corps in good hands. LB Derek Boykins At a position of need, Boykins stepped up as a option for Travaris Robinson next fall. The true freshman LB from Concord, NC showed impressive strength and tackling ability. He stepped up and filled holes well in the run game. The two plays that stood out to me were his goal-line tackles on Kevin Harris on back to back handoffs. He could be the #3 linebacker for the Gamecocks this season.
  18. Post-spring practice 2019 defensive depth Projections April 09, 2019 Now that spring practice is over, it’s time to take a look and see at South Carolina’s post-spring depth chart for the fall of the 2019 season. (CLICK HERE TO VIEW ARTICLE)
  19. South Carolina spring game: Hilinski debut, Urich’s big day at WR, Parker White is officially on scholarship with Videos, Gallery Stats, and More April 06, 2019 The Garnet team rallied with two fourth quarter touchdowns to pull out a 28-16 win over Black in a see-saw affair that saw five lead changes, as the South Carolina Gamecock football team wrapped up its 2019 spring drills with the annual Garnet & Black Spring Game on Saturday afternoon. (CLICK TO VIEW)
  20. Gamecocks going extra mile to enhance fan experience April 08, 2019 The South Carolina athletics department announced last month that it is partnering with Legends, a group that specializes in planning, sales and hospitality with an emphasis in the realm of sports, to enhance the fan experience at Williams-Brice Stadium. The first step was a survey asking for feedback to guide long-term decision-making for the future at the 80,000-plus seat venue. The goal is to develop ideas to make attending a Gamecocks football game a more attractive investment for the average fan and beyond. The school has already pledged $21 million in work at Williams-Brice Stadium to be completed in 2020, which will predominately provide premium upgrade opportunities. (CLICK TO READ FULL ARTICLE) 247sports John Whittle
  21. There wasn't really room for Hilinski, Urich, and Joyner to all stay at QB--and each see the field. Urich demonstrated that he can play WR, and wants to play. And I think the position move greatly increases his chance to see the field more often and enjoy his college football playing days. Smart move, Jay. And happy the coaches facilitated the transition. Good on them. After all, getting on the field. At the end of the day, it's fun to play.
  22. How Dakereon Joyner taken a back up role for now as a QB April 05, 2019 THE STATE To a degree, any backup quarterback is going to be frustrated. Throughout their career, they’ve been the commander of the offense, in the thick of things running the show. For a quarterback such as South Carolina signal-caller Dakereon Joyner, arriving at college often means waiting one’s turn and biding time. But if the second-year passer has any frustration, he’s not showing it. “I haven’t noticed that,” Gamecocks quarterback coach Dan Werner said. Werner, a veteran of working at the position, understands there should be a little undercurrent of that naturally as any player tries to work from a backup role to something more. “I would hope as a competitor, all of them are a little frustrated,” Werner said. “They want to get out and play. But that’s just part of our business.” Joyner is in the midst of his second season on campus, going against four-star Ryan Hilinski and Jay Urich for the backup job Michael Scarnecchia left open. Joyner came to Columbia a four-star prospect and played in one game while redshirting last season. His ability to run has never been in doubt, but his passing had to come along. One question that arose early was with his mechanics, and if USC planned to change them. The answer was, maybe a few tweaks, but most of that work was done away from the coaches. “You’ve been throwing however he’s been throwing, this is with every quarterback, then you get to be 18, 19 years old, trying to change it and learn a new offense and all that, it’s really difficult,” Werner said. “He worked really hard in the offseason on his own and he has come back and is throwing the ball really well now.” If he manages to get his passing in top shape, he’ll be able to complement some of his dynamic skills running the ball. He ran for 980 yards as a high school senior and more than 1,000 as a junior and sophomore, all while throwing for more than 10,000 yards and leading his team to a 40-3 career record. Gamecocks fans will get a good look at him Saturday in the spring game, as both Will Muschamp and Werner said Jake Bentley won’t have more than three or four series on the field all told. That means plenty of work for the backups. Last season, Joyner got in late against Chattanooga, scrambling for 24 yards on three plays and throwing a pair of passes. He didn’t get a chance to go in against Akron as the Gamecocks offense stalled out after racing to an early lead. Although taking off and running was a prominent feature of that lone appearance, Werner said the staff is neither making a big emphasis on reining him in or working his rushing skills into the passing game. They simply want him to read through the progressions like everyone else does and take off when that is exhausted. A season ago, the spring game provided a snapshot of a young player very much learning the ropes. He had several good runs but also connected on 1 of 5 passes and threw an interception. But according to those around the team, the Joyner this spring is a far cry from that player. “When he came in, he was swimming just because his offense was so different in high school,” Werner said. “We were asking him to do a lot of different things that he had never done. It hurt him obviously, but he wants to do so well. He works as hard as anybody. He’s in their watching film, studies the playbook, and he knows it, and has had a really good spring so far.”
  23. QB coach Dan Werner talks Hilinski’s, plus where they stand in naming back up quarterback with video April 04, 2019 His brother Tyler committed suicide in January of 2018. It’s something that defined the end of his high school career, played a small role in where he chose to go to college and even factored into his family moving from one coast to the other. (CLICK TO VIEW VIDEO & ARTICLE)
  24. Videos with selected offensive players & latest story lines from spring practice April 01, 2019 (CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO & ARTICLE)
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