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  1. Another Gamecock has entered NCAA transfer portal January 18, 2019 In November, South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp said that Nick Harvey hoped to play one more season of college football. It won’t be for the Gamecocks. The safety, who arrived in Columbia just last year as a graduate transfer from Texas A&M, has entered his name into the NCAA’s transfer portal, the school confirmed Friday evening. The news was first reported by Matt Zenitz of AL.com. The portal allows college coaches to see which players have an interest in leaving their current schools. South Carolina did not immediately confirm Harvey’s departure. Harvey, a 5-foot-10, 190-pound Lancaster, Texas, native, played in four games for the Gamecocks last year. He transferred to USC in the offseason and was expected to earn a regular spot at safety in the preseason but had his season cut short by a concussion. He finished with six tackles. Harvey started 12 games for the Aggies in 2016 and redshirted at Texas A&M during the 2017 season. He played last year as a senior, but USC had hoped the NCAA would allow him an additional year due to the seriousness of his 2018 injury. Veteran safety Javon Charleston also plans to transfer from USC. Freshmen R.J. Roderick and Israel Mukuamu started at defensive back spots for South Carolina in the bowl game. The Gamecocks also expect to welcome Jamyest Williams back from injury in 2019.
  2. 7. SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS South Carolina makes the biggest jump in our Top 25 for 2019 after debuting at No. 22 last fall with its impressive indoor practice facility. Up next in Columbia and set to open in the next couple of weeks, the Gamecocks' 110,000-square foot, $50 million Cyndi and Kenneth Long Family Football Operations Center will be the new front porch for Carolina Football. According to USC, the main entrance into the building opens into a two-story lobby with a 20-foot high "Block C" logo. The lobby will include a display of Georgia Rogers' Heisman Trophy and displays for bowl trophies. Several interactive screens throughout the lobby of the ops center will document the history of the the program. South Carolina's "Build Your Legacy" corridor connects all of the main spaces on the first floor from the player entry to the locker room to the training room to the weight room. The Legacy corridor will feature retired jerseys, record holders, national award winners and academic accolades and statistics. The player entry area includes an interactive NFL display with information about past and current players in the pros. The primary nutrition area located at the heart of the building allows for constant interaction with athletes and staff for nutritional guidance. The 20,000-square foot, two-story weight room includes custom weight racks and a variety of strength training equipment. There's a recording studio, too. Judging by this early glimpse of the state-of-the-art locker room from prospect Eric Gray, the Gamecocks' digs are jaw-dropping. The players lounge located within the locker room includes TVs and video game areas, a 15-seat movie theater with reclining seats and surround sound, a video arcade room and the Darius Rucker sound studio. Also, within the locker room is a barbershop - "Spur-cuts." https://247sports.com/LongFormArtic...lemson-Oklahoma-Texas-126107528/#126107528_13
  3. South Carolina’s new coach doesn’t mince words: His group has ‘under-produced’ January 13, 2019 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%} .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%} While one of his former running backs played in the NFL playoffs, Thomas Brown met with the media Sunday at Colonial Life Arena to discuss what he wants from his new running backs. “I think they have under-produced in the past from my opinion, I think probably in everybody’s opinion,” said Brown, who was hired last week to coach South Carolina’s running backs. Brown was introduced to Gamecocks fans, and the local media, at halftime of the USC men’s basketball game against Missouri. That game was going on at the same time Melvin Gordon and the San Diego Chargers were playing New England in the AFC divisional playoffs. Gordon finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting at Wisconsin while Brown was the Badgers running backs coach. In 2019, Brown will have a running backs room that includes seniors Rico Dowdle, Ty’Son Williams and Mon Denson and maybe A.J. Turner, who could play running back, defensive back or both next season. The Gamecocks ranked 12th in the SEC in rushing last year with 1528 yards per game. Dowdle was South Carolina’s leading rusher with 654 yards, and he finished 19th in the conference in yards per carry (5.32). “Competition solves most of your problems,” Brown said. “I’ll be on them every single day, hold them to a standard. I normally always play two guys but I’ll play as many guys as necessary to win.” Brown, 32, has also coached at Marshall, Georgia and Miami, where he was offensive coordinator last year before head coach Mark Richt resigned. South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp, who has yet to speak to the media since hiring Brown, spoke to Brown on Monday, the day after Richt retired. “It happened pretty fast,” Brown said. Brown will be reunited with former college teammate and friend Bryan McClendon, who is the Gamecocks offensive coordinator. That was the biggest fact in Brown deciding to accept Muschamp’s offer immediately, he said. “It was funny because Coach McClendon and I talked a year ago about maybe getting back on the same side at some point, not sure how it would happen, but it happened this way and I’m excited about it,” he said. Brown, who did not call plays at Miami, said it was too early to speculate on how or if his hiring might change South Carolina’s offense. The Gamecocks finished seventh in the SEC in yards per game last year (425.6), which was McClendon’s first calling plays. “I looked up to him a bunch when I was playing, how he handle himself on and off the field,” Brown said. “It’s the same thing from a coaching standpoint.”
  4. Javon Charleston claims South Carolina compliance error forcing him to transfer January 12, 2019 Multiple outlets revealed Friday that South Carolina DB Javon Charleston was listed in the NCAA transfer portal. Charleston took to Twitter to explain Saturday that transferring is his only option to continue playing football due to an error by compliance in the South Carolina athletic department. “Compliance mis-classified me and surprisingly realized it at the end of my season(career).. I took a few classes online out of high school in order to transfer into USC and that apparently started my D1 clock early.. My only way to play my last year I am forced to transfer,” Charleston wrote on Twitter. There is obviously a lot to unpack in this unfortunate situation. Included in Charleston’s tweet is a screenshot outlining the NCAA’s Division I five-year clock (five years to play four seasons). Charleston is academically still a college student, but his five years of Division I eligibility appear to be up now that the 2018 season has concluded. Charleston missed the final six games of South Carolina’s 2018 season due to a foot injury. His bio on the South Carolina website (which hasn’t been updated since he revealed the error) says he joined the program in 2015 as a walk-on true freshman and redshirted that season. Charleston graduated from Warren Township High School in Gurnee, Ill., in 2014.
  5. Here are some images from the branding reveal. There aren't many major changes. This does NOT include athletics but they will probably use some of the branding. Just not on uniforms and such. USC is now officially UofSC.
  6. Blast from the past: Sparky Woods is back (on USC’s schedule) January 10, 2019 THE STATE Veteran South Carolina fans might recognize one of North Carolina’s coaches when the Gamecocks and Tar Heels meet on Aug. 31 in the 2019 season opener. Sparky Woods, South Carolina’s head coach from 1989 to 1993, has joined UNC head coach Mack Brown’s staff, according to FootballScoop.com. The website did not say what position Woods will fill. The Tar Heels have announced eight of Brown’s 10 assistant coach hires but not Woods’ hiring. Woods, a 40-year coaching veteran, has been the head coach at South Carolina, Appalachian State and VMI. The 65-year-old also has served as an assistant coach at Virginia, Mississippi State, Alabama, Memphis and Richmond, where he served last year as running backs coach and co-special teams coordinator. The Gamecocks were 24-28-3 during Woods’ tenure, which included the school joining the SEC in 1992. Woods was replaced by Brad Scott. Name Yrs. W-L-T 1. W. A. Whaley 1896 1-3-0 2. W.P. Murphy 1897 0-3-0 3. W. Wertenbaker 1898 1-2-0 4. I. O. Hunt 1899-1900 6-6-0 5. B. W. Dickson 1901 3-4-0 6. C. R. Williams 1902-03 14-3-0 7. Christie Benet 1904-05, 08-09 13-16-3 8. Douglas McKay 1907 3-0-0 9. John H. Neff 1910-11 5-8-2 10. N. B. Edgerton 1912-15 19-13-3 11. Rice Warren 1916 2-7-0 12. Dixon Foster 1917, 1919 4-12-1 13. Frank Dobson 1918 2-1-1 14. Sol Metzger 1920-24 26-18-2 15. Branch Bocock 1925-26 13-7-0 16. Harry Lightsey 1927 4-5-0 17. Billy Laval 1928-34 39-26-6 18. Don McCallister 1935-37 13-20-1 19. Rex Enright 1938-42, 46-55 64-69-7 20. J. P. Moran 1943 5-2-0 21. William Newton 1944 3-4-2 22. Johnnie McMillan 1945 2-4-3 23. Warren Giese 1956-60 28-21-1 24. Marvin Bass 1961-65 17-29-4 25. Paul Dietzel 1966-74 42-53-1 26. Jim Carlen 1975-81 45-36-1 27. Richard Bell 1982 4-7-0 28. Joe Morrison 1983-88 39-28-2 29. Sparky Woods 1989-93 24-28-3 30. Brad Scott 1994-98 23-32-1 31. Lou Holtz 1999-2004 33-37-0 32. Steve Spurrier 2005-15 86-49-0 33. Shawn Elliott 2015 1-5 34. Will Muschamp 2106-present 22-17
  7. Bo Davies and Travis Jones are the candidates being talked about... Both are light years better than the shyster Boom just ran off.
  8. Thomas Brown BIO New Gamecocks Running Backs Coach January 09, 2019 “Thomas is an accomplished running backs coach who has done a great job at multiple spots, including Wisconsin, Georgia and Miami,” said Coach Muschamp. “He’s an outstanding young football coach, having been a coordinator at Miami, and is an outstanding recruiter. We are excited to have him part of the Gamecock family.” Brown has spent the past three seasons as the Miami Hurricanes’ offensive coordinator and running backs coach under head coach Mark Richt. This past season, the Canes rushed for 2,489 yards, an average of 5.2 yards per carry and 191.5 per game, while scoring 25 rushing touchdowns. In 2017, Travis Homer earned second-team All-ACC recognition despite taking over as starting running back five games into the season due to a season-ending injury to All-ACC junior Mark Walton. As a sophomore in 2016, Walton became just the 11th running back in Miami history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Brown spent the 2015 campaign on Coach Richt’s staff at Georgia where he coached the Bulldog running backs. During Brown’s stint in Athens, Georgia rushed for 2,513 yards (194.3 yards per game), including 1,076 yards by Sony Michel. “I’m excited about the opportunity,” said Coach Brown. “I have great respect for Coach Muschamp - I’ve known him for a long time. Obviously, I’ve been around Coach (Bryan) McClendon. We played together at Georgia and worked together for a year at Georgia, and always talked about having the opportunity to get back on the same side together. This is a great place and I’m looking forward to it.” Before arriving at Georgia, Brown coached Heisman Trophy runner-up Melvin Gordon at Wisconsin in 2014. Gordon posted the second-best season ever by a running back with 2,587 rushing yards and 32 total touchdowns. He and sophomore Corey Clement combined to run for 3,536 yards to break the single-season Football Bowl Subdivision record for rushing yards by teammates that had been set the year before by Gordon and James White (3,053 yards). The Badgers posted the two most prolific rushing performances in the country in 2014 with a school-record 644 rushing yards vs. Bowling Green and 581 vs. Nebraska, and their average of 6.91 yards per rushing attempt ranked as the fourth-best mark in FBS history. Before joining the Wisconsin staff, Brown served as the running backs coach at Marshall in 2013 and at UT Chattanooga in 2012. He spent the 2011 season as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Georgia. At Marshall, Brown helped direct Conference USA’s second-ranked rushing offense which averaged 205.9 rushing yards per game (ranked 24th nationally). The Herd won the C-USA East Division title with a 7-1 record and defeated Maryland, 31-20, in the Military Bowl. Brown guided Essray Taliaferro to a season that saw him average 5.2 yards per carry and score 10 touchdowns while amassing 1,140 rushing yards. Marshall was one of just seven FBS teams to boast three running backs that rushed for at least 500 yards in 2013 - and was the lone program outside the Power Five conferences to accomplish the feat. Born May 15, 1986 in Tucker, Ga., Brown starred at Tucker High School before enrolling at Georgia and helping the Bulldogs to the 2005 Southeastern Conference championship. He finished his career as the fifth-leading rusher in Georgia history with 2,646 career yards and led the Bulldogs in rushing in 2005 and 2006. For his career, Brown averaged 5.0 yards per carry and scored 25 touchdowns. He was elected by his teammates as the permanent offensive team captain in 2007. He was selected in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons and spent the 2009 season with the Cleveland Browns before retiring to pursue coaching opportunities. Brown earned his bachelor’s degree in speech communications from UGA. He and his wife, Jessica, have three children, Orlando, Tyson and Judah.
  9. What an SEC Network analyst, line play expert sees in Zacch Pickens January 09, 2019 THE STATE In the realm of ESPN and the SEC Network, Cole Cubelic has grown into an evangelest for line play. The former Auburn center regularly breaks down the more misunderstood and underappreciated positions on the field, both lines. He was an analyst for the Under Armour All-America Game last week, and delivered breakdowns of some top prospects, including Gamecocks commit Zacch Pickens. The 6-foot-5, 268-pound five-star recruit out of Anderson registered a sack in that game despite contending with double teams most of the day. He and the majority of South Carolina’s spring enrollees started moving in on Tuesday. They’ll start classes and officail workouts on Monday. Pickens is the No. 18 player in the country according to the 247 Sports composite rankings. He’s the second-best strongside defensive end in his class and best player in South Carolina. As a senior, he led T.L. Hanna to a 14-1 record and spot in the state title game. He had 87 tackles, 15 for loss, six sack and an interception for s touchdown, despite playing limited snaps because his team was ahead by so much. He also chipped in on offense, running for 889 yards and 21 touchdowns. Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp has already alluded to him playing a little offense, but his main spot is defense. He’ll have a lot of competition as the Gamecocks are set to return nearly every defensive lineman of note from a group that went through injuries during much of the season.
  10. A way-too-early, game-by-game look at South Carolina’s 2019 football schedule JANUARY 7, 2019 by NOAH PATHEJA | SPURS UP SHOW South Carolina finished the 2018 season with an uninspiring 28-0 loss to Virginia in the Belk Bowl. Their last game was played in Charlotte, and their first game of the 2019 season will be in Charlotte. The Gamecocks’ schedule is going to be a long and brutal one, but if South Carolina stays healthy, I’m confident they can have a good season with at least one big upset. South Carolina starts out by playing North Carolina in Charlotte on August 31st. The Tar Heels finished at 2-9 this season, but they will be with a new head coach, Mack Brown, in 2019. South Carolina will be healthy and will be playing with a lot more motivation while Mack Brown will slowly build North Carolina. I expect South Carolina to win comfortably. The Gamecocks will head back to Columbia to face Charleston Southern, an FCS opponent. This will be a confidence builder for South Carolina, and I expect freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski to see his first in-game action. This game is about staying healthy and seeing what the star-studded 2019 class can do. I expect South Carolina to dominate. South Carolina will stay home to face Alabama, the titans of college football. Alabama will return stars such as quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and receiver Jerry Jeudy. South Carolina will hopefully be healthier in 2019, especially on the defensive side of the football. Last time these two teams played, South Carolina pulled off arguably the greatest upset in program history. The whole team will need to be perfect if they want to pull this one off. I expect South Carolina to lose by multiple touchdowns due to the sheer talent of Alabama. The Gamecocks will travel to the other Columbia to face Missouri. The Tigers will be without Drew Lock, but they will have Clemson transfer Kelly Bryant at quarterback. Missouri is coming off of an eight win season, but I think South Carolina will be good enough to pull out a close one against Missouri. I expect South Carolina to win by seven or less points. South Carolina will return home to face Kentucky in what will be a revenge game for the Gamecocks. South Carolina has lost five games in a row to Kentucky, but the Wildcats will be without star running back Benny Snell and linebacker Josh Allen. Kentucky won the Citrus Bowl and finished at 10-3, but they will lose too much talent. I think South Carolina will break the curse and win by 10 or more points. The Gamecocks get a bye week and will face Georgia on the road the next week. South Carolina hasn’t been able to beat Georgia lately due to the fact that they have become one of the most talented teams in the country. Georgia will return quarterback Jake Fromm and their pack of running backs. South Carolina is slowly building their program, and I think this will be the game that Will Muschamp will run away with. Although this is a road game, I think the Gamecocks will catch Georgia sleeping. I have South Carolina winning by a field goal. South Carolina will return home to face Florida in a key conference game. Florida is proving to be a successful program under Dan Mullen, and they will compete with Georgia for the top of the SEC East next year. The Gamecocks will be too fatigued and will drop this one. Florida will be too talented for South Carolina to keep up. I have the Gamecocks losing by a touchdown. South Carolina will travel to Knoxville to face Tennessee in what will be a revenge match for the Volunteers. Every team has their curse team and lately, South Carolina has been that team for Tennessee. Jeremy Pruitt is doing a good job of building a program there, but South Carolina will continue to curse the Volunteers. I expect South Carolina to win by a touchdown or less. The Gamecocks start out November by playing Vanderbilt in Columbia. South Carolina always seems to beat the Commodores easily, and I don’t think anything will change. The Gamecocks will easily beat Vanderbilt and will show more from the 2019. Vanderbilt will not be good for awhile, and I expect South Carolina to beat Vanderbilt by more than two touchdowns. South Carolina will play at home against Appalachian State in what will be a trap game for the Gamecocks. This seems like an easy game on paper, but the Mountaineers are upset specialists. In 2007, the Mountaineers pulled off an upset against Michigan and almost beat Penn State this past year. This is a game South Carolina shouldn’t sleep on, but I expect the Gamecocks to win by a touchdown. South Carolina will play their last road game at Texas A&M. Jimbo Fisher already has one of the top recruiting classes for next year, and the Aggies will be one of the best teams in the SEC West. South Carolina will fight for the win, but will fall short in one of the most hostile environments in college football. I expect South Carolina to lose by a field goal. The Gamecocks will have a bye week before they face their rival Clemson. Clemson loses a lot after the 2018 season, but they will also return a lot of talent, including quarterback Trevor Lawrence. South Carolina will face the Tigers at home. However, they will be too beat up and fatigued to hang with Clemson for four quarters. I expect South Carolina to lose by two touchdowns or less. South Carolina’s schedule is going to be one of the toughest in the country, but they can easily win eight games if they stay healthy. Only time will tell of quarterback Jake Bentley will play the whole season, or if the Gamecocks will finally have a healthy defense all season long, but Muschamp and company will have their hands full either way. FINAL RECORD: 8-4
  11. Ryan Hilinski has arrived in Columbia, and he’s excited about what’s next Plus New $50 million football operations building open Monday LINK TO VIEW: $50 million football operations building open Monday January 07, 2019 Ryan Hilinski has landed. South Carolina’s four-star quarterback singee arrived in Columbia on Sunday night, capping a whirlwind week in San Antonio, Texas at the All-American Bowl. He will now launch into moving into a new house and officially enrolling at USC on Tuesday. “It’s pretty crazy,” Hilinski said Sunday night. “I’ve got a lot of outreach of people just saying, ‘Welcome home’ and stuff. It kind of hit us on the ride here that we’re going to be here for a while and I’m not going to travel for a minute. “It feels really good to be here.” His mom is with him on the trip, and they will see their new house on Monday. He joked they tried to get Bojangles after their flight landed (his name on Twitter is Big Bo), but they settled for Wendy’s. He’ll start classes and official workouts next Monday. The all-star game was a chance to test his skills against and alongside other top recruits, something he relished. “It was awesome,” Hilinski said. “I can honestly say it was the best week of football of my life. “It was just fun because we got to compete against the best, but we also had fun doing it. It was really cool to see everyone from other states and how humble they were and how excited they were to be a part of the experience.” He roomed with Arizona commit Grant Gunnell. Hilinski’s parents and brother will move to Columbia from California permanently, and his brother, Kelly, hopes to go to medical school at South Carolina. Hilinski committed to South Carolina in April, and his pledge survived big offers from the likes of Southern Cal, Ohio State and LSU. His last high school season featured some on-field challenges, but he threw for 2,771 yards, 29 scores and 10 interceptions with a near nonexistent running game, a lack of top receivers and offensive linemen dropping like flies, as well as a brutal schedule that featured four games against teams ranked in the top 10 nationally. His family has endured a lot over the past year with the suicide of his brother Tyler, a quarterback at Washington State, which made national news. That’s part of the reason they chose to move with Ryan across the country. The family has a foundation, Hilinski’s Hope, to raise awareness about mental health issues with athletes.
  12. One more year: Jake Bentley will return to South Carolina for senior season January 04, 2019 South Carolina’s ride with Jake Bentley has one more season. The junior quarterback announced he’ll forgo the NFL draft and return to Columbia for his senior season. He’s already been a starter for 2 1/2 seasons and will get a chance to put a final cap on a long, sometimes tumultuous Gamecocks career. He’s the second of three potential draft prospects to make his choice. Donell Stanely announced he’ll return to USC. Bryan Edwards has yet to make his decision public. ESPN’s Todd McShay projected Bentley as a second- or third-round player in the 2019 draft, but also said he should return to school. Bentley’s journey in Columbia has had its share of ups and downs. The son of one of the most successful high school coaches in the state’s history, he turned down Alabama to join the team that hired his father, Bobby. Then he skipped his senior season of high school to enroll early. For about half his freshman campaign, he appeared destined to redshirt, but with the team in desperate straits, he became the starter and thrived. He led USC to a 4-2 finish to the regular season, securing a bowl spot. Jake Bentley came into his sophomore with high expectations, and delivered a solid but at times inconsistent campaign. He threw for 2,794 and 18 touchdowns, but 12 interceptions helped drag his rating down to 130.7. His junior season featured an up-and-down start, with struggles against good Georgia and Kentucky defenses and an injury that sidelined him against Missouri. He had a poor first half after returning against Texas A&M, earning a cascade of boos in the process, then caught fire as a comeback bid fell short and posted strong numbers the rest of the regular season (he set a school record with 510 yards against Clemson). But things closed on a sour note. USC’s offense sputtered in the second half against Akron, and then died against Virginia in the bowl. Bentley was 17 of 40 with 218 yards and a pair of interceptions. He posted a statistically impressive season with the third-most passing yards in school history (3,171), second-most touchdowns (27). But he also faced biting criticism at times.
  13. Could Zacch Pickens solve USC offense’s short-yardage woes? Muschamp open to idea January 04, 2019 THE STATE If you stood at field level at a T.L. Hanna High School football game this season, there was something almost jarring about it. The ball was snapped, and through the line came 6 feet, 5 inches and 280-plus pounds of five-star defensive lineman Zacch Pickens with the ball. High school kids were hanging onto the massive future South Carolina football player, trying to bring him down as young campers would a counselor. In this, Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp might see a solution for a pressing issue. “I think he gives us some short yardage and goal line options,” Muschamp said, “to get a big back in there.” His two-way play this season has been well-documented. He had to lobby his head coach, Jeff Herron, to play offense, and went in at fullback in the Yellow Jackets’ Wing-T attack. He ended up leading the team in yards at 889, carrying the ball 104 times (8.5 per carry) and scoring 22 offensive touchdowns. USC, meanwhile, hasn’t been a great team converting in short yardage, especially in Muschamp’s first two seasons. “I know that’s been a little frustrating for our fans,” Muschamp said. “I get most of the emails from our fans [about that]. So hopefully he’ll be able to answer some questions there for us too.” He wouldn’t be the first talented defensive lineman-turned-short yardage runner, and any use of him there would invariably draw a few comparisons to Clemson’s jumbo backfield that saw Christian Wilkins get three carries and run for a pair of scores this year. Of course, his skills will still primarily be used on the defensive side, where his mix of size, speed, strength and quickness could have him terrorizing offenses before long. Asked what is said about a player that he’s already talking about going both ways in college, Muschamp fell back on the way he’s been a low-maintenance recruit throughout. “He is an outstanding young man and he is going to be a great addition to our team,” Muschamp said.
  14. Hilinksi previews All-American Bowl appearance (AUDIO) #Gamecocks JANUARY 4, 2019 BY PHIL KORNBLUT LINK: SPORTSTALK Ryan Hilinski USC QB signee Ryan Hilinski has been in San Antonio this week prepping for Saturday’s All-American Bowl. The game will kickoff at 2:00 PM and will be televised on NBC. Hilinski hopes to show the nation what analysts have said and what Will Muschamp is counting on, that he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Thursday night Hilinski joined us on SportsTalk for what will be his final live visit for at least a year. Once he arrives at USC next week for the start of classes, Hilinski, and all the other freshman, will be off limits to the media until their second year in the program. Ryan Hilinski on SportsTalk
  15. He’s not played for the Gamecocks yet, but reserve speedster has ‘another gear’ January 03, 2018 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%} This season, South Carolina football had four running backs it relies on, plus promising freshman Deshaun Fenwick, who played in multiple games as he redshirted. That quintet will likely be back next year, with four seniors in position for a final run, give or take A.J. Turner’s future on defense. But behind them, one back has been working, drawing a little attention from those on the team. Lavonete Valentine didn’t take the field in 2018. A knee injury in high school all but assured he’d redshirt this season, especially with the other four or five runners in front of him. With that setup, he’s likely in line for another season behind the scenes, but that doesn’t mean the speedster can’t show something with the work he gets. “He’s got another gear,” Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp said. “He’s done a nice job. He’s got good vision.” At 6-foot, 190 pounds, he represents a chance for USC to get a lot of speed in the backfield. He won a Florida state sprinting title, running a 10.61-second 100-yard dash in 2017. As a high school junior, he averaged 9.6 yards a carry on the way to 884 yards with 16 total scores. He had at least four 50-yard runs in that last healthy high school season. In terms of South Carolina football’s two-sport athletes, tight end and basketball player Evan Hinson gets most of the attention, but the plan is for Valentine to dabble in track as well this season, working around spring football. Muschamp said all that was contingent on his ability to stay on top of things academically. “To my knowledge, so far, he’s done extremely well,” Muschamp said. USC will have A.J. Turner, Ty’Son Williams, Rico Dowdle and Mon Denson around next season, and the past few years, USC has needed all of them because of an array of small injuries. Fenwick is a heavier option, with 30 pounds on Valentine, and ran for 118 yards in two games this season. The place Valentine might contribute is on special teams, where the staff is always looking to use running backs and get speed on the field. Top returner Deebo Samuel is gone, and punt returner Bryan Edwards provided more steadiness than flash. USC’s run game hasn’t had much in the way of explosiveness, with only two runs longer than 40 yards, both from Denson. So perhaps, Valentine can add a little something there. “He’s shown another gear when he runs the football,” Muschamp said. “I think he’s got a nice future.”
  16. Four-star USC receiver signee and Bryan McClendon: They ‘mesh very well’ January 03, 2019 THE STATE Keveon Mullins got a good taste of his future over the summer. The receiver from Memphis came to Columbia and participated in Will Muschamp’s camp in June. He was an uncommitted four-star prospect at the time, there to get instruction from an SEC staff. South Carolina offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon, in particular. Rodney Saulsberry, Mullins’ coach at Whitehaven High School, watched the scene unfold. “Coach McClendon, he’s very personable,” Saulsberry said. “And he really worked Keveon and really challenged him when we were there at camp. And he responded well. They meshed very well. So their relationship is a positive one. I see great things with Coach McClendon.” After a successful first regular season as USC’s OC, McClendon was rewarded with a significant raise on Dec. 18. A day later, Mullins officially signed to join him. The 6-foot-2, 207-pounder has been committed to the Gamecocks since shortly after Muschamp’s camp. “It was the drill work,” Saulsberry said. “He pushed him in drills. ‘Hey, these are things we’re gonna be asking of you if you’re here.’ He challenged him, put him in different drills to see how he would adapt to the coaching he was given. “And Keveon responded well to him personally and to the drills, the environment. It seemed natural.” Mullins picked Carolina after de-committing from his hometown Memphis Tigers. His announcement came at the Rivals Five-Star Challenge in Atlanta, where ballyhooed quarterback Ryan Hilinksi, another future Gamecock, placed a USC hat snug on Mullins’ head. Mullins went on to catch 24 passes for 500 yards and nine touchdowns as a Whitehaven senior. “He’s an extremely hard worker,” Saulsberry said. “He’s extremely driven. The kid’s got a refuse-to-lose kind of mentality. He’s very passionate and he goes all in and all out for his team. “Extremely impressed with how he performed this season. He could will you to win. And I just foresee greatness in his future as he moves to college football at South Carolina.” With McClendon as his guide. “The biggest thing is just the energy that Coach McClendon brings,” Saulsberry said. “You can tell that he’s energetic, very passionate about what he’s doing. And he’s seizing the moment with the opportunity of being the offensive coordinator his first year. “I can only see things getting better for he and Keveon. They mesh very well.”
  17. Muschamp on his tight end recruits: ‘Just scratching the surface’ of potential January 03, 2019 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%} For the second time under Will Muschamp, South Carolina is set to welcome multiple tight end prospects as part of the Gamecocks’ recruiting class. Both players were primarily used as pass-catchers in high school, and they’ll be joining a unit that’s losing two of its top three receivers from this season in K.C. Crosby and Jacob August. What seemed to excite Muschamp the most about the 2019 tight end group was its potential for development — both players are already coming to campus as big, physical talents who could add even more muscle, and both will be mid-year enrollees, affording them an extra semester to get going. Traevon Kenion 6-foot-3, 242 pounds, Monroe, N.C. (Wake Forest High School) “Traevon will be a mid-year enrollee. Tony, his mom, got a job in the Raleigh/Wake Forest area, and he moved up there and won a state championship. He’s a guy at the tight end position that we think is really gifted in the throwing game. He really added some things to their high school football team. When he came to camp, the thing I was most impressed with was his competitive edge. He really competes when he gets on the field, and obviously, you see what he did this past year. We’re really excited about him.” Keshawn Toney 6-foot-3, 236 pounds, Williston, S.C. (Williston-Elko) “Keshawn is a Shrine Bowl participant and a guy we had in camp. He’s (6-foot-3), 240 pounds, and moves extremely well. When you get the feedback from the Shrine Bowl coaches, that’s one of the things they talked about: how impressed they were with him. I think this guy’s got a tremendous upside. I think we’re just scratching the surface of what he can do. He played mostly wideout for Williston-Elko, but now he’ll be more of an attached tight end for us. He’s another mid-year enrollee, a guy that I think has a tremendous upside.”
  18. ESPN role shows announcer that Muschamp ‘desperate to field championship-level team’ December 28, 2018 THE STATE There wasn’t a lot of consistency for South Carolina’s football team this season. But there was Taylor Zarzour. It felt as if almost every week when broadcasting assignments came out, he was the one on play-by-play for the Gamecocks’ game on one ESPN property or another. Six times, the Charlotte resident got the chance to drive down Interstate 77, meet with Will Muschamp, players and coaches, and get ready to call a Saturday game with this particular 2018 squad. In those Friday meetings with Muschamp, he saw someone who didn’t quite get swept up in the preseason hype, nor change as USC’s season had ups and downs. He saw something else. “He is an extremely competitive guy that, as badly as any Gamecocks fan wants to beat Clemson and wants to compete at the top of the SEC East, I think he wants it 10 times more than that,” Zarzour said. “This isn’t good enough for him. “You can just sense that he doesn’t want to waste any moment. He wants to get to that point. He’s desperate to field a championship-level team.” Zarzour will get one final look at the Gamecocks this season. He’ll be on ESPN radio Saturday, calling the Belk Bowl between the 7-5 Gamecocks and 7-5 Virginia with his usual broadcasting crew of Matt Stinchcomb and Kris Budden. They had five games during the regular season, and he got pulled in for the crew on the makeup game against Akron. As he looked across the span of the 2018 season, Zarzour focused on the turnovers that dried up for the Gamecocks. Those turnovers helped power South Carolina to some level of overachieving his first two seasons, when Muschamp’s group got six wins from a team that could’ve been closer to four, and then nine from one that could’ve been closer to seven or six. “It’s kind of like the golf gods that get you on the golf course,” Zarzour said. “It didn’t bounce your way in a couple of games.” He pointed out that he’s had the chance to watch the transition from Steve Spurrier to the Muschamp era, and on defense the depth of talent hasn’t been there to contend for titles. But each year, the staff has done what it needed to maximize what it had. He also said that in those Friday morning meetings, he’s not seen Muschamp fall back on excuses about injuries, even as his team took something in the neighborhood of 14 season-ending ones this season. Some coaches look to those to explain what happens, but even in those settings, Muschamp hasn’t. “He is never the guy to play the ‘woe is me’ card,” Zarzour said. This week, Zarzour has a chance to see the Gamecocks one last time, chat a little with Muschamp about how far the team has come, what it’s gone through. He was in Williams-Brice to start things in 2018, and he’ll be in the building for a seventh time to watch the Gamecocks finish things. And beyond somehow becoming the on-air chronicler of this squad, there were a few other perks he enjoyed seeing the team so often. “Personally, it’s been gratifying because I live in Charlotte,” Zarzour said. “So driving to Columbia on a Friday for Will’s meeting and the assistant coaches meetings, staying there on Friday night and then coming back home on Saturday has been nice, but I love it. “I think that South Carolina fans have, no matter what, always supported their program at a high level, so as a broadcaster, you always want to be in a passionate environment.”
  19. South Carolina puts ‘All Gas, No Brakes’ slogan to the test at Charlotte speedway December 26, 2018 .mcclatchy-embed{position:relative;padding:40px 0 56.25%;height:0;overflow:hidden;max-width:100%}.mcclatchy-embed iframe{position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%} South Carolina’s 2018 motto of “All Gas, No Brakes” took on new meaning Wednesday during the Gamecocks’ first full day of preparations for the Belk Bowl. As part of their bowl week festivities, the team’s players and coaches were treated to laps around the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “It’s amazing how fast they run against those walls, closer than I wanted to be, I can tell you that right now,” said Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp, who coined the season motto after the team won the Outback Bowl last year. “I felt like I could touch it.” Muschamp and quarterback Jake Bentley were among the first to hop in the passenger seat of the cars, which averaged between 165 and 170 mph at their top speed around the 1.5-mile track. “We were in the 19 car. I knew that was a good sign,” said Bentley, who wears the No. 19 jersey. “My nerves kind of went away when I got in the 19 car.” Not entirely, though. “Woooh, that was fast,” Bentley said after he emerged from the car. “Right when he hit the gas, what I was thinking about was, ‘This is nothing like the racing games.’
  20. South Carolina freshman will burn redshirt for bowl, former starting lineman doubtful December 25, 2018 CHARLOTTE, N.C. In the Belk Bowl, South Carolina football will have a player it had a choice to have and Will likely be without a former starter. Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp announced Tuesday the team will burn the redshirt of freshman linebacker Ernest Jones after talking it over with his family. He has already played four games, but will be used in the bowl. Muschamp also updated the team’s injuries, saying Keir Thomas has progressed well, while Aaron Sterling, who the staff had hoped to have off an ankle injury, is doubtful. “Bryson (Allen-Williams) will play,” Muschamp said. “Jaycee (Horn) will play. Keir Thomas we think is going to be able to go. Was able to work out the latter part of the week, so that was good. Aaron Sterling is doubtful. I think that’s about it.” Sterling opened the season as starting defensive end. In eight games, he had 15 tackles, three for loss, one sack and three quarterback hurries. Jones played in USC’s opener and the final three games of the regular season. He has 14 tackles and a forced fumble, and got a lot of work against Clemson and Chattanooga. Notes: ▪ The starting center job remains up for grabs, with Hank Manos and Chandler Ferrell battling for it. Muschamp said they could also keep Donell Stanley there and slide in Blake Camper at guard. ▪ Former running back A.J. Turner will stay on defense and special teams for the bowl. His future position is up in the air. ▪ Otherwise, Muschamp said everyone was healthy, eligible and had passed any drug tests that might have come around. ▪ Muschamp said the bowl was able to pay for some of the players to get home and travel back to meet the team in Charlotte.
  21. 90 minutes to spend $400: How Gamecocks are preparing for a Belk shopping spree December 25, 2018 Visualize and attack. That’ll be the strategy for South Carolina place-kicker Parker White when he comes to Charlotte for the Belk Bowl. “I took screenshots of a lot of the stuff,” White said. “So I got my notes down, like the prices of each thing that I kind of want to go in and get since you only get an hour and a half to spend the money.” Of course White is speaking of the $400 shopping spree at the Belk department store, a perk both the USC and Virginia players get to enjoy next week before they play each other at Bank of America Stadium. Each year, the NCAA allows bowl committees to provide their participants with gifts totaling a combined maximum value of $550. The Belk Bowl is offering to USC and UVa a Fossil watch — and $400 to Belk. Put 90 minutes on the clock and let the Gamecocks and Cavaliers go wild. The State on Thursday asked a variety of Carolina players for how they plan on spending their money. Parker White White is by far the most prepared for this experience. After learning about the opportunity, he said he and his girlfriend toured Belk.com to create a wish list. “I have some plans,” White said. “I’m probably going to get her some Christmas presents. I need some dress shoes and a few things I’m probably going to get. Unfortunately, it’s after Christmas, so I can’t get all the stuff. But I’ve thought about a few things.” Asked if any of his teammates were putting this much prep work into the spree, White was unsure. “I haven’t talked to too many of them,” White said. “I know (quarterback Jake Bentley’s) a big planner. So I’m sure he’ll probably go in a little bit early. I talked to Bailey Hart about it, my other roommate. He’ll probably just wing it, I would assume. But $400 in 90 minutes isn’t the most difficult thing to do in the world. So you can spend that money pretty easy.” Who’s going to spend in the worst way possible? “Woz,” White said, referring to fellow kicker Alexander Woznick. “Easy choice. Woz will probably buy a bunch of Rubik’s Cubes or something.” Jake Bentley USC’s junior QB revealed he’s checked out the Belk site — but has yet to pick out specific items. “I mean I looked at it, I wanted to see,” Bentley said. “Ninety minutes, I mean it is a long time, but once you get in there or whatever … I’m excited. Some guys are trying to print out some coupons, but we get a gift card, I don’t know.” Donell Stanley USC’s 315-pound center and resident outdoorsman has some predictable items in mind. “Probably get some flannels, some good jeans,” Stanley said. “They got some good Columbia wear, stuff like that.” Michael Scarnecchia Belated birthday gifts are on tap for the mother of Carolina’s backup QB. “My mom,” Scarnecchia said, “I told her, ‘Whatever I don’t spend, you can have it.’ ... Her birthday is Christmas Eve.” Kiel Pollard The tight end is also going into Belk with family in mind. “I’m going to probably get my brothers and sisters something,” Pollard said. “I’m more of a giver than a receiver.” Shi Smith, A.J. Turner Count these two among those Gamecocks who admit to have never stepped inside a Belk. Smith: “(Smith’s mom) said she wants a necklace. I might get her that.” Turner: “I looked on the website. They don’t really have no good shoes. It’s not like I can get Jordans or anything like that. I feel I’m just going to use that money for Christmas shopping and getting people presents and stuff.
  22. ‘I’ve been through a lot’: Bowl gives Allen-Williams chance to finish on his terms December 24, 2018 THE STATE In 2016, the first year Will Muschamp coached at South Carolina, Bryson Allen-Williams played in 13 games and registered 75 tackles, and his star seemed to be on the rise. After being forced to play out of position often during his first two seasons, Allen-Williams looked like he’d found his stride as a junior and was bound for a breakout senior season in 2017. Instead, he’s played in only 11 games and totaled 46 tackles in the last two years due to injury, and it looked like that might be the end of the story when he hurt an ankle and left the Nov. 3 Ole Miss game. After missing the last four games, however, Allen-Williams is expected to play in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 29 against Virginia. “I didn’t finish on my terms,” Allen-Williams said. “I wanted to finish on my terms, finish on a high note. I’ve been through a lot, coaching changes, scheme changes, position changes. I wanted to go out there and end it on my note. I am excited and ready to be back.” Allen-Williams was one of the nation’s top linebacker recruits when he signed with Steve Spurrier’s staff in 2014, and he started the first game of his collegiate career. He has gone on to start 21 games, play in 48 and total 171 tackles and 6.5 sacks, but it’s been a career of stops and starts due to litany of injuries. “Things didn’t go the way I thought they were going to go, but I felt like I was blessed to play at one of the best schools and the greatest conference in the world,” Allen-Williams said. “I was able to make a lot of plays here and play a lot of positions. This school and this community definitely prepared me for life outside of Carolina. I’m definitely glad I came.” Allen-Williams worried when he suffered his most recent injury that, “This was the end of the world,” he said, but he quickly set his sights on getting back on the field one final time. “I knew what my goal was. I knew how I was going to attack it,” he said. “I trusted our trainers and what they wanted to do, and I attacked it. This is my life, this is what I want to do.” Allen-Williams will begin NFL Draft preparations as soon as the Belk Bowl is finished. “Bryson is a great guy,” senior quarterback Michael Scarnecchia said. “I think he has a really good mentality. These injuries, they hurt him mentally, but he always comes with a positive attitude. That’s the biggest thing, when you come to the stadium, you can have the choice to have a negative attitude or a positive attitude. He always has a positive attitude, and it’s infectious to everybody. I think that’s what kept him going.” Belk Bowl info Who: South Carolina (7-5) vs. Virginia (7-5) Where: Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina When: Noon Dec. 29 TV: ABC
  23. Why the Gamecocks won’t use a full allotment of practices before the bowl December 21, 2018 The 15 practices for a bowl myth persists across college football. The NCAA technically doesn’t limit how many practices a team can have before its bowl game. But coaches often speak of the “15 practices.” South Carolina coach Will Muschamp did at a press conference for his team’s Dec. 29 matchup with Virginia in the Belk Bowl. Not that he would use all of them anyway. His team will go six times in Columbia from Dec. 17-22. Then comes a holiday break. They’ll practice twice in Charlotte, have a walkthrough and then finish out the season. Muschamp has long spoken about the benefits of every practice, every rep, but here he backs off for a reason. “It becomes almost a punishment to play in a bowl game if you practice 15 more practices,” Muschamp said. “At the end of the day, I want it to be a reward for the season we had. Obviously do we need to get the practice time in and practice? Absolutely. We’re going to get in really good work. We’re going to have, from Monday to Saturday, a great work week in Columbia.” That period usually includes a few practices focused on younger players, letting them get their feet wet. Then comes almost a pre-game week game week to get all the pieces in place. “The entire gameplan will be done by the time we get here to Charlotte,” Muschamp said. “We’ll brush things up on the 26th and 27th, have a walkthrough the 28th and get ready to play in the game.” USC’s staff builds it that way to put maximum attention toward recruiting in the lead-up to the early signing period. College coaches can contact recruits through this Saturday. Sunday is a “quiet period” and on Monday, when South Carolina players hit the field, is the start of a dead period. Other schools do it differently, including Virginia, which is having it’s younger player practices now. Muschamp’s staff focuses on recruiting and the players only work with the strength staff. The coach said he thinks there’s another benefit on this front. “You’ve got to decompress and get away from a long season,” Muschamp said. “That’s good for coaches, that’s good for players, that’s good for everybody.”
  24. How far Dakereon Joyner has come; why Jake Bentley hardly practiced the past two days December 19, 2018 THE STATE South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley has hardly practiced the past two days, the Gamecocks’ first on-field action since the end of the regular season. And that’s the way Will Muschamp want it. This time of the season, it’s not for football veterans such as Bentley. Instead, it’s time for freshmen Jay Urich and Dakereon Joyner. “The unfortunate thing is, when you get into the season and you’re not in that first or second group, it’s hard to gain reps,” Muschamp said. “We’ve spent a lot of time with both Dakereon and Jay these last two (practices). I don’t know that Jake Bentley took a team rep the last two days. He took 7-on-7, did some one-on-one, and that was on purpose because we want those guys to get the majority of the reps. Thought both guys did some nice things for us.” The coach noted Monday involved kicking some of the rust off, but liked how his team practiced on Tuesday. He explained the progress shown by Joyner in particular, the dynamic former Mr. Football who has worked as understudy to Bentley and senior backup Michael Scarnecchia. He came in with questions about his passing and on one end of the learning curve for the speed of the college game, but Muschamp saw some spots where he improved. “Just command of what we do,” Muschamp said, “having some anticipation about call-wise of things that we do offensively.” Joyner played in one game this season, rushing for 24 yards on three carries and throwing a pair of passes. With Scarnecchia moving on to law school after the season, Joyner, Urich and freshman Ryan Hilinski will be battling for the No. 2 job behind Bentley. This part of the season helps the young QBs set themselves up for spring ball. And after a year working behind the scenes, Muschamp liked what he saw from his four-star freshman. “He has better anticipation in the route game,” Muschamp said. “As far as where the routes and where to throw people open. That all comes with reps. It all comes with turns and reps. I think he’s improved tremendously.”
  25. OC Bryan McClendon gets big raise for a Million Dollars from South Carolina December 18, 2018 South Carolina offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon is joining the growing ranks of college football assistant coaches making seven figures in salary. McClendon received a raise to $1 million annually from the school’s board of trustees in a Tuesday meeting. Also during Tuesday’s meeting, head coach Will Muschamp received a one-year extension to take his deal through the 2024 season. Quarterbacks coach Dan Werner received a raise to make his annual salary $700,000. Defensive coordinator Travis Robinson received a one-year contract extension through 2021. All of the contractual changes were approved unanimously and will take effect on Jan. 1. “There have been other schools coming after (Muschamp’s) staff,” USC athletics director Ray Tanner said. “You want to have staff members that other people want, but you also want to retain them. In the sport of football, the continuity and consistency is so important to everybody.” McClendon will become the 22nd college football assistant to earn $1 million or more per season, according to annual numbers compiled by USA Today. Eleven of the 21 who earned more than $1 million in 2018 are coordinators at SEC schools, including Gamecocks defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson, who made $1.2 million. McClendon was paid $650,000 in his first season as offensive coordinator. Only two SEC schools -- Alabama and Auburn -- paid both coordinators more than $1 million last season, and both schools lost their offensive coordinators to new jobs this month. Being the only school in the conference with two seven-figure coordinators doesn’t concern Tanner, he said. “If you look at the big picture, we’re in the marketplace,” he said. “I think it’s important that you have the kind of people that you need in those positions, and we feel great about Coach Robinson and Coach McClendon and the roles that they play on the field and off the field.”

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