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 COUNTDOWN TO KICK-OFF "2019" GAMECOCK FOOTBALL

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  1. South Carolina practice observations & offensive depth chart March 20, 2019 Freshman defensive lineman Joseph Anderson goes through drills during spring practice .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%} The South Carolina football team went outside in the chilly morning air on Wednesday for practice, with the first three periods open to the media. A few familiar faces were back after missing the start of spring. A few observations from the opening three periods: ▪ Of Will Muschamp’s list of players who started spring injured, several were back, or at least in non-contact jerseys. That included offensive guard Jovaughn Gwyn, safety J.T. Ibe, running back Rico Dowdle (non-contact jersey), safety Jamyest Williams (non-contact jersey), linebacker Eldridge Thompson (non-contact jersey). Keir Thomas was also out and full-go. ▪ Also present were new enrollee Traevon Kenion, who was just watching and not in uniform, and signee Xavier Legette, who has not yet enrolled but dropped by. ▪ Players with the injured group included offensive lineman Jordon Cary and receivers OrTre Smith and Darius Rush. ▪ Five-star defensive end Zacch Pickens wasn’t out for stretching or ther first period, but rolled in soon after that. ▪ The Gamecocks ran skeleton offense and a defensive pursuit drill, which gave a sense of what the offensive and defensive depth charts might look like, give or take a number of injuries. USC was running three-receiver sets The depth chart as was seen: 1ST TEAM QB: Jake Bentley RB: Mon Denson (Rico Dowdle was out) WR: Shi Smith, Bryan Edwards Edwards, Josh Vann (OrTre Smith was out) TE: Kiel Pollard OL: Sadarius Hutcherson (LT), Donell Stanley (LG), Hank Manos (C), Jovaughn Gwyen (RG), Dylan Wonnum 2ND TEAM QB: Jay Urich got the first snap, but Dakereon Joyner, Ryan Hilinski rotated in. RB: AJ Turner WR: Chad Terrell, Randrecous Davis, Chavis Dawkins TE: KeShawn Toney OL: Eric Douglas (LT), Jordan Rhodes (LG), Summie Carlay (C), M.J. Webb (RG), Jaylen Nichols (RT) ▪ USC’s offense was working on screens, mostly getting guards and tackles out and blocking in space. ▪ Former Gamecocks Rashad Fenton and Keisean Nixon were on hand to watch. They’ll go through Pro Day on Thursday. ▪ The quarterbacks were doing a somewhat interesting drill built around unblocked rushers. They were going through the various moves of grounding the ball, tossing over rushers and moving around them. ▪ Four-star freshman Joseph Anderson was working with the likes of Pickens, Rick Sandidge and Kobe Smith to the side when USC was doing special teams work. That migth be a sign those guy just aren’t involved or could point to Anderson and Pickens getting some work at tackle.
  2. Crystal Ball for Tank Bigsby <img alt="Tank Bigsby" height="67" src="https://s3media.247sports.com/Uploads/Assets/827/51/9051827.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=50:67,offset-y0.50&width=50&height=67" title="Tank Bigsby" width="50" /> Tank Bigsby RB 6-0 195 High SchoolCallaway Home TownHogansville, GA Class20 247Sports Composite® 0.9748 i Natl. 46 Rank History RB 8 GA 5 <img height="50" src="https://s3media.247sports.com/Uploads/Assets/627/649/4649627.png?fit=bounds&crop=50:50,offset-y0.50&width=50&height=50" width="50" /> South Carolina67% <img height="50" src="https://s3media.247sports.com/Uploads/Assets/605/649/4649605.png?fit=bounds&crop=50:50,offset-y0.50&width=50&height=50" width="50" /> Georgia33% Lead Expert Site 2020 Accuracy All-Time Prediction
  3. By Phil Kornblut Posted Feb 19, 2019 at 11:00 AM RB Tank Bigsby of Hoganville, GA is a wanted man by USC. Head coach Will Muschamp and running backs coach Thomas Brown desperately want an elite back in the 2020 class and they are throwing the full force of their recruiting talents into wooing Bigsby and his family. Bigsby has visited USC more than any other school and the Gamecocks can only hope that kind of interest eventually will pay off in a commitment. Bigsby visited last season. He also was in for the junior day in late January. And Saturday he, his mother and his brother were back for a Saturday visit and overnight stay. They met with Muschamp and Brown first at the new football ops building and the made their way over to Colonial Life Arena for the basketball game. Bigsby said the visit didn’t uncover any new ground thru his conversations with the coaches. “The same thing really,” Bigsby said. “They just like my leadership and stuff like that. I feel like they are a good school, they have good coaches. The coaching staff is good.” The primary message Bigsby said he’s getting from Muschamp and Brown is come to USC and be that guy at running back who gets 25 carries and 150 yards per game. But, he said the Gamecocks aren’t alone in making that pitch. “Yes sir, a lot of people are doing that,” he said. Bigsby said he’s not visited any other schools but he will as he continues thru his process. “I’m doing my top five and the I’m going to do my decision after my officials,” Bigsby said. “A lot of schools are sticking out really but I haven’t visited anywhere, so I’ve got to go and visit and all that.” While he has not yet decided on his top five, Bigsby confirmed USC will be in that group when he releases it next month.
  4. Video and a couple renderings from Fan Survey Legends Fan Survey
  5. Will Muschamp on SportsTalk Wednesday night (AUDIO) #Gamecocks March 14, 2019, SportsTalk Radio Network The USC football team is on spring break this week so head coach Will Muschamp has the chance to take stock of where things stand after five practices. He updated us on a number of issues with his team in an interview Wednesday night on SportsTalk. Head coach Will Muschamp The USC football team is on spring break this week so head coach Will Muschamp has the chance to take stock of where things stand after five practices. He updated us on a number of issues with his team in an interview Wednesday night on SportsTalk. Head Coach Will Muschamp: https://philkornbluthome.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/0313willmuschamp.mp3
  6. Freshman lineman for Gamecocks brings ‘something that’s hard to find’ March 11, 2019 When South Carolina’s football team was working on some team offensive prep in its first 2019 spring practice, one jersey number caught a little attention if one knew where to look. That would be the big No. 52 of Jaylen Nichols sauntering out to the right tackle spot with the second team. This matters because Nichols is only a true freshman, at the most challenging position for young players to play, finding his way out with the second team for his first college practice. Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp made the point there’s a long way to go between early practices and whatever he might do in his career, but it also says something he can find that spot so quickly. “He’s a guy that just, movement skills-wise for a big man, he’s 300-plus … He’s got some good punching power and he’s got really good feet,” Muschamp said. “He can play on the perimeter. He can play on the edge for us at tackle. That’s something that’s hard to find, especially somebody that big.” Nichols was someone Muschamp quickly brought up as a freshman who had impressed in the first three practices. The 6-foot-4, 313-pounder was a two-way player in high school. There were some rumblings he might see a future on defense, but ultimately he found his spot with Eric Wolford’s offensive line. And the coach saw one key factor that’s helped Nichols early. “The one thing about him is, I’ll always evaluate the parents.” Wolford said. “One thing you figured our real quick is their discipline. They believe in hard work. They believe in doing things the right way. When they talk about being here a 1 o’clock, they’re going to be here at 12:30. That just the way he was raised. “He started off on the right foot here. He’s at meetings on time. He’s in his playbook. He’s studying plays. He listens, he writes down, he takes notes.” The coach didn’t want to shortchange the skillset, which included a 30-inch vertical jump on a bad hamstring at 300-plus pounds. He noted explosiveness metrics like that are good future indicators. He was a three-star recruit and the No. 84 offensive tackle in the 247 composite rankings for the 2019 class. Nichols comes in at a spot where USC is simultaneously losing some key pieces but also has a pair of potential anchors on both sides. Sadarius Hutcherson is a junior who just moved from guard to left tackle. Dylan Wonnum broke into the lineup at right tackle last season and shows no signs of doing anything but starting the next two or three years. That marks a quick change for a roster that lost its top three opening-day tackles from last season. Behind Hutcherson and Wonnum, there isn’t much in the way of proven tackles. There could be an opportunity, maybe for a first-year player like Nichols if he comes along well. But as Muschamp pointed out, there’s still a long way to go, and Nichols, four practices in, is picking up the finer points of a challenging position. “He’s starting to learn that it’s a lot different than high school,” Wolford said. “Speed of the game. But he’s got some natural tools, physical traits. He’s got some ability. It’s kind of going fast for him at times, but he competes. He’s got to learn some finer details of blocking. “It looks like he’s going to have a chance to be a good player for us.”
  7. Deion Sanders Supports former Gamecock receiver Sterling Sharpe becoming a member of the NFL Hall Of Fame March 08, 2019 Deion Sanders got one good taste of facing South Carolina’s Sterling Sharpe in college, well before the pair had meetings in the NFL when Sharpe was with the Green Bay Packers and Sanders was with the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers. Sanders is a Hall of Famer, one of the best to ever play the game, and in his expert opinion, Sharpe deserves a bust alongside his in Canton, Ohio. “The guy that should be in the Hall of Fame, who is one of the most physical, one of the best route runners, one of the best receiving guys that I’ve ever played against was Sterling Sharpe,” Deion Sanders said on an NFL Network combine broadcast with Rich Eisen.” Let me tell you something, man, you went up there to bump him, he was going to take your facemask off and your shoulder pads off. And if you backed off and he caught the ball, how you going to make the tackle?” Sharpe was nominated for the Hall of Fame in September but didn’t make the cut. In seven seasons in Green Bay, Sharpe compiled 595 catches for 8,134 yards and 65 scores. He made the Pro Bowl five times and first-team all-pro three times. His career was cut short by a neck injury in 1994. In three games against Sanders’ teams, he had 283 yards. He even was able to get a handle on Sanders’ oft-loquacious style. “You didn’t want to talk to him,” Sanders said. “Oh, you didn’t want to do that. “How his he not in the Hall of Fame? I have no idea. That was a grown man that I promise you, you had to get a good breakfast that morning.” Sanders will soon join the South Carolina football family when his son Shilo enrolls in the summer. The younger Sanders might have trouble getting his father’s No. 21, as that right now belongs to Jamyest Williams. “‘He said, ‘Dad, what if 21 is taken, should I get 2?’” Deion Sanders said. “I said, ‘I promise you, you won’t get 2.’” That No. 2, Sharpe’s number.
  8. The conversation South Carolina’s Robinson had to have with team’s NFL fathers March 11, 2019 THE STATE It’s almost built into their titles as this point, an unfortunate element of being in the family of a top football player. Shilo Sanders’ name is almost always accompanied with the phrase “Deion Sanders’ son.” Jaycee Horn is similarly tied to his father Joe, though less so now than it was before his strong first season with South Carolina football. It’s not a topic the Gamecocks want at top of mind or affecting the way those players approach things. It meant a conversation for each with their sons’ position coach, Travaris Robinson. “That’s one of the things that I had to sit down with Deion about, and had to sit down with Joe about,” Robinson said. “Jaycee is not Joe and Shilo is not Deion. They’re Shilo and Jaycee. I’ve never gone, used their parents’ success and try to motivate them that way. I don’t do that. “That’s one of the things I will not do.” What does he want instead? “I want them to come in and find themselves,” Robinson said. “Be the best version of themselves.” That doesn’t mean the elder Sanders or Horn won’t be around the program. Joe Horn was at practice on Wednesday when the team opened spring ball. Shilo Sanders isn’t in Columbia yet, but Robinson expects to see Deion’s face when he is. Jaycee Horn had the advantage of not playing his father’s position. His dad was a four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, while the son is a versatile defensive back. Shilo Sanders isn’t so lucky, as his father has a case as the best defensive back to ever play. “It can be a gift and a curse sometimes because the expectations are set that high, to try to do what your dad did.” Robinson said. “It can be good because you come from that kind of background and your dad can sit and tell you what you’re doing wrong. But it also can be bad because sometimes you can’t meet those expectations.” Jaycee Horn has already shown plenty of talent in his nascent college career. He was a freshman All-American and often South Carolina’s best defensive back in 2018. He played nickel and some corner, and Robinson would like to have him as the No. 1 corner on the squad next season. Shilo Sanders is more of an unknown because he’s not yet on campus. The coaches would like to give him a try at the slot corner spot, but he has some flexibility. His father earned the nickname “Prime Time” in his playing days, but the coaches expect him to be anything but. Robinson saw Deion Sanders as being under-the-radar during the recruitment, instead letting the process work through Shilo’s coaches (one a former teammate of Robinson). If either NFL father appears at practice, it might draw some attention from interested onlookers, but they won’t do anything to draw it or try to give thoughts on the way their sons are coached. On those sidelines, they’re no longer Pro Bowlers or dominant NFL veterans. “It’s not the football player,” Robinson said. “It’s the dad.”
  9. The defensive line where he was recruited for. Maybe he has not progressed quickly or better talent recruited for the DL made this the best move for him. This could turn out to be a very good move. I like his athleticism on the offensive line.
  10. South Carolina wide receiver Chad Terrell comeback from injury March 05, 2019 Teammates helped South Carolina wide receiver Chad Terrell. He’d never been through something like it before. He’d been a star football player, in-demand recruit, got some snaps on a nine-win SEC team as a true freshman. And then one day, early last March, he was on the shelf. “It’s been kind of crazy,” Terrell said. “I never really experienced an injury like the ACL tear and it threw me off for a little bit. But all my coaches just stayed on me and my teammates helped lift me up, telling me control what you can control, and that’s the attitude I took toward it day by day. It just sped up the process for me.” He ended up coming back to a degree, getting action in South Carolina’s final three games last fall. It allowed him to redshirt, per the new NCAA rule, and culminated his journey back. Having to man the sideline meant seeing things from a different perspective. It was stepping back, perhaps seeing a bigger picture. “I’ve learned a lot about the game from coach (Bryan McClendon) and the older receivers and just everybody showing me a lot,” said Terrell, now a redshirt sophomore. “I’ve learned a lot about how our team works and stuff of that nature.” He came to South Carolina as a high three-star recruit. At 6-foot-3, 208 pounds, his coaches praised his potential as a jump-ball option and a big bodied target. He’s now up to a listed 220 pounds, and looks it. As a high school senior, he had 64 catches for 1,236 yards and 17 scores. As he relied on his teammates, they watched him come through everything that came with the injury. “It’s been frustrating for him a little bit,” Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley said, “especially with the injuries and stuff. But I think he’s stayed consistent in his mindset and his approach to, ‘I’ve got to get back and get better.’ Each and every day, you can just see him by looking at him, he works hard in the weight room and he works hard in everything that he does. So I think that’s the big thing. I keep telling him that it’s going to pay off.” Terrell’s biggest challenge might be finding a place in a receiver group that’s grown crowded on account of South Carolina’s recruiting efforts. Of the receivers he came in with, Shi Smith is an established starter, while OrTre Smith started in 2017 before an injury sidelined him last fall. OrTre Smith seems like the first player in line to replace Deebo Samuel, and that’s to say nothing of three-year starter Bryan Edwards on the other side. So Terrell will likely be battling with Josh Vann, who played a good bit last year, redshirt freshman Darius Rush, plus a few veterans and a trio of incoming freshman that includes one four-star recruit and another who the staff considered an underrated pickup. With a year lost, Terrell might have fallen a bit further behind in the pecking order, but with a healthy knee and an opportunity before him, he’s not dwelling on that. After all, the team helped pick him up, and it likely won’t let him down. “Sometimes you think about it a little bit, but everybody is going to get their turn,” Terrell said. “All of us come in and work hard, so I’m not worried about it.”
  11. Jake Bentley discusses his personal goals, South Carolina's team goals for 2019 March 04, 2019 SDS South Carolina may have failed to live up to the preseason hype last fall but that hasn’t tempered the expectations in the Gamecock locker room heading into 2019. In fact, the goals remain the same for South Carolina this season — win the SEC East and beat Clemson. That’s according to Jake Bentley, who met with the media on Monday to discuss the final spring camp of his playing career in Columbia. “I think it’s the same team goals every year and that’s never going to change. I don’t think we get into too much, other than that — and that’s win the East and win the state. Every year, that’s our goal so I’m just going to stick with that and stay consistent with those two goals,” Bentley said to reporters in a video shared on YouTube by GamecockCentral.com. Those goals haven’t changed despite having what appears to be one of the toughest schedules on paper heading into the 2019 season. The Gamecocks open the season against North Carolina in Charlotte before hosting the likes of Alabama, Kentucky (which the Gamecocks haven’t beaten in five seasons), Florida and Clemson, and includes trips to Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas A&M. “Every single year in the SEC, you are going to play a tough schedule,” Bentley commented when asked about his team’s slate. “Obviously, anyone can look at it and see we got Alabama this year too and they are a fantastic team. Everyone understands that and working hard to prepare for that.” In addition to what the team is hoping to accomplish, what are Bentley’s personal goals? Performing better in the red zone is at the top of his list. “I think the big one is the turnovers and understanding that whether it’s three or seven, it needs to be three or seven and not zero,” he continued. “That’s the big thing that we have talked about, Coach Muschamp and I understand that and I definitely have to take care of the ball better, especially down there. That’s just the way it is and that’s one thing we are working on this spring and really just going from there.” Bentley led the SEC with 14 interceptions last season, which was a huge reason for South Carolina’s struggles on offense last season. He also completed just 61.9 percent of his passes, which marked a career low for him. Now that he’s playing in the same offensive system for the second consecutive season, Bentley needs to show more consistency and progress if South Carolina has any chance at reaching its goals with the difficult schedule that faces them in the fall.
  12. Thanks to the McNair Family for supporting the Gamecocks
  13. Sophomore DT J.J. Enagbare switching position this season February 27, 2019 DT J.J. Enagbare recruited for defensive end played a year at defensive tackle, J.J. is on his way back to switching at the DE Postilion this spring back to his original position. The sophomore defensive lineman, who became a big piece of the Gamecock rotation as a freshman, is going to bump out to start spring practice and could split time at both defensive line spots this year. Quote “We’re going to play him at end,” Will Muschamp said. “But he’s obviously a guy that’s got some versatility that can rush inside, especially when you get into one-minute, third down or situational type things.” Playing primarily at defensive tackle, he picked up 20 tackles, three for loss, and had one sack for minus-seven yards. Enagbare stepped on campus as an earlyr enrollee and started impressing the coaching staff quick, getting characterized as a fast-twitch athlete that could cause havoc against offensive linemen. Coming into his second spring practice with the Gamecocks, he’s a little bit stronger and faster and, with a lot of defensive tackle talent returning, he may be a better fit primarily playing at defensive end.
  14. South Carolina’s plan for backup QB job February 27, 2019 The competition to be South Carolina’s second-string quarterback begins Wednesday as the Gamecocks start spring practice. The competition to be South Carolina’s starter has been decided. “There is no question that right now (Jake Bentley) is the best quarterback on our roster,” head coach Will Muschamp said Tuesday. Bentley has thrown for 7,385 yards and started 31 of the last 32 games for the Gamecocks. He is within reach of the school’s career passing record (9,953 yards by Todd Ellis) and could become just the ninth player in SEC history to throw for more than 10,000 yards in his career. Although Muschamp stopped short of guaranteeing Bentley’s job for the fall, it feels like an answered question. “He needs to play well and he understands that,” Muschamp said. “That’s true with every position.” The more intriguing issue is behind Bentley, where redshirt freshmen Dakereon Joyner and Jay Urich and early enrollee freshman Ryan Hilinski are competing for the backup job. “All three guys have had good offseason programs and worked extremely hard to put themselves in this position, but you have to go out there when there are 11 on the other side and perform and perform well and I think all three are capable,” Muschamp said. South Carolina’s coaches will try to get all three young players an equal number of snaps with the first-, second- and third-team offenses during the 15 spring practices. “We have talked at length about this,” Muschamp said. “They all need to get opportunities with our first group and a fair number of snaps and a fair number of snaps with our other groups.” Joyner, the state’s Mr. Football in 2017, and Hilinski, the No. 2 rated pro-style high school quarterback in the country last year, appear to be the frontrunners, for the job, which might not be awarded at the end of spring practice. The Gamecocks will hold their spring game April 6. Joyner was 40-3 as the starting quarterback at Class 5A Fort Dorchester High School and threw for 9,745 yard and rushed for another 3,324 in his high school career. Hilinski was a three-year starter at Orange (Calif.) Lutheran High School and threw for 8,102 career yards in one of the nation’s toughest high school divisions. “We have 15 spring practices and a select number of practices going into fall camp before we really need to make that decision so that’s not pressing from a time standpoint,” Muschamp said. “They are all young players. They are going to continue to improve. We have been pleased with their progress.” Joyner, Urich and Hilinski will be graded on decision-making, command of the offense, command of the team and communication throughout the spring, Muschamp said. “Taking care of the football is No. 1 and being productive is No. 2,” Muschamp said. “Those are all things that are going to be evaluated every single snap.”
  15. Tuesday, February 26 - Head coach Will Muschamp press conference - 1 pm, Media Room Long Ops Center February 26, 2019 We will have video and full report coming up shortly following Head coach Will Muschamp press conference.
  16. Five potential breakout players for South Carolina football this spring February 26, 2019 The seeds for breakout college football seasons are usually sewn in spring practice. Players show off skills, get time to work on themselves and make their case for the next season. Five South Carolina Gamecocks who are candidates to use the next month as a chance to break out: WIDE RECEIVER ORTRE SMITH A genetic knee issue kept him off the field as a sophomore, but he did have more than 300 yards as a true freshman forced into a starting role. He’s in line to reclaim a spot on the first team with Deebo Samuel moving on. If he comes back strong, he should be in position to lock that down and give USC a trio of experienced receivers. TIGHT END EVAN HINSON The Gamecocks lost a first-round tight end after the 2017 season, and lose their top receiving and blocking tight ends off the 2018 squad. Kiel Pollard and Kyle Markway are the most experienced players out there, but Hinson might be the most intriguing. The 6-foot-4, 235-pounder gave up basketball to focus on football and has long been considered one of the team’s top pass-catchers at the position. Heading into his redshirt junior season, the question is if he can grow into a consistent enough player for a big role as he focuses on one sport. RUNNING BACK DESHAUN FENWICK The 6-foot-1, 225-pound back showed off some skill surpassing the 100-yard mark in garbage time against UT-Chattanooga. He’ll go into the spring as either the team’s No. 3 or No. 4 back depending how much work A.J. Turner gets at the position. With Ty’Son Williams’ transfer, Mon Denson and Rico Dowdle look like the top backfield options, but there will be a chance for Fenwick to nab some carries behind them and position himself for when both seniors leave. CORNERBACK ISREAL MUKUAMU He got spot snaps at corner through the first half of his freshman year, and saw his workload go up more and more as South Carolina’s secondary fell apart. This spring, he’ll have a chance to assert himself as one of USC’s top two corners, perhaps the No. 1 player on the outside if Jaycee Horn stays in the slot. At 6-foot-4, he’s a challenge for quarterbacks to throw over and can play a little safety. Spring will give him a chance to work on possibly both before an influx of young corners join up this summer. DEFENSIVE LINEMAN ZACCH PICKENS True, he’s not yet taken a snap against true college competition, but he’ll also be the most watched player on the team in spring. He’s big (293 pounds) and quick, and will get a chance to face college double teams for the first time. He has a lot of ability, and if he shows he can hold his own, it will say something about what he might be able to do in Year 1.
  17. Five Gamecocks freshman in position to show something this spring February 24, 2019 South Carolina football spring practice opens Wednesday. It will be the first college practice for nine USC early enrollees. A few freshman Gamecocks who could use the spring to make a case for roles in 2019. DEFENSIVE END ZACCH PICKENS A lot of eyes will be on the new quarterback, but Pickens has the best chance to be a quick-impact guy. He’s at a spot with some depth, projecting to play in the interior defensive line, but Will Muschamp’s staff has regularly played freshmen or first-year players up front. If Pickens’ play matches his hype, he’s going to make an impact this season. His chances to do that start this month. QUARTERBACK RYAN HILINSKI With Jake Bentley back for his senior season, it will take a massive performance for Hilinksi to compete for starting reps. He will be battling a pair of relatively untested dual-threat quarterbacks for the chance to back up Bentley. The staff will likely try to keep Hilinski to four games as a freshman to preserve a redshirt, but if he earns that No. 2 spot it will give him a big leg up in the battle to replace Bentley in 2020. LINEBACKER DEREK BOYKINS South Carolina is in need of more play-making at the position, and Boykins is in the best spot to provide that. At 6-foot-1, 226 pounds, he’s got some heft and explosiveness. On the second signing day, Muschamp praised the way he works in space, a must for linebackers in the modern game. He’ll have a lot to pick up, but just after his career ended, he said he just wanted to do what he could to start things off. DEFENSIVE END JOSEPH ANDERSON Pickens will get much of the hype on the defensive line, but it will be worth keeping tabs on Anderson, if for no other reason than to see where he plays. He’s a well-built 6-foot-3, 270 pounds. He played some at tackle and as a 3-4 end in high school, and could probably do either in USC’s schemes. RUNNING BACK KEVIN HARRIS One of the top rushers in the state of Georgia his senior season, he’s joining a position in a state of flux. Of South Carolina’s top four backs last season, Ty’Son Williams transferred and A.J. Turner’s balance between defense and offense isn’t yet clear. That could open a chance for Harris, who ran for 1,556 yards as a high school senior, to compete with redshirt freshmen Lavonte Valentine and Deshaun Fenwick for work behind Rico Dowdle and Mon Denson.
  18. Key areas to keep an eye on during spring practice February 20, 2019, Henry Fusco Position battles this spring to keep an eye on The start of South Carolina's 2019 spring practice is a few days away, time to put the 2018 season in the books and look ahead to this season's team. While position battles often go through the summer and into fall practice, spring practice is a huge opportunity it can be a starting point for players to get the opportunity to get a leg up on their competition for those positions that are in need of help. (MORE)
  19. One metric has South Carolina as a top-20 team in 2019 … but that schedule February 21, 2019 THE STATE South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp said he expects the 2019 Gamecocks to be his best team yet in Columbia. The S&P+ projections, a system devised by SBNation’s Bill Connolly, seem to agree. The metric, which weighs recent success, returning production and recruiting, has USC projected as the No. 18 team owing to strong recruiting (19th) and a high level of recruiting production (20th, although that might not account for Ty’Son Williams leaving). The system was bearish on Muschamp’s first two teams, which overachieved, and was less high than most on the 2018 squad that fell short of expectations. And while the numbers expect a top-20 offense and top-40 defense, the schedule will likely mean a team that ranks among the top 20 in efficiency might not have a record to match. The No. 1, 2 and 3 teams in the projections? They’re on the Gamecocks schedule. Also on there: No. 6, 14, 16 and 21, all on the road. Using S&P+, one can even get a sense of how the lines against FBS team might look for the Gamecocks. ▪ Vs. North Carolina (in Charlotte): South Carolina favored by 11.7 ▪ Vs. Alabama: South Carolina a 17.5-point underdog ▪ At Missouri: South Carolina a 5.6-point underdog ▪ Vs. Kentucky: South Carolina favored by 9.1 ▪ At Georgia: South Carolina a 18.8-point underdog ▪ Vs. Florida: South Carolina a 6.7-point underdog ▪ At Tennessee: South Carolina a 1-point underdog ▪ Vs. Vanderbilt: South Carolina favored by 12.7 ▪ Vs. Appalachian State: South Carolina favored by 7.5 ▪ At Texas A&M: South Carolina a 6.8-point underdog ▪ Vs. Clemson: South Carolina a 12-point underdog That puts USC as an underdog seven times, though in four of those games it’s by less than one touchdown. In the four FBS games in which the Gamecocks are favored, two are against Kentucky, which South Carolina hasn’t beaten since 2013, and Appalachian State, an 11-win team in 2018 that is now breaking in a new coach. The Gamecocks return more than a few solid pieces. They’ll have three of their top four backs from the last few years, four of their top five most targeted pass catchers, three returning offensive linemen, OrTre Smith coming off injury and Jake Bentley back. Replacing Deebo Samuel is a big question, but considering the hype that’s built around the group each of the past two seasons, it could be a solid unit. The defense was badly banged up by injuries and struggled late, but could reap the benefit of younger players seeing time. Seventeen players who made at least 10 tackles last season return, including almost the entire linebacker group, a set of talented defensive backs and a line that includes eight players who were four- of five-star recruits. All this leaves the question of what will count as progress in Muschamp’s fourth season. His second year was a surprise, when a schedule softened and a bowl victory provided a ninth win. His third season opened with expectations, but came apart with inconsistent play, injuries and a slate that grew much harder than expected. USC played the 10th-hardest schedule in the country last season, and it only projected to get harder. Even if the team gets stronger, it might not show just yet.
  20. Game Cock Club 2/20/2019 Save the Date! Spurs Up Tour Dates and Locations Announced Coach Muschamp to Make Nine Stops on Annual Tour The Gamecock Club is excited to announce the 2019 "Spurs Up" tour, featuring University of South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp. The Gamecock Club, along with Coach Muschamp, will visit a total of nine locations this spring in an effort to bring the ultimate fan experience to your front door. The 2019 "Spurs Up" tour will get started on April 23 with a stop in Augusta, Ga. Other tour stops during the month of April will come in the Midlands (April 24), Lancaster (April 29) and Greenville (April 30). The tour continues in May with stops planned for York (May 2), Sumter (May 7), Myrtle Beach (May 8) and Atlanta (May 9). The tour concludes on May 14 with a visit to Charleston. Each stop will feature a photograph opportunity with Coach Muschamp, exclusive Gamecock Football updates, and a Q&A session. More information, including specific locations and ticket prices, will be announced as it comes available.
  21. South Carolina sets 2019 spring football schedule February 19, 2019 South Carolina has set its spring football practice schedule for 2019. Here’s what fans need to know: (MORE)
  22. Spring preview: Will Muschamp discusses backup QB competition, health of South Carolina roster February 17, 2019 SDS Considering Jake Bentley has never really taken a big step forward in his development, as many have expected him to do for two seasons now, the competition for the backup role in South Carolina will be one of the more interesting aspects of spring football in Columbia. Should four-star signee and early enrollee Ryan Hilinski come in and impress immediately, he may even get some looks on the field in 2019. Of course, South Carolina also signed a four-star prospect last offseason in Dakereon Joyner. How far Joyner has progressed after spending a full year on the roster could be just as important as seeing what Hilinski can do, as the redshirt freshman potentially adds another dimension to the offense that neither Bentley nor Hilinksi can provide. During his National Signing Day press conference, Muschamp previewed the upcoming competition for the backup quarterback job in Columbia. “It’ll be an open competition. Obviously, Jake and Dakereon have been here and Ryan will have an opportunity to compete there,” Muschamp noted. “All positions are open in the spring. You have to create competition on your football team. You recruit good players to give them an opportunity to play at all positions.” A big topic of conversation across the SEC every spring is which players will even be available for practice, as offseason surgeries often prevent players from participating in the crucial stage of football development. South Carolina’s coach was asked to provide the latest on his team’s health but was largely ambiguous on the status of many of his players looking ahead to spring football in Columbia. “We have a couple guys I don’t really want to comment on right now. We had a couple postseason surgeries that weren’t serious. I think we’ll get some guys back for spring. I’ll comment on that before spring ball. “I think there are just three or four guys right now won’t be [available]. Tyreek Johnson and Caleb Kinlaw both are still recovering from their ACL [injuries], and they won’t be in any contact or non-contact activities,” Muschamp said. “T.J. Brunson has had a sports hernia and cleaned up a meniscus. He probably will not be cleared for spring. “Javon Kinlaw has the hip labrum and will not be cleared for spring. Jamyest [Williams] will be part of some non-contact drills. Eldridge Thompson will be part of non-contact. D.J. Wonnum will be full speed. Daniel Fennell will not partake in spring. Rosendo Louis Jr. has shoulder surgery. We went ahead and fixed his labrum. Those are the only guys that will not partake.” While that many players being absent from spring football may have crippled the team’s spring depth in previous seasons, Muschamp and company have done an excellent job of building the program’s depth back up heading into 2019. That being the case, look for several young or inexperienced players to step up and play large roles this spring in Columbia.
  23. They should open up the OPS building to the public the day of the Spring Game - now that would boost attendance!!!
  24. Harold White, longtime USC leader and school’s first black football coach, has died February 15, 2018 Harold White, the first African-American football coach in South Carolina history, has died. White, 77, who was hired by Paul Dietzel as a graduate assistant in 1971, was inducted into the USC Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009. “Coach Dietzel took me to lunch,” White told the university’s official website in 2016. “He felt like South Carolina needed a black coach. You had Freddie Solomon coming out of Sumter High School around that time, along with several other high profile black athletes who were coming out of some of the (South Carolina) high schools. A lot of the black guys around then went to schools in the Big 10. Solomon ended up at Tampa and then played with the 49ers in the NFL, but there were going to be more black athletes at South Carolina now. Coach Dietzel offered me a position in 1971, and I took it. I think there were six black athletes that came to South Carolina (football) that year. The next year it really took off.” In 1973, White moved into administration at the athletic department, working with athlete’s academics and eventually becoming senior associate athletics director for academic support and student services. He retired from USC in 2007. Johnson was a graduate of C.A. Johnson High School in Columbia and South Carolina State University. He was inducted into the Richland County school district one Hall of Fame in 2015. Services have not been set.
  25. Lou Sossamon, Gamecock great and All-American, has died Feb. 11, 2019 PER THE STATE .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%} Then 94-year-old Lou Sossamon scores a TD in the 2016 South Carolina alumni football game. Lou Sossamon, the first Associated Press football All-American in University of South Carolina history, died early Monday morning at the age of 97, his daughter Kit Smith told The State. “I would say in the last six weeks we had seen a marked decline, but until then he was as spry and charming as every and receiving visitors,” said Smith, who added her father died of “natural causes.” “Basically of playing too much football,” she said. Sossamon was the president of the student body at USC and went on to serve in the Navy in World War II and serve four terms on the USC board of trustees. The Gaffney native played center and linebacker for head coach Rex Enright from 1940-1942 and was named to the AP All-America team in 1942. Sossamon was selected by Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL Draft but ended up signing with and playing for the New York Yankees of the All-America Football Conference. “He had a great life,” his daughter said. The family is planning on receiving visitors Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the Still Hopes Mansion retirement community and a memorial service at Sossamon’s home church, Limestone Presbyterian in Gaffney, Thursday at 2 p.m. “He had friends from so many different generations that it was just amazing to me,” Smith said. “I don’t want people to feel like they have to step out of their way (to attend services). He knew he was loved, and he loved back twice as much.”

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