Tuesday, February 28, 2012

USC Freshman Linebacker Arrested on Three Charges

According to 107.5-FM The Game in Columbia, Gamecocks redshirt freshman linebacker Angelo Watley is under arrest on three seperate charges and currently being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County.

Per TheBigSpur, Watley was charged with Grand Larceny of good that value more than $2,000 but less than $10,000. He was also charged with Financial Transaction Card Theft and Violent Burglary in the second degree. He is currently being held on $50,000 surety bond (a surety bond requires 10% of the set bond amount to be paid before the defendant can be released from incarceration) by the city.

The Peachtree, Georgia native signed with USC in 2011 and did not play this past season. Per USC policy Watley is immediately suspended from all football related activity.

According to 107.5 The Game this is not Watley's first arrest. He was arrested on July 3, 2011 in Gwinnett County, Georgia and charged with six counts of terroristic threats and acts.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Steel City Swingman Visits USC this Weekend

The USC basketball program got a much needed boost on Wednesday night with a one-point win, 57-56, over the Georgia Bulldogs. Head Coach Darrin Horn is hoping to ride this brief wave of momentum through the weekend by winning consecutive, back-to-back SEC games in the Colonial Life Arena for the first time in two years since defeating Kentucky (ranked #1 at the time) 68-62 and Georgia 78-77 in the CLA in late January 2010. A winning environment at home today might pay a lot of dividends both on & off the court for the embattled USC Head Basketball Coach and his future in Columbia.

According to Phil Kornblut of the South Carolina Radio News Network, in the stands watching this Saturday’s game versus LSU on an official visit will be a prospect named Sheldon Jeter from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. Jeter is a 6’7”, 210 pound perimeter player and rated the #1 2012 prospect in the Greater Pittsburgh Area, per the Pittsburgh Basketball Report. The Keystone state swingman holds offers from South Carolina, Wisconsin, Penn State, Northeastern and Duquesne while the hometown school, Pittsburgh, is still evaluating the hardwood hoopster. Horn and his staff have piqued the interest late in the recruiting game for this Pennsylvania player and securing Jeter's official visit this weekend could propel the Gamecocks to the top of his list of school choices.

IMHO it is quite an accomplishment for the embattled Gamecocks basketball coach to get any basketball prospect to visit the Colonial Life-less Arena this season. I would call Horn and the Gamecocks a long shot to land this prospect’s signature especially if the home town Pitt Panthers extend an offer to Jeter. The 6'7" wing player visited Wisconsin back in early January and named the Badgers his leader post-visit. But anytime you can get a high school kid on campus and show him a game day atmosphere (well in USC’s case a nice arena and warm weather; maybe they can shuttle the young man over to “the Ray” and show him how South Carolina fans show support for a winning program with an established leader) there is always a chance for a university to inevitably "ink" the prospect's signature come the NCAA Spring Basketball Signing period in mid-April thru mid-May.

Coach Horn and the Gamecocks will have to overcome more than likely a sparse crowd and pitiful atmosphere inside the CLA. Also Mother Nature did not do the men’s basketball team any favors today by forcing a doubleheader between USC and VMI in baseball with a Noon start time on Saturay to avoid the rain scheduled in Columbia over the weekend. Even though LSU will not inspire Gamecocks fans to flock to the Colonial Life Arena and watch a basketball game, this game is very winnable for Horn’s program and any win on the schedule for the Gamecocks in front of any prospect is a positive.

SPURspective’s Analysis: Jeter is a solid prospect. He is not a highly rated basketball player but his stock is rising as his senior season unfolds. I would say the likelihood of USC securing a commitment from Jeter is 25% at this moment. It will be hard to pluck a prospect from Big 10 country and Pittsburgh area if Pitt decides to offer Jeter this late in the game. Throw in Horn’s uncertain future at USC after this season and the likelihood of an out-of-state high school senior committing to Carolina is bleak at best!

Go Gamecocks!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

USC Baseball News - Williams Going, Going Gone?

Senior Outfielder/Designated Hitter Jake Williams was noticeably absent off of the 34-man Gamecocks baseball roster. The former Wofford Terrier who transfered to USC two years ago has reportedly left the baseball program due to personal reasons.

If you remember back to last year's College World Series, Williams' star was shining brightest when he made a couple of circus catches down the left field foul line. Then his memorable throw to the plate in the 10th inning to cut down a Florida base runner at home plate which preserved a 1-1 tie and USC eventually wound up winning, 2-1, and take the opening game in the best of three championship series.

Williams, who sat out the 2010 season after transferring from Wofford University, played in 62 games last season, starting 58. He hit .268 with 10 doubles, six triples, two home runs, and 38 runs batted in.

The defending back-to-back NCAA College Baseball Champions open the 2012 baseball season Friday versus VMI.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

USC Men’s Basketball – Sound “the Horn” for a Replacement

USC fans, the proverbial writing is on the wall for the Darrin Horn Er”ror” at the University of South Carolina. The USC men’s basketball team is in such disarray on and off the court it is laughable. We learned yesterday that USC Athletics Director Eric Hyman and Coach Horn ate lunch with a local radio host & former USC Linebacker, Corey Miller, to “clear the air” on the public perception of Coach Darrin Horn’s progress with USC men’s basketball. If you do not live in Columbia or listen to Corey Miller on AM-560 (3-6 p.m. Monday-Friday), the former New York Giants Linebacker has been a boisterous mouthpiece of the anti-Horn sentiment that has been brewing for the last two seasons. Bottom line in college athletics is wins and losses! Since February 2, 2011, when USC defeated LSU 64-56 in Baton Rouge the Gamecocks are 2-18 in SEC Conference games (1-9 this season) that includes an opening round loss to Ole Miss in the SEC Basketball Tournament last year.

When the calendar turns to April 1, 2012, Hyman should give Coach Horn his pink slip and begin the monumental task of rebuilding this beleaguered basketball program. Under the terms of Horn’s contract, USC would have to pay him $2 million if he’s fired prior to the end of the current season. After April 2012, however, the buyout drops to $1.25 million. Hyman will be the biggest April fool if he does not rectify the problem that he created, when, in 2009, in the USC AD’s infinite wisdom, he decided to restructure Horn’s contract after one year at USC when the Gamecocks finished 21-10, 10-6 SEC record and a first round NIT home loss to Southern Conference opponent, Davidson. BTW, in Horn’s first year the SEC was as bad a conference in basketball as it had ever been in years.

So to make a long story short here are six names, IMHO, that should be on Eric Hyman’s speed dial after April Fool’s Day. This list includes realistic candidates that meet monetary obligations and one or two pipe dreams. I would prefer a candidate to have won at multiple schools to demonstrate an ability to win in different environments. This list is strictly my opinion!

USC Basketball Coaching Candidates:
1. Greg Marshall (Wichita State University) – Marshall is a South Carolina native (born in Greenwood, SC) and has coaching roots within the Palmetto state. Marshall is in his fifth season as the Head Coach at Wichita State University. The Shockers play in the “uber”-competitive Missouri Valley Conference, and this year the Shockers have positioned themselves for an invitation to the NCAA Tournament, as long as WSU doesn’t suffer a complete meltdown in the next couple of weeks. In less than five years at WSU, Marshall has compiled an 82-55 win/loss record (.600% winning percentage) to go along with a 38-34 MVC Conference record. Marshall has suffered only one losing season while at WSU and that was his first year. The Greenwood native has also gotten the Shockers into the post-season every season except the 2007-08 campaign. Just this week, Wichita State entered the Top 25 poll for the first time since 2006.

Prior to accepting the Shockers head coaching position, Marshall cut his teeth in Rock Hill at Winthrop University where he made Cinderella look pedestrian every year when it came time for the Big Dance and March Madness. While at Winthrop, Marshall accumulated a 194-83 win/loss record (.700% winning percentage) over a nine-year period. He guided the Eagles to seven NCAA Tournament berths.

One side note to remember on Marshall. He signed a contract extension after last year, which included a $325k buyout clause. If you are not familiar with WSU Athletics, then you might want to Google Koch Brothers. If you are not familiar with the Koch Brothers, Charles & David, just listen to a liberal/left-wing progressive talking head for a few minutes on television or the radio. These two brothers are the fourth richest ($50 billion) Americans, according to Forbes magazine last year. To put these brothers’ wealth in perspective, Charles Koch is the 18th richest man in the world compared to T.Boone Pickens (Oklahoma State Alumnae), who is somewhere in the 200’s per Forbes magazine. Now guess what the arena name is called where the Shockers play basketball? If you guessed the Charles Koch Arena then you are right! Charles Koch has donated a ton of cash to WSU over the years, and the sentiment in the WSU Athletic family is that the Koch brothers may write a blank check to keep Marshall in Wichita where basketball is the only cash crop in the athletics department. Just something to ponder if/when Marshall is contacted about the USC basketball job. After this season IMHO, Marshall will be a top two or three coaching commodity this off-season. Hyman and the USC Board of Trustees better be ready to ante up a ton of Benjamin”$” to bring back a beloved native son. It was rumored last year that N.C. State offered Marshall around $1.95 million to coach the Wolfpack, but reportedly Marshall turned down the offer to wait for his dream job to open up at South Carolina.

2. Buzz Williams (Marquette University) – Williams is a native of Greenville, Texas. Williams is in his fourth year at the helm of the Golden Eagles where he has amassed an 89-41 (.068% winning percentage) overall record and a 41-25 Big East Conference record (.062% winning percentage). Williams has guided the Golden Eagles to the NCAA Tournament all three previous seasons advancing to the Sweet 16 last year. Marquette University is a member of the Big East Conference and currently 22-5 (9-3, Big East Conference record) this season. Williams has been a Head Coach at two institutions, Marquette and New Orleans University (member of the Sun Belt Conference), and has only suffered one losing season (New Orleans in 2006-07). Marquette is a private institution so therefore is not required to release its employees’ salaries. I do know that Alabama tried to lure him to Tuscaloosa before turning to current coach Anthony Grant.

3. Brad Stevens (Butler University) – Stevens is a native of Greenville, SC before his family relocated to Indiana. Stevens is currently coaching in his fifth season with the Butler Bulldogs in the Horizon League, which is a very competitive mid-major conference. What more needs to be said about the 35-year-old Stevens’ accomplishments at Butler University located in Indianapolis, IN? Butler’s story over the last two years is material only reserved for the motion pictures! Stevens has been a staple on the Bulldogs bench for more than 10 years with the last four-plus being the Head Coach. Under his leadership, Butler has compiled a 133-37 (.078% winning percentage) overall record and a 72-16 Horizon Conference record (.082% winning percentage) in four-plus seasons. The biggest feats that the tiny Hoosier state university has accomplished are back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Basketball National Championship game where they lost to Duke in 2010 and UConn in 2011. Not sure of his buyout clause but Stevens ‘inked” a 12-year extension back in 2010 following the loss to Duke. One interesting note on Stevens is that he does not retain an agent in regards to his coaching contracts. His wife, Tracy, is a labor and employment attorney and she reviewed the legal jargon of his last contract back in 2010, per Seth Davis of CBS Sports. Home Run hire, IMHO!

4. Steve Prohm (Murray State University) – Prohm is a native of Vienna, Virginia. Prohm is currently in his first year as a head coach (24-1 overall record, 12-1 Ohio Valley Conference record) so that would be risky, but he has been a major contributor to the success of the MSU Racers basketball program, which is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference. Prohm succeeded former coach Billy Kennedy (left for Texas A&M) last year. Prior to being named Head Coach last May, he was an assistant at Murray State since 2006. He also served under Dave Dickerson, a Denmark-Olar, SC native, at Tulane University for one season (2005-06). Murray State last made the NCAA Tournament in 2010 where it upset Vanderbilt in the first round. Last year MSU lost in the first round of the NIT Tournament. IMHO, if USC wanted to go cheap Prohm would probably be a viable candidate to replace Horn. I doubt Prohm would be high on Hyman’s list.

5. Scott Drew (Baylor University) – Drew is a native of Kansas City, Missouri. Drew is currently coaching in his ninth season as the Baylor Bears’ Head Coach. Drew also coached one year at Valparaiso University (Indiana), 20-11 overall record. In 2003 Drew took over a scandal-riddled BU program after one player shot & killed a teammate, and the former Head Coach, Dave Bliss, tried to cover up the incident. The Bears basketball program was in shambles after the horrible incident and it took several “lean” years for Drew to rebuild the Baylor basketball program. The basketball team was on probation through 2010 but managed to make three consecutive post-season appearances (two NCAA Tournaments & one NIT appearance) in the midst of probation status. Drew’s body of work is very impressive in Waco considering all of the hurdles he inherited upon his arrival. Under the 41-year-old’s guidance, Baylor has compiled a 148-118 (.056% winning percentage) overall record and a 52-86 (0.38% winning percentage). Over the last four-and-a-half years, Baylor has averaged almost 25 wins per season and nine conference wins per season in a very competitive Big 12 Conference. Drew has also established himself as one of the top recruiters among the AAU circuit, which is a vital ingredient of any successful basketball program not named, Kentucky, Duke, UNC, Kansas or UCLA. IMHO, Drew would be another slam dunk hire to replace Horn. He has already proven an ability to rebuild a program in disarray and USC’s program is definitely a rutter-less ship! Since Baylor University is a private institution the dollar figure tied to his buyout is not available to the public.

6. Oliver Purnell (DePaul University) – Purnell is a native of Berlin, Maryland. I know he is the former Head Coach of the Clemson Tigers men’s basketball program but the man got the Tigers into postseason play six consecutive years, including three straight years into the Big Dance his final three years in Pickens County. In seven seasons at Clemson, Purnell amassed a 138-90 (.061% winning percentage) overall record and a 50-62 (.045% winning percentage) ACC record. To Purnell’s credit at Clemson, he won 93 games his final four years, averaging more than 23 wins per year, and averaged almost nine wins a season in ACC Conference play during that same span. Coach Purnell left Clemson in 2010 to pursue a job at DePaul University, which plays in the Big East Conference. He is currently in the midst of coaching his second full season for the Blue Demons with not much success. In less than two years, Purnell is realizing that the Windy City resurrecting project he signed up for back in 2010 is much more difficult than he may have anticipated. DePaul is the worst team in the Big East Conference even though it is in the city of Chicago where there is an abundance of basketball talent. His overall record at DePaul is 18-36 (.033% winning percentage) in one-plus years while he has endured major hurdles competing within the Big East Conference. The Blue Demons own a 3-26 (.010% winning percentage) Big East Conference record during Purnell’s tenure in Chicago. I know fans may balk at bringing in a former CU Tiger basketball coach, but Gamecocks fans need to set aside their disdain for their upstate brethren and look at what Purnell did recruiting wise and record wise while playing in the ACC. Purnell proved he could mine the state of North Carolina for talent (Charlotte metro area) that was under-utilized by UNC & Duke and he could go into the Atlanta Metro area and pull some talent up I-85 into Pickens County. Let’s face it, Purnell is an above average recruiter that has a proven track record of winning in tough places. DePaul is a tough place to win. He finished 7-24 last year and this year his team is a game under .500 (11-12). So he is making progress in a tough Big East basketball conference. Coach Purnell’s salary at DePaul University is reportedly around $1.8 million per season. He is currently in the second year of a seven-year deal.

SPURspective’s Slant: There will be coaching rumors surrounding the USC men’s basketball program until A.D. Hyman finally pulls the plug on this disaster. It is crystal clear that Horn is in over his head at Carolina and fan apathy is running rampant. It is embarrassing to watch a Gamecocks basketball game on national television in an empty cavernous arena known as the Colonial Life-less Arena. Horn’s buyout drops from $1.8 million pre-April 1, 2012, to $1.25 million post-April 1st. Another season of Coach Darrin Horn at the helm of USC basketball would further bury South Carolina into the basketball abyss and just make the next head coach’s job that much more difficult.

Monday, February 13, 2012

USC Football Coach Turns Down Florida Overtures

According to AM-560 in Columbia, SC, USC Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator Shawn Elliott has turned down an offer from University of Florida Head Football Coach Wil Muschamp to join the Gators football program. According to sources, Muschamp made a monetary offer to Coach Elliott of almost $100k more than the Camden, South Carolina native was awarded on Friday by the USC Board of Trustees.

Last Friday, the USC BOT increased the salaries of all of the USC football staff for the 2012 & 2013 seasons, except for Quarterbacks Coach G.A. Mangus, who is serving a university self-imposed penalty for his misconduct last July in Greenville, SC when he was arrested for urinating in public.

According to USC Athletics Director Eric Hyman, Elliott received a $115k raise for 2012 bringing his annual salary up to $300k. Coach Elliott earned $185k last season. In 2013, the Camden native’s salary will increase to $315k.

It is being reported that Muschamp offered Elliott around $400k per year to join the Gators staff over the weekend, but Coach Elliott turned down the Gators’ offer to remain in Columbia.

The former Appalachian State player and coach just completed his second season in Columbia coaching the offensive line. The Gamecocks made significant improvement in Coach Elliott’s second season finishing third in the SEC in Rushing Offense (192 rushing yards/game).

There are reports that Florida has hired Utah Offensive Line Coach Tim Davis since Elliott turned down the Gators overtures.

IMO, there are three coaches South Carolina cannot afford to lose: Coach Elliott, Coach Ward and Steve Spurrier. USC has dodged a major blow to the program and should feel indebted to Coach Elliott for his loyalty to the Gamecocks football program. It says a lot about how far Carolina football has advanced the last couple of years when USC coaches are turning down perennial SEC powers to stay in Columbia!

Go Gamecocks!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Former Golden Eagles Coach Lands at USC

Steve Spurrier has added the final piece to his coaching staff today by hiring Grady Brown, formerly of Southern Mississippi University, where the 34-year-old spent the last two seasons as the Cornerbacks Coach.
Last season under the tutelage of Brown, the Golden Eagles finished seventh nationally in Pass Efficiency Defense. The Conference USA school set an NCAA record in 2011 with eight interceptions returned for touchdowns.

Brown began his coaching career at his alma mater, Alabama A&M, in 2000, where he coached for six seasons. Brown then moved on to Southern University, where he coached Safeties for a year before migrating to LSU in 2008, where he was on staff with current USC Special Teams/Tight Ends Coach Joe Robinson, who is also a recent new hire by Spurrier. At LSU, Brown was an assistant coach on the Strength & Conditioning staff.

Following his stint in Baton Rouge, Brown accepted a job on former USM Head Coach Larry Fedora’s staff, where he coached the Secondary for two years. Brown was the only coach retained by Ellis Johnson at Southern Miss when the former USC Defensive Coordinator replaced Larry Fedora following Fedora accepting the UNC job.

Brown is the fourth on-field football hire for Steve Spurrier following the historical 11-win season. The fifth hire came with the promotion of Strength Coach Joe Connelly to replace former Strength Coach Craig Fitzgerald, who left for Penn State last month. According to the USC press release, Brown will coach the Secondary and assist with the Special Teams. Brown replaces former Safeties Coach Jeep Hunter, who was fired on January 27th.

Welcome Coach Brown and family.

Go Gamecocks!

RB Marcus Lattimore Rehab Update

Per WIS-TV, South Carolina Running Back Marcus Lattimore is progressing well with regards to rehabbing his injured knee.

The Columbia, SC television station quoted TheBigSpur's Tony Morrell, who said sources close to the program said the junior from Duncan, SC is ahead of schedule in terms of his projected recovery date.

TheBigSpur report stated that Lattimore has begun running straight ahead normally as well as on a treadmill while continuing his therapy in and out of the pool. The USC star Running Back is expected to begin lateral movement towards the end of this month or early in March with aspirations of being 100% by early summer.

Lattimore suffered the injury when a Mississippi State defender rolled up on the Running Back's knee while blocking for Bruce Ellington. It's been almost four months since the former Heisman hopeful injured the left knee back in October of last year.

Congratulations to Marcus Lattimore for his determination and effort to come back better than ever from his knee injury.

Go Gamecocks!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What Can Brown do for USC?

According to AM-560 in Columbia, current Southern Mississippi University Assistant Coach Grady Brown is the leading candidate to replace the recently fired Jeep Hunter. Sources expect Brown to be on the USC campus within the next 24-48 hours to interview and if all goes well then it is expected that USC Head Coach Steve Spurrier would likely offer the job to Golden Eagles Secondary Coach. Brown just completed his third season in Hattiesburg and was the only assistant retained by new Head Coach and former Gamecocks Defensive Coordinator Ellis Johnson.

Southern Mississippi finished seventh last season nationally in Pass Efficiency Defense and returned an NCAA record eight interceptions for touchdowns.

Prior to being at Southern Mississippi under former Head Coach Larry Fedora, Brown served on the LSU staff under Les Miles as an assistant strength and conditioning coach.

Brown graduated from Alabama A&M in 2000.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Gamecocks Signing Day Recap - Peach State Flavor

Steve Spurrier and the USC football staff can put a bow on a consensus Top 20 recruiting class, after receiving all 22 Letters of Intent today with more than half of the LOIs coming across the southern border of the Palmetto state. The biggest news story of USC’s National Signing Day today is the 12 Georgia high school football players that will trek northward and play collegiately in Williams-Brice Stadium for the next four to five years. The dozen Peach state products make up almost half of the 25-man class that Head Coach Steve Spurrier will welcome to campus. Georgia produces more than 200 major college prospects annually, trailing only Texas, California and Florida.

For the first time in four years, USC kind of coasted into National Signing Day without any drama. If you remember, the last three National Signing Days for South Carolina had plenty of suspense, like the famous “pumping gas saga” with WR Alshon Jeffery and former UT Coach Lane Kiffin in 2009. Then in 2010, RB Marcus Lattimore, choosing between USC & Auburn, was accompanied by former Auburn RB Stephen Davis inside Lattimore’s church on Signing Day Eve leading to speculation that the Byrnes product would spurn the home state Gamecocks. Fortunately, Lattimore would instead only accept a Gamecocks hat from Davis and select USC as his future home. While last year every red-blooded American USC fan interrupted his/her sweetheart’s Valentine’s Day plans until some kid named Clowney placed a hat on his head and announced for the Gamecocks on ESPN. So it was kind of nice to sit back and relax today. The F5 (refresh) key on many a laptop remains intact today…

Here are some interesting numbers and tidbits from the USC recruiting trail – 2012:

State-by-State Breakdown:

South Carolina (Five) – WR Kwinton Smith, OL Mason Zandi, WR Shaq Roland, TE Jerrell Adams (via Fork Union Prep in Virginia), RB Kendric Salley

North Carolina (Three) – WR Jody Fuller, OL Clayton Stadnik, OL Brock Stadnik

Georgia (Twelve) - RB Mike Davis, CB Chaz Elder, DE Jhaustin Thomas, Safety Kyle Fleetwood, LB T.J. Holloman, DT Carlos Hood, CB Rico McWilliams, CB Chris Moody, OL Joe Harris, DE Darius English, CB T.J. Gurley and Kicker Nick St. Germain

Florida (Three) – TE Kelvin Rainey, Spur Jordan Diggs, OL Cody Waldrop

New Jersey (One) – LB Kaiwan Lewis

Pennsylvania (One) – QB Brendan Nosovitch

USC Coaches Recruiting Body of Work: Who is getting it done on the recruiting trail?

Steve Spurrier Jr (2) – WR Kwinton Smith, TE Kelvin Rainey

Lorenzo Ward (9) – RB Mike Davis, CB Chaz Elder, DE Jhaustin Thomas, Safety Kyle Fleetwood, LB T.J. Holloman, DT Carlos Hood, CB Rico McWilliams, CB Chris Moody, OL Joe Harris

G.A. Mangus (6) – LB Kaiwan Lewis, DE Darius English, Spur Jordan Diggs, QB Brendan Nosovitch, OL Cody Waldrop, and Kicker Nick St. Germain

Sean Elliott (1) – OL Mason Zandi

Brad Lawing (2) – WR Shaq Roland, TE Jerrell Adams

Jay Graham (now at Tennessee) (4) – WR Jody Fuller, OL Clayton Stadnik, OL Brock Stadnik, RB Kendric Salley

John Butler (now at Penn State) (1) – CB T.J. Gurley

Jeep Hunter (former USC Coach) - None

Judging by the list above, it appears Defensive Coordinator Lorenzo Ward and Quarterbacks Coach G.A. Mangus are earning their paychecks out on the recruiting trail, as well as coaching on the field. Shout out to former RB’s Coach Jay Graham, as well, for his production on the recruiting trail.
Now just because a coach is not the lead recruiter for a prospect, all the USC coaches assist the lead recruiters on all prospects, especially if the coach will be the position coach of the recruit. OL Coach Sean Elliott, DL Coach Brad Lawing and WR Coach Steve Spurrier Jr. all had low commitment numbers, but all three coaches definitely worked behind the scenes to help secure the commitments of all players at their respective positions. Also, sometimes in recruiting cycles a coach’s recruiting territory does not yield a lot of major D-1 prospects, so more time is spent assisting other assistant coaches.

USC Class Tidbits:

→Kicker Nick St. Germain is the first scholarship kicker at USC since Ryan Succop.

→RB Kendric Salley was the first 2012 commitment when he committed to USC on December 3, 2010.

→DB Chris Moody was the last 2012 commitment when he committed to USC on January 30, 2012. Moody was also the only player South Caroina “turned” from another program (Vanderbilt).

→USC beat UGA head-to-head on three recruiting battles inside the Peach State’s borders: OL Joe Harris, CB Chaz Elder and RB Mike Davis

→The Gamecocks signed 10 of the top 75 high school football players from the state of Georgia

→South Carolina beat UGA head-to-head on a highly regarded Florida prospect, OL Cody Waldrop

→South Carolina signed four Parade All-Americans: Quarterback Brendan Nosovitch of Allentown, PA; Wide Receiver Shaq Roland of Lexington, SC; Offensive Lineman Brock Stadnik of Greensboro, NC; and Defensive End Darius English of Powder Springs, GA.

→Quarterback Brendan Nosovitch won the Maxwell Football Club’s First Pennsylvania Player of the Year Award. Nosovitch finished his senior season with 3,809 passing yards and 39 touchdowns. He rushed for 841 yards on 134 carries and 20 touchdowns. Nosovitch holds the PA state record for career passing yards with 12,809 yards.

→Wide Receiver Shaq Roland 2012 named the South Carolina Mr. Football Award winner (4th year in a row USC signed South Carolina Mr. Football award recipient)

→With the signing of Jordan Diggs today, USC now has three sets of Gamecock legacies on its roster: Kelcy Quarles (father Buddy played at USC in the mid 1980s), brothers Gerald Dixon & Gerald Dixon Jr. (father Gerald Sr. played at USC in the late 1980s) and Jordan Diggs (father played at USC in the mid 1980s).

→Three teammates from Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, GA signed with South Carolina: RB Mike Davis, DL Carlos Hood and DB Kyle Fleetwood

→Consecutive years that two teammates, DE Darius English and Kicker Nick St. Germain, from McEachern High School in Powder Springs, GA signed with South Carolina. Last year LB Marcquis Roberts and TE Rory Anderson signed with the Gamecocks

→RB Mike Davis’ older brother, James, played collegiately at Clemson University last decade

→In the last two recruiting classes, USC has signed 21 players from the state of Georgia in contrast the Gamecocks have signed only 13 recruits from South Carolina

Star Rankings:

247sports: 5-star (0), 4-star (11), 3-star (12), 2-star (2)

ESPN: 5-star (0), 4-star (10), 3-star (14), 2-star (1)

Rivals: 5-star (0), 4-star (8), 3-star (15), 2-star (2)

Scout: 5-star (1; Shaq Roland), 4-star (5), 3-star (18), 2-star (1)

Team Rankings (Unofficial):
247sports: 15
ESPN: 15
Rivals: 19
Scout: 10

SPURspective will breakdown more national recruiting news while comparing the rest of the Southeastern Conference’s recruiting classes and rankings later this week.

Go Gamecocks!