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  1. Why South Carolina didn’t consider pulling Jake Bentley after Scarnecchia beat Mizzou March 20, 2019 THE STATE South Carolina never considered pulling starting quarterback Jake Bentley from the game after Bentley returned from a knee injury last season, offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon said Wednesday. “Not that I remember, not during the game,” McClendon said. “That (would be) a staff decision. It’s a lot more than me.” McClendon spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since the season ended. Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp traditionally makes his assistant coaches available to the media twice per year. Bentley, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound senior, has started 32 of the last 33 South Carolina games. His only missed start came last year against Missouri when Michael Scarnecchia took over while Bentley nursed a knee sprain suffered against Kentucky. Scarnecchia completed 20-of-35 passes for 249 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions while leading a 37-35 win that featured a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. Bentley returned to the starting lineup the next week against Texas A&M. The biggest reason Bentley went right back into the starting job was “he had seen a lot of the stuff that we were about to see. He had the cumulative reps,” McClendon said. “He came back after that and played pretty decently for the most part,” McClendon said. Bentley threw 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions in the final eight games of the season. He had seven touchdowns and six interceptions in the first four games of the season. Bentley finished the season with 3,171 yards with a 61.9 percent completion percentage. He has 7,385 yards, 54 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. He has a chance this season to become the first 10,000-yard passer in school history and just the 10th in SEC history. “The biggest thing that can’t do that I think Jake did at times last season is we can’t press,” McClendon said. “Can’t feel like, ‘I’ve got to do this.’ Take what they give you and play with what you see and go from there.”
  2. What surprised South Carolina’s Bryan McClendon about Ryan Hilinski? His bravery March 20, 2019 With a new quarterback in four-star recruit Ryan Hilinski, South Carolina offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon had a sense of what he was getting. But in one area, the coach admitted you don’t know until you see it in practice. How brave his is. “When you’re standing in the pocket and kind of having to deal with all the stuff and you’re dealing with people around there, you just don’t know,” McClendon said. Before this spring, the coaches had seen Hilinski work in camp and on film, but not in that kind of full-team situation in the flesh. So how’d he do? “He hasn’t flinched,” McClendon said. “You go in there. They send stuff at him and he’s making the right checks and doing the right things.” The top-70 recruit nationally enrolled early, and was already trying to drink in the playbook before he arrived on campus. He played for a high school that regularly faced some of the best teams in the country, but all that gets put behind him once he arrived. He’s currently battling for South Carolina’s No. 2 job behind longtime starter Jake Bentley, along with Dakereon Joyner and Jay Urich. He’s not as mobile as either of those two, but with an accurate arm, he’s showed the staff a little something. “He’s looking pretty good,” McClendon said. “He’s grasping everything. He’s doing a good job of understanding what we’re trying to do every time he’s in there and does have good command of it.” As a high school senior, Hilinski threw for 2,746 yards, 29 scores and 10 interceptions as the team around him was ravaged by injuries. He’d thrown for more than 3,700 yards the season prior. In practice Monday, Joyner, Hilinski and Urich all rolled through during a short period when the second-team offense was on the field. That points to one of the challenges the staff has with three options for a backup spot. McClendon and his staff have to weigh and study the circumstances of every rep those QBs get. They’re playing with mixed lines, less quality receivers, blends of the second and third teams against second- and third-team defenses. So when asked if some kind of hierarchy is developing now, McClendon only pointed to the data that needs to be drilled into. “Right now, we have a lot to look at before we even consider a pecking order,” McClendon said.
  3. The message to USC backs in short yardage: ‘I don’t care if it’s blocked incorrectly’ March 19, 2019 For South Carolina running backs coach Thomas Brown, the situation is more about will than tactics. When it’s short yardage, the defense is likely going to have numbers. There likely won’t be the perfect hole, the surge that makes things easy. It’s usually going to end with a back one-on-one against a defender. That’s where USC’s backs need to win. “I don’t care if it’s blocked incorrectly,” Brown said. “Somebody is going to be free. There’s going to be colors showing. You can control most of that by being able to be forceful through the line of scrimmage with pad level, keeping your feet moving on contact. “It’s an attitude and mentality-type play.” What it has been is a running issue for South Carolina through each season of the Will Muschamp era. The Gamecocks have tried to mix things up more, whether that be a fullback or play-action or going under center. But the payoff hasn’t quite been there. Last year, South Carolina ranked 75th nationally in how often it converted third and short. That percentage was around 71, a number that feels strong until a team watches drives end with backs getting held up at the line. Neither of Muschamp’s first two teams ranked better than 88th in converting power runs. Notably, South Carolina had a pair of short-yardage plays stopped early in the bowl against Virginia, a game in which South Carolina was shut out. Brown did say the Gamecocks would have some element of using a fullback, either in those situations or even in normal down and distances. They’ve already dabbled with veteran Mon Denson, 235-pound freshman Kevin Harris and walk-on linebacker Spencer Eason-Riddle. And perhaps the most interesting option hasn’t done anything with Brown’s unit ... yet. USC coach Will Muschamp said he might give 293-pound lineman Zacch Pickens a few carries after he played fullback as a high school senior. Brown is still waiting for big No. 26 to stroll over. “I’m looking forward to it,” Brown said. “We’ve talked about out. We’ve joked about it a couple times. We’ll see if we can do something.”
  4. QUESTION WE ALL WOULD LIKE AN ANSWER TOO: Will the Gamecocks defensive backfield again have to rely on a freshman? March 18, 2019 They know what it’s like. Jaycee Horn and Israel Mukuamu know the feeling of being thrown onto a college football field as freshmen, playing the under-the-microscope defensive back position in the SEC for South Carolina football. They did it last year, along with fellow freshman starter R.J. Roderick, and form a bedrock for the Gamecocks secondary going forward. But will USC again have to rely on a freshman or two in 2019? Each player was degrees of cautious about that. “High school is very different from college,” Horn said. “It depends how it all pans out.” Mukuamu added. “We expect all of them to come in and play so we can be a better unit. The better they are, the better we are.” That last part doesn’t quite go as far as saying they’ll have to rely on them, but USC has seen first-year players take on big roles and in what is becoming a annual rite in spring, the Gamecocks are again a tad short bodies in the defensive backfield. At the moment, defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson has eight scholarship defensive backs, two of whom were limited at the start of practice. Horn and Mukuamu seem like starting corners if things develop elsewhere. Roderick might be the surest thing at safety, but the staff is trying him out at nickel, where Horn played last season. “Obviously we’re a little light in the secondary right now with the (four) guys that we signed not able to be here right now,” Robinson said. “So you have some guys out there that probably won’t help us during the season.” That last part likely refers to the walk-ons and maybe a converted running back who are filling out spots in a secondary two-deep (a spring game is always a reminder how shallow the average roster is). So that might mean someone from the group of Cam Smith, Shilo Sanders, Jammie Robinson and John Dixon will have to take on some role, maybe big, maybe small, next season. Horn admitted the team really doesn’t have all its pieces in place, but there was something that impressed about a few of the incoming players. “Just how good they are off the bat,” Horn said. “The two that stood out the most to me is really Cam and Jammie because I just watched their film. Jammie plays real fast and physical, so I think he’ll adjust real quick, and Cam is the same way. He’s long and has good speed.” Smith looks like an outside corner to start, though at his size could perhaps play elsewhere. Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp has already said Robinson will play either safety or nickel. One thing that has been consistent in three years with Muschamp is being strapped for bodies in the secondary and throwing first-year players in. By the end of 2016, USC was relying on basically five players in the secondary, and the 2017 team basically only used six defensive backs all year (that was before the 2018 injury mess). And each year, at least one first-year player contributed. 2016: Junior college products Steven Montac and Jamarcus King combined for 17 starts from a class with only three defensive backs. 2017: Jamyest Williams started six games and was the primary nickel through most of the season. 2018: Horn, Mukuamu and Roderick combined to start 19 games and were all in big roles (when healthy) by season’s end. What will determine if the newest crop of players is needed likely comes down to the safety spot. Southern Cal transfer Jamel Cook showed promise. Williams was up and down after moving to the position last season. Rice grad transfer J.T. Ibe was ineffective and then hurt, while Jaylin Dickerson has often been hurt. Jonathan Gipson was forced into emergency snaps because of injuries in the bowl. If two of those players emerge as reliable and Roderick takes to nickel, the other sophomores could stay on the outside. But all those safeties are question marks and some were members of a group that became a black hole at that position last season. To a degree, reliance on freshmen will be built on a proving ground they’ve not yet reached. “That camp grind,” Horn said referring to August practice. “When they get here, that’s when we’ll be able to tell who will be able to play and who won’t.” That’s where Horn and Mukuamu made their bones, and even after last spring, the staff had said Roderick would see the field in some capacity. The work from Smith, Dixon, Sanders and Jammie Robinson has yet to happen, but if previous situations are any indication (secondaries looking for reliable bodies, the recruiting skill of USC’s staff) at least one or two will be called upon again. The current players have a level of faith in the coaches’ ability to bring in talent that can play early, but those who have already done it have a role in helping the next class pull it off. “We’ve been in the game last year,” Mukuamu said. “So we know what (the coaches) expect. “We can also help the younger guys to know what they expect.”
  5. AJ Turner is back with South Carolina’s offense. How he’s impressing his new coach March 19, 2019 THE STATE Before Tuesday, South Carolina running backs coach Thomas Brown‘s main experience with AJ Turner as a tale back was limited to watching cut ups of his film. The Gamecocks senior’s sojourn to defensive back ended with the second week of spring practice. Was there any rust to knock off. “No, he’s a ball-player,” Brown said. “He’s good to go every day.” Turner taking a turn at defensive back has been a point of interest since December. The small runner chips in on almost every special teams unit and was a good safety in high school, so it stands to reason he could do a little something on that side of the ball. But that distracts from a more central point: Turner has been a pretty solid running back through his three years. Once he got back on the field, it matched what Brown saw on tape. “”He’s a hard-working guy,” Brown said. “Very explosive on some moves in the open field and also has some ball skills out of the backfield. Looking forward to him doing more, competing more and also add more leadership to the room. We need that.” In his first two seasons, it seemed as if work just found Turner. He emerged as a redshirt freshman starter in 2016, and even as Rico Dowdle came on, Turner ended up a 497-yard back. The next year, he had more competition from Dowdle and Ty’Son Williams, but managed to lead the team with 531 yards. Last season there were some injuries and a smaller workload, but when he got the ball, he averaged 6.4 yards per carry. Brown admitted Turner is sometimes getting pulled in all different directions. Coleman Hutzler wants him as a “special teams warrior.” Will Muschamp and Travaris Robinson are taking up chunks of his time as a reserve on defense. But what he adds to the running back room goes behind a season pair of hands toting the ball. “AJ is probably one of the more mature guys I have in the room,” Brown said. “He’s really studies in the meeting room as far as taking notes, asking questions. He’s got his silly side to him, but obviously when it’s time to get down to business, he can obviously go attack it.”
  6. He became a true freshman starter for USC March 14, 2019 THE STATE Dylan Wonnum got to do a lot of what the most optimistic college freshman might hope as he went through last season. No, he didn’t open his true freshman season as a starter on the offensive line, but he finished it that way for South Carolina football. That’s at the position where it’s hardest for young players to break in and overall he more than held his own. “Anytime you can play offensive line in the SEC as a true freshman, that’s pretty impressive,” said sixth-year guard Donell Stanley. One might imagine it wasn’t the most difficult thing. He didn’t have to wait, as many players do. He’d been a very good high school player and quickly translated to being a solid college player. But that wasn’t the case. “It was hard,” Wonnum said. “It was a very hard experience. Football is a very developmental sport. But all in all, it was good. I liked the season overall.” It wasn’t the plays that were difficult, but the technique, the finer points of the position. Offensive line is a spot where technique, details, small things often make a player’s career. In high school, being bigger, stronger and more athletic usually lets a player get away with a lot, so those habits and skills are often painstakingly built by college line coaches. With that in mind, the staff didn’t go right in with him despite showing promise in camp. “Once you’ve started seven games in this league, you should be ready to go,” Gamecocks offensive line coach Eric Wolford said. “That was really part of the process of waiting to not start him right off the bat was there’s just so many things you’ve got to learn, especially at this level. “Dylan is going to continue to progress.” Wonnum got into his first game in garbage time, and then didn’t see the field again until he was thrust in to spell the starter against Texas A&M. After a bye week, the staff informed him the job was his. “I was shocked,” Wonnum said. “It didn’t seem real at first. I was just like, OK, I’m still going to be on the sidelines. But then, when the time actually came, I was like oh, OK, like it’s time to go.” That first start, under the lights at Williams-Brice against Tennessee, wasn’t easy either. “I was very nervous,” Wonnum said. “I was just thinking about my technique. “My technique took me through it.” He had a solid game and was decent the rest of the way. He helped the Gamecocks offense to a strong finish to the season, and headed into the offseason as the only proven commodity the team has at offensive tackle. When he got the job, Stanley remembers a player who didn’t seem to be gunning for any spot, but just focused on the immediate things being asked. “He was just doing his thing.” Stanley said. “He was getting comfortable with the system, learning the plays, just getting out of the high school mindset, being more like a college football player.” Wolford said he liked what the former four-star recruit did in the weight room this offseason and the progress he’s made. For the moment, it appears he won’t be making the flip to left tackle, the marquee spot on the line.. Guard Sadarius Hutcherson is moving back outside, filling the left tackle spot Dennis Daley left, and the staff seems confident in that choice. But Wonnum could well end up there before it’s all said and done. “Right now, I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily content,” Wonnum said. “But I’m at the right tackle spot right now. We work every spot in practice, so it’s not like I just don’t know it.” He’s now going through his first offseason on campus, his first spring practice. Most freshman linemen like him are coming off a year of standing on sidelines and getting most of their work in the weight room. He has film to go over, experience to break down and learn from. South Carolina likely needs more from its line next season, especially on the ground, but Wonnum is a sure piece of that puzzle. “The best is yet to come with that guy,” Wolford said.
  7. Muschamp hopes to get three more freshmen on campus next week March 14, 2019 South Carolina football opened spring practice down three projected early enrollees. The Gamecocks might be in position to get some of them into spring practice after all. Will Muschamp told Phil Kornblut in an interview on the SportsTalk Radio Network on Wednesday that the team is trying to get Cam Smith, Traevon Kenion and TyQuan Johnson into school and into spring practice when the team returns to the field next Monday. The trio were unable to enroll in January because of what he called “snags” in the process. “All three of the signees, we’re trying to push to get them in for next week,” Muschamp said. “But I haven’t heard definite on any one yet.” But he might find out soon. “They’re going to be enrolled at South Carolina (at some point),” Muschamp said. “For Monday after spring practice, I don’t know right now. Hoping to hear some good news here in the next 48 hours.” If those players came in, they’d add a few key pieces. Smith is a four-star corner, the top incoming defensive back, and the Gamecocks have been short bodies at corner this spring. Kenion would add a versatile tight end option at a position replacing two seniors, and Johnson would finally be able to start his career after academics forced him to go to prep school. Muschamp also said the team is waiting on news about linebacker Eldridge Thompson’s medical redshirt application. “I feel obviously very good about where we are in that situation,” he said. OTHER NOTES: ▪ Rico Dowdle will be back in practice after starting spring limited by injury ▪ Safety J.T. Ibe, who had to take a medical redshirt last season, has shown progress in spring. ▪ Although corner/running back A.J. Turner will return to offense on Monday, he’ll still play some defense when he can. He told the coaches he felt like he was turning a corner at the new position and will meet with the offense but work on defense in his spare time with Muschamp and Travaris Robinson. “He has done some really nice things,” Muschamp said.
  8. Cornerbacks Horn, Mukuamu say they can be 'best in nation, SEC' Mar 06, 2019 S&F Jaycee Horn and Israel Mukuamu talk often about the future of what the two South Carolina cornerbacks can accomplish in their football careers. Especially what they can do together. “I think we can be two of the best corners in the nation,” Horn said Wednesday when meeting with reporters at the Jerri and Steve Spurrier Indoor Facility. “That’s our expectations. That should be every corner in the nation’s expectation is to be the best. “That’s what we’re shooting for.” Mukuamu agreed. “I think we can definitely be the best tandem in the country,” Mukuamu said. “Because we hold each other accountable. One day, if I’m having a bad practice, he tells me I need to get better. If he’s having a bad practice, I tell him he needs to get better. We just hold each other accountable. “So I think we can potentially be the best tandem in the country.” Gamecock combine grades The 6-1, 200-pound Horn played in 11 games last season (10 starts) and had 45 tackles and eight pass breakups. He also had two sacks. The 6-4, 205-pound Mukuamu played in 13 games last season (two starts) and had 17 tackles, one pass breakup and one force fumble. “That’s most of our conversations, is talking about the future and how great we can be,” Horn said. “We push each other on and off the field. If I hear he’s going to work out, I’m going. If I’m going to work out, he’s coming with me.” “I don’t really think too much about personal accolades,” Horn said. “I’m just really thinking as a team right now, establishing ourselves as one of the best teams in the SEC. “That’s my goal.”
  9. What Ernest Jones thought when Will Muschamp asked about sitting out bowl game March 11, 2019 THE STATE In December, South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp gave Ernest Jones the choice of playing in the Belk Bowl or sitting out. It wasn’t really a choice. “I don’t think it was very difficult for me because I came to play football,” Jones said. “I didn’t really come to sit out or do any of that.” Jones could have preserved a year of eligibility by sitting out the bowl game. A new NCAA rule allows players to participate in four games during a season without losing a year of eligibility. The Belk Bowl, a 28-0 loss to Virginia, was game No. 5 for Jones. He finished the season with 16 tackles, a quarterback hurry, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. A Class AAAAA first-team all-state player at Ware County High School in Waycross, Ga., Jones wasn’t about to sit out a game just when he was getting the hang of the Gamecocks’ defense. “It was very difficult at first,” he said. “Through the first couple weeks of fall camp it kind of got to me, but during the season I started picking up on it and I was learning what to do and toward the end of the season, I started picking up more reps in practice. From there on, it’s been a great experience. Once I figured everything out I knew, ‘You can play here.’ Once those opportunities came I just jumped at them.” This spring, the 6-foot-2, 235-pound Jones is working as the first-team middle linebacker while senior T.J. Brunson, who has started 26 straight games at the position, sits out due to injury. When the fall arrives, Jones hopes to be pushing Brunson for snaps and even that starting job. “Whoever is out there doing the right job and getting the job done and giving us the best chance of winning deserves the more snaps,” Jones said. “He’s a senior so he has that extra leverage, but I’m going to come in and work and learn from him, and from then on I’m going to let it be up to the coaches.”
  10. Why South Carolina’s newest coach ‘likes the way we do it here better’ March 07, 2019 In the last five years, John Scott Jr. has worked under head coaches Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech and Chad Morris at Arkansas. His first five practices as South Carolina’s defensive line coach have been a welcome change from those years. “I like the way we do it here better,” Scott said Thursday as he met with the media for the first time since being hired in January to replace Lance Thompson on the Gamecocks coaching staff. The main difference is the pace of practice. With the Red Raiders and Razorbacks, whose head coaches ran famously up-tempo offenses, practices went just as fast. Where those teams devoted only a few periods each practice to a slower pace that allows more time for correcting mistakes between plays, South Carolina under head coach Will Muschamp has the opposite approach, a limited number of up-tempo periods to allow the offense to practice that but mostly a slower pace. In a fast practice “sometimes you’re not able to coach the fundamentals because everything is going so fast a kid gets in survival mode,” Scott Jr. said. “If a kid has screwed up three times in a row with technique, you can’t correct it until you get to see it on tape.” Muschamp’s practices are also more physical than Kingsbury’s or Morris’, Scott said, reminding him of his time with now Army head coach Jeff Monken at Georgia Southern. “The thing I love about it is it’s old-school,” Scott Jr. said. “It reminds me a lot of what we did at Georgia Southern with Coach Monken. The physicality at practice, I think that’s great. When you look at the best football teams, they are physical up front. As a defensive line coach, the more you can get used to playing double teams and chip blocks in practice, I think the better it makes your football team and the tougher it makes your football team. “You are not going to hear me complain at all. I like what we do.” Practice is not the only way USC has been a comfortable fit for Scott, who also has coached with the New York Jets and at Western Carolina. The Greer native won a state championship as a player in Williams-Brice Stadium and remembers coming to Columbia for Hootie and the Blowfish concerts while in high school. Now he works in a building where former Hootie frontman Darius Rucker paid for the players’ recording studio. “When I went over to my interview, I went over to the old spot and I was like, ‘This place hasn’t changed at all,’” Scott said. “Then coach brought me over and showed me this new building and, ‘My goodness. This place is unbelievable. Unbelievable.’ They did it right. This is a great facility. “This was a no-brainer for me.”
  11. National publication ranks all 130 NCAA teams. Where South Carolina football lands March 07, 2019 The folks at Athlon have been in the previewing and projecting business for a long while now. This week, the dropped a ranking for every team in FBS football one to 130 heading into the spring. As South Carolina football comes off a 7-6 season, the Gamecocks weren’t buried in the rankings, but they will have a tough road to say the least. Athlon’s rankings had USC at No. 40, solid coming off a 7-6 season with the top playmaker (Deebo Samuel) gone to the NFL. The challenge is that puts South Carolina 10th among SEC teams and fifth in the SEC East one spot behind Kentucky. “After improving its scoring average from 24.2 points a game in 2017 to 30.1 in ’18, the Gamecocks hope this unit takes another step forward under senior quarterback Jake Bentley and receiver Bryan Edwards,” Athlon’s Steven Lassan wrote. “Injuries took a toll on South Carolina’s defense last season, as this unit fell from fifth in the SEC in scoring defense to 11th. The defensive line is a strength thanks to the return of tackle Javon Kinlaw, and the secondary needs a big year from sophomore Jaycee Horn.” The Gamecocks schedule includes the top three teams on the list (Alabama, Clemson, Georgia), plus No. 7 (Florida), No. 10 (Texas A&M) and No. 20 (Missouri). The outlook is meant to account for recruiting before spring practice. South Carolina is in the midst of spring practice. The team will hit the field Thursday before players head out for spring break.
  12. Videos with selective players on defense & Notes March 06, 2019 What some players are saying about 5 star DE  Zacch Pickens VIDEOS
  13. Marcus Lattimore Finds His Calling In His Position With USC Football Gamecock legend Marcus Lattimore has spent a full year as the Director Of Player Development for the USC football program and he says he's right where he needs to be. COLUMBIA, S.C. — Scoring touchdowns, dodging defenders and making plays on the football field is how most South Carolina fans remember Marcus Lattimore. But now he's out to make a different kind of impact on USC football that's just as powerful as his memorable highlight reel of a career. Marcus finished his time at USC with the most rushing touchdowns in a career (38) and set the record for the most rushing TDs in a single season (17). But he suffered two devastating injuries in both of his knees. He was drafted by the 49ers in 2013 but he never played a down in the NFL because of the injuries and retired. He knows what's like to have the spotlight and dealing with the aftermath once it goes out. Marcus Lattimore He eventually started his own foundation to give back and even became the head coach of Heathwood Hall's football program for one season. Now he's returned to USC, in a very different capacity but he's found his true calling thanks to Will Muschamp. Marcus Lattimore speaks after being introduced as USC's Director Of Player Development on January 12, 2018. Joe Cook "For him to think that much of me I'm forever grateful because this has ended up being I guess a revelation for me. I know what I want to do with the rest of my life because I've been in this position," Lattimore said. His position requires a lot of hats. Marcus said he's had to be a mentor, counselor and psychologist in his first year while finding time in what can be hectic schedule for a student athletes. But the goal is for these young men to recognize their issues and surroundings to stop a pattern of behavior and prevent future problems. "You have to have strategies and exercises to be able to help these guys and make sure that they understand the negative behavior that sometimes we have-they stem from places they don't understand. So them understanding that helps them break those negative patterns and bad decisions and I think that's what we all want." With his second year right in front of him Marcus is on mission for more players to understand what it truly means to win, not only on the field but in life. "When they see the things they think used to matter don't matter-those material things. It's a great day in my life and in my mind and makes it so fulfilling when that clicks (for them)." During Spring practice the players will also be developing off of the field. The team will participate in a new program called Mastering Your Emotions. Programs like that and others like their internship program in partnership with South Carolina's Beyond Sports Professional Development and Summer Internship Program through the Dodie Anderson Academic Achievement Center is another way Marcus is trying to help ensure success for the Gamecocks long after their playing days are over.

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