october 21, 2015 • Volume 37 • Issue 20 • $1.50
A week to remember for Gamecocks everywhere
Postmaster: Time sensitive material. Please expedite
Gamecocks rally behind Elliott to pick up first SEC win Publication mailed from Columbia on Monday, Oct. 19
2 • Spurs & Feathers
Spurs & Feathers Published by Aiken Communications, Inc.
Contact Us: 326 Rutland Drive N.W. PO Box 456 Aiken, SC, 29801 To subscribe: Please call 800-559-2311; annual subscription price is $50 Ellen Priest Publisher Aiken Communications, Inc. Tim O’Briant General Manager firstname.lastname@example.org (803) 335-1400 Ext. 500 Brian Hand Executive Editor email@example.com (803) 335-1399 Ext. 506 Ed Girardeau Contributing Editor/ Advertising Account Executive firstname.lastname@example.org (803) 646-9807 Dee Taylor Advertising Director (803) 644-2371 Kathy Boyette Advertising Sales Manager (803) 295-3654 email@example.com Brooks Rogers Advertising Representative (803) 446-4022 firstname.lastname@example.org Reporter Kyle Heck email@example.com Photographers Allen Sharpe, Jenny Dilworth and Juan Blas Mary Watson Graphic Designer Cover Design Brian Hand (photo by Jenny Dilworth) Postal Information: SPURS & FEATHERS (USPS 12779) (ISSN 7454368X) is published 23 times annually. The frequency is monthly from December to February, bi-weekly in March, monthly in April, bi-weekly in May, biweekly in June, monthly in July and August and weekly from September through December 2. SPURS & FEATHERS also publishes two slick-paper magazine issues — one in April and one in August. The annual subscription price is $50 for non Gamecock Club members. Members of the Gamecock Club receive a discounted subscription as a member benefit. Spurs & Feathers is published by Aiken Communications, Inc., 326 Rutland Drive NW, Aiken, SC, 29801-4010. Periodicals postage paid at Columbia, SC Postmaster: Send changes to SPURS & FEATHERS, PO Box 456, Aiken, SC, 29802.
October 21, 2015
S&F is off during the bye week
Spurs & Feathers will not publish a newspaper after the bye week. We will get back to our normal weekly schedule for the rest of the football season the next week.
As always, we will still have daily coverage on SpursandFeathers.com. Spurs & Feathers publication schedule Wednesday, November 4
Wednesday, November 11 Wednesday, November 18 Wednesday, November 25 Wednesday, December 2
Board Of Trustees approves naming rights for baseball stadium for Founders Federal Credit Union south carolina athletics media relations The Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina has approved a naming rights partnership of Carolina Stadium to Founders Federal Credit Union. More information on the agreement will be announced next All Gamecock baseball Thursday, coverage sponsored by Oct. 22 at DiPrato’s Noon.
photo by allen sharpe
Gamecock Club information/upcoming events Edgefield County Golf Tournament WHERE: Pine Ridge Club, 425 Pine Ridge Road, Edgefield, S.C. WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 24 DETAILS: Four-man captain’s choice with shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. ENTRY FEE: $50 per person, $200 per team (includes lunch) Field is limited to the first 20 paid teams Prizes awarded for first and second place teams There will also be door prizes Mulligans may be purchased at registration Contact Frank Davis at 803-275-7056 or Don Smoak at 803-275-4605 Email Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org The deadline is Oct. 21. Lexington County Gamecock Club “Dinner with Dawn” “Dinner with Dawn,” a Midlands Event hosted by Lexington County Gamecock Club will be held on Thursday, October 22nd, at Saluda Shoals River Center, Columbia, SC. Doors will open at 6:30 pm and the program will begin at 7:15 pm. This event will feature Coach Dawn Staley, coaches and staff from the University of South Carolina Women’s Basketball Program and the Emcee for the evening will be Judi Gatson of WIS-TV. A bar serving various beers and wine will be available using cash or credit card. A menu of baked chicken, roasted herb potatoes, vegetable medley, salad, apple pie, coffee, tea and water will be catered by Diimmler’s Catering. Tickets are available through Eventbrite at: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/dinner-with-dawn-amidlands-event-hosted-by-lexington-county-gamecock-club-tickets18831710152?aff=es2 or go to www.eventbrite.com and search for Dawn Staley. For further information or questions, please contact email@example.com Florence County Gamecock Club Fall Rally The Florence County Gamecock Club will hold their annual “FALL RALLY” on Thursday, October 29th at the Floyd Center on the
grounds of Carolina Hospital System at the corner of Pamplico Hwy and Freedom Blvd. in Florence. The cost to attend is $20 per person, pay at the door only, which includes the meal with Roger’s BBQ House. The meal will begin at 6:00pm followed by the program to include Athletics Director Ray Tanner, Head Baseball Coach Chad Holbrook, Gamecock Club Reps, Spurs & Feathers with additional coaches, special guests and former Gamecock players. The Florence County Gamecock Club has made a donation to the Flood Relief from their Golf Tournament proceeds and will also be donating all proceeds from the “FALL RALLY” to the efforts in Florence County which will include a Silent Auction and drawing. Everyone is invited to attend! If you are unable to attend or stay for the event and would like to help, items requested for flood victims and temporary shelters or a financial donation can be dropped off at the Floyd Center on October 29th between the hours of 4:00pm and 8:00pm or you can contact a Florence County Gamecock Club Board of Directors member. Fairfield County Gamecock Club Business Meeting When: Tuesday, November 03, 7:00 p.m. Location: Italian Garden Restaurant 59 US Hwy. 321, Winnsboro, S.C, All Gamecock Club member and fans are invited. Any questions contact Gene Schofield at 803-337-8850 or Chris Blackwelder 803-718-3276 Darlington County Gamecock Club Business Meeting The Darlington County Gamecock Club will hold a business meeting and election on Monday, November 9, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. at the Heritage Community Bank, 206 South Fifth Street in Hartsville, SC. The meeting is open to all Darlington County Gamecock Club members. Anyone interested in serving as an officer, or becoming a board member is encouraged to attend this meeting. For more information call Jimmy Griffin (843) 332-8761.
Spurs & Feathers • 3
October 21, 2015
‘Together’ t-shirts to benefit flood relief an overwhelming success by brian hand Executive Editor
South Carolina came up with the idea on Wednesday, Oct. 7. They then executed the idea on Thursday, Oct. 8. By Friday, Oct. 9, the t-shirts were on sale. And since that time they have been overwhelmed by the response as in less than a week they have reached over $50,000 in donations. “We really just wanted to have a way for all of Gamecock Country to be involved and to provide a platform for them to donate and show their Gamecock pride,” South Carolina associate athletics director/CMO Eric Nichols said. “So we came up with this program and had no expectations of what it would do. But we’re just blown away at where it is right now.” The program to which Nichols is referencing is the partnership the University of South Carolina and local vendor School Cuts undertook to provide assistance for the recovery efforts in the midlands and the Palmetto State. To this end, a t-shirt was produced with the proceeds to be distributed by the Central Carolina Community Foundation, the American Red Cross of South Carolina and the United Way of the Midlands to agencies providing flood relief statewide The unique t-shirt that is being manufactured by Schools Cuts of Columbia is selling for $15 and it features the message “Together” with the “o” in “Together” in the shape of the state of South Carolina. There are two versions available - one with the traditional Gamecock Block C logo and one without. Garnet and Black Traditions has done the lion’s share of the sales with the t-shirt available at the official store on GamecocksOnline.com as well. It will also be available on home football gamedays at the “Gameday Store” at the Bignon Game Day Center. Nichols and South Carolina are appreciative of the efforts undertaken by Garnet and Black Traditions. “It should be noted that Garnet and Black Traditions may be breaking even, probably taking a loss on the shirts when you factor in labor,” Nichols said. In addition, Nichols knew that when they needed a partner for this particular endeavor School Cuts would step up. And as expected, they have gone above and beyond. “They’re a wonderful partner,” Nichols said. “We use them a lot. Butch Chavis down
photo by brian hand
there he’ll do anything for the Gamecocks and this, of course, touched him as it did everyone.” Something that has also been really special for South Carolina has been the community business buy-in to the t-shirts with Dick Smith Automotive and Stanley Steemer in particular stepping up to purchase the tshirts to help the cause and give out to their employees. “They were touched and they are Gamecock fans - a lot of them - and it’s a way to accommodate two of their desires in helping their community and showing their pride in
the Gamecocks,” Nichols said. The t-shirts for businesses can be formatted to fit a particular business in that below the message “Together” a business can put their company logo. Senior associate athletics director Jeff Crane and the South Carolina athletics development in particular have worked hard in helping to pass along this opportunity. If a company is interested in purchasing t-shirts, they can email Nichols at ENICHOLS@mailbox.sc.edu. A minimum order of 100 is required for businesses.
With the t-shirt such an overwhelming success, Nichols and South Carolina plan to offer the opportunity to purchase them for as long as the public demands. “I just got off the phone with Butch Chavis at School Cuts and we said we’re going to keep doing them as long as possible and people keep buying them,” Nichols said. “I think there will be another pick up as holiday season approaches. But right now, it’s showing no signs of stopping.” The t-shirt is available through Garnet and Black Traditions at: http://www.garnetandblacktraditions.com/GBT00007/Product.
4 • Spurs & Feathers
October 21, 2015
Gamecock defense was ‘flying around and having fun’ by brian hand Executive Editor The South Carolina defense was the star of the show in the 19-10 win over Vanderbilt with the Gamecocks forcing five Commodore turnovers. The five turnovers were the most for the Gamecocks in a game since forcing five against South Alabama on Nov. 22, 2014. “I thought our defense stepped up to the plate and played an exceptional ballgame,” South Carolina interim head coach Shawn Elliott said after the Gamecock win. After the game, South Carolina co-defensive coordinator Jon Hoke noted that forcing turnovers is a goal of the Gamecocks always. But at the same time it’s nice to make it happen as when winning the turnover battle this year, South Carolina is a perfect 3-0.
photo by allen sharpe
“It was a big emphasis and with takeaways you’ll always be on the plus side of the turnover margin and it gives you a chance,” Hoke said after the Gamecock victory over the Commodores.
With so much going on around the proand one fumble recovery. gram, it would be easy to think it would Moore said after the contest that the Gamehave been tough to prepare for things in the cock defense just went out there and had game. But Hoke said with the defense that fun. was not the case. “Coach Elliott said on Tuesday (day Steve “It was the same,” Hoke said of the Game- Spurrier stepped away) to just go out there and have fun, be ourselves and just enjoy the cock defense that limited Vanderbilt to 332 time out there,” Moore said. “And that’s just yards of total offense. “Coach Elliott was put in to a total different role quickly. There what we did.” Moore relayed that this thought process he were adjustments there.” felt really helped the Gamecocks. Bryson Allen-Williams and Chris Lam“Going out there period in front of all these mons each finished the Vanderbilt win with fans it’s stressful enough, so their first career intercepwhen you’ve got a coach out tions. But the standout of the there telling you to just have game defensively for South fun it brings a different life Carolina was Skai Moore, into us. And it showed today. who ended his efforts with Gamecock Defense Our defense was out there a team-best 11 tackles to go KeenanSuggs flying around and having along with one interception, Player of the Week fun.” one sack, one forced fumble
View from the Vanderbilt locker room by kyle heck Reporter
yards on just six carries while also adding 22 yards on three receptions. The Gamecocks are very familiar with Sims as he ran two Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason was kickoffs back for touchdowns in Vanderbilt’s happy with his team’s progress heading into loss to South Carolina last season. the Commodores game against South Caro“I thought Darrius did a great job,” Mason lina on Saturday, Oct. 17. However, after said. “We put him out there and I thought Vanderbilt turned the ball over five times in (offensive coordinator) Andy (Ludwig) used a 19-10 loss to the the Gamecocks, he wasn’t him in the way we needed to use him, which as happy. was a little bit of pass, some run and I thought “It’s frustrating that we’ve made strides and he ran tough and hard with the football. It then today we took some steps back in terms looked the way we needed it to look, but of the penalties, composure, in terms of good again, we just couldn’t sustain drives.” decisions with the football,” Mason said. Vanderbilt quarterback Johnny McCrary “With that, you go back, you reboot and you completed 21-of-42 passes for 177 yards get a chance to recalibrate and let’s go.” and a touchdown, but threw a costly three Along with the five turnovers, the Cominterceptions and also lost a fumble. The modores (2-4, 0-3 SEC) committed six sophomore also gave some credit to the penalties that added up to 53 yards. A lot of Gamecocks. those penalties came at critical times that “They’re a great team and played a pretty put the Vanderbilt offense in long down and good game out there,” McCrary said. “They distances. came out with great energy (and) they kept Despite the self-inflicted wounds, Mason sustaining it throughout the game.” began his postgame press conference by givPerhaps the biggest play of the game came ing credit to South Carolina interim head a little over midway through the third quarter coach Shawn Elliott. with the Gamecocks trailing 10-6. South “First of all, I’d like to congratulate coach Carolina junior quarterback Perry Orth hit Elliott,” Mason said. “I thought his team wide receiver Pharoh Cooper on a quick slant played hard and they made plays when they and the junior did the rest, racing down the needed to. We didn’t make enough plays.” sideline for a 78-yard touchdown that gave South Carolina (3-4, 1-4 SEC) held a 424the Gamecocks the lead for good as well as 332 advantage in total yards over Vanderbilt all of the momentum. and the Gamecocks continued their trend of “We knew we had to contain Pharoh Cooplaying strong defense in the second half by per and Pharoh Cooper got out,” Mason said. holding the Commodores to a field goal in the “He got out on LSU a week ago and he got final two quarters. out on us.” Junior tailback Darrius Sims was the star of Despite that play, Mason and the Comthe Vanderbilt offense as he rushed for 104 modores know that the big reason for the
loss was the turnovers and the self-inflicted wounds caused by penalties. That combination allowed the Gamecocks to walk away with their seventh straight victory over
Vanderbilt. “If you have five turnovers on the road, I don’t see how you can win in someone else’s house,” Mason finished.
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Spurs & Feathers • 5
October 21, 2015
photo by allen sharpe
Tanner: ‘Important we find best person with passion, dedication’
timely manner.” Tanner will not be a “one-man” search committee as well. Ray Tanner knows how important the decision “There is an advisory committee that is being of who will be the next head football coach is for formed,” Tanner said. “Certainly we’ll work close South Carolina. with (University of South Carolina) president He also knows thanks to the efforts of Steve (Harris) Pastides and (Board of Trustees) chairSpurrier particularly the South Carolina football man (Eugene) Warr, (deputy athletics director) head coach position is not thought of now in the Charles Waddell,” Tanner said. “We will work same way it was in the past. The position is now a closely together and we will have an advisory coveted job. group and certainly I will consult a lot of people as “The impact that coach Spurrier has made on we move forward.” this program the minute he came here as a coach, Tanner promises that he and everyone involved he did give a lot of credibility that maybe we were will focus on even the tiniest of details. lacking,” Tanner said. “He gave us a swagger. He “It is going to be thorough,” Tanner said. “It is helped change the culture and he won at a high important and we are excited about where we will level. I was a coach at the time (of his hiring) and go in the future.” I remember telling my assistant coaches, `men, Tanner admits though he is not limiting himself today we got better,’ because the brand coach to just one particular type of coach. South Carolina Spurrier brought here impacted us all and we are is instead just looking for the right fit. in a better place than we ever have been.” “I am not going to limit myself to assistant Tanner conceded to a media gaggle after his coaches, head coaches, NFL coaches, long time time at the podium during Steve Spurrier’s rescollege coaches or anything,” Tanner said. “It is ignation press conference that he has a timetable. important that we find the best person with pasBut it’s not something he plans to share with the sion and dedication to perform at a high level in a general public as South Carolina prepares to make very competitive conference in the Southeastern their decision on the next head football coach. Conference. Certainly integrity. My roots are “I’m not going to give you a definite timetable, heavy. I love Columbia and the University of but obviously this is a sense of urgency as we South Carolina. I want somebody to be like that. move forward as coach (Shawn) Elliott takes over I want somebody that fits that role. While someas interim head coach,” Tanner said. “He is cerbody’s resume may be better, I think it is importainly considered a candidate as we move forward, tant that we hire someone with the roots that fit but it’ll be a very extensive and national search in a about who we are.”
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6 • Spurs & Feathers
October 21, 2015
Spurs & Feathers working with postal officials to eliminate delays
A large number of Spurs & Feathers subscribers have reported delayed delivery of the newspaper in the mail over the last several weeks. Spurs & Feathers general manager Tim O’Briant has reported these increasing delivery issues to the U.S. Postal Service. Tom Ouellette, a Washington, D.C., spokesman for the USPS, said the issues are being taken seriously. “The issue was recently brought to our attention and the U.S. Postal Service is already investigating the matter,” Ouellette said Thursday, Sept. 24. “Rest assured we remain totally committed to identifying and correcting errant processes in our operations as early as possible. Customers with service or delivery concerns are encouraged to contact USPS either by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS or visiting our website at usps.com/help. We will continue to strive to provide the best service to our customers.” O’Briant said he is glad there is an investigation ongoing, but he and other Gamecock fans are losing patience with the Post Office. “We’re dealing with thousands of newspa-
pers going all over the country in the mail, so there have always been some issues,” O’Briant said. “This summer, we’ve seen far more delays and missed deliveries and had more customer complaints. That’s a real concern.” O’Briant said recent USPS staffing cuts and the shuttering of bulk mail processing centers has caused delivery slow downs across the board, according to a recent report from the USPS Inspector General. “We want nothing more than to have Gamecock Nation get Spurs & Feathers on time, every time,” O’Briant said. “At this point I’m working with postal officials and trying to find out how the delays can be eliminated.” Spurs & Feathers is delivered in bulk and mailed each Monday morning from Columbia. “The only thing that’s changed is the amount of time it’s taking the Post Office to get it to my house and everybody else,” O’Briant said. “Last year I was getting it in Aiken on Tuesday or Wednesday and now I’m lucky to get it on Saturday.”
Spurs & Feathers • 7
October 21, 2015
‘We’re all brothers and sisters’: AllSports Reunion reconnects Gamecocks by brian hand Executive Editor On his way to the South Carolina athletics All-Sports Reunion on Friday, Oct. 16, Gamecock football great and current USC Association of Lettermen president Ryan Brewer was talking to Sheldon Brown. The conversation between two of the best to ever don the garnet and black on the gridiron ended with Brewer telling Brown, “I’ll talk to you later, brother.” Brewer recalled this conversation to all of those in attendance at the All-Sports Reunion, remarking it once again just reminded him how special it was to have suited up for the University of South Carolina. “We’re all brothers and sisters out here,” Brewer said to his fellow lettermen. “We all bled the garnet and black.” South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner is a huge proponent of incorporating the former Gamecock student-athletes with what they do now within the athletics department, telling those in attendance at the All-Sports Reunion,
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“one of the things that is most important to me is you.” Tanner like Brewer mentioned to the lettermen at the All-Sports Reunion that South Carolina could not be where it is now without their efforts. “This is your school,” Tanner told the lettermen. “This is your University and this is your athletics department. And although it has changed a lot, it’s changed because of you. You were first, you were before and your influence and impression on this program is everlasting and we are very grateful for that.” Former South Carolina women’s golfer Meredith Taylor says the fact that she is a former Gamecock student-athlete is something she will always hold dearly. “It means a lot to me being that I was a walkon from this area,” Taylor, who is from Lexington, South Carolina, said. “I’m a hometown girl and then making it on the team here is extra special to me. To say, I’m a sports alum, it always means a lot to me.” Former South Carolina men’s soccer studentathlete Marty Baltzegar relayed that he also
photo by brian hand
looks back fondly to his playing days and time at the University. “I think as you get older, you really understand what privileges you really had and I think that’s what I appreciate a lot is the things we had access to and the great people we got to be around,” Baltzegar said. A former student-athlete himself for Tanner
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8 • Spurs & Feathers
October 21, 2015
Elliott: ‘It was a heck of a win’ by brian hand Executive Editor
3-0 lead with 13:21 to play in the first quarter. Fry would extend the Gamecock lead to 6-0 with 6:49 left in the first quarter with a 31-yard In what had been a tough week for the South field goal that closed out an 11-play, 74-yard Carolina football program with Steve Spurrier drive that lasted 3:54. departing and Shawn Elliott taking over in an South Carolina would have a chance to push interim role the Gamecocks went out and did the lead to 9-0, but a Fry 39-yard field goal hit exactly what they wanted and needed to do off the right upright to keep the score 6-0 South against Vanderbilt - they won. Carolina with 9:04 remaining in the first half. “It wasn’t all pretty. But the bottom line is we Vanderbilt would take advantage shortly came out and won the game,” Elliott said after thereafter as the Commodores took the lead at South Carolina’s 19-10 victory over the Com7-6 when quarterback Johnny McCrary conmodores before a crowd of 75,159 at Williams- nected with Caleb Scott for a four-yard touchBrice Stadium. down pass with 2:21 left in the inaugural half. South Carolina (3-4, 1-4 SEC) junior quarter- The touchdown completed a 14-play, 79-yard back Perry Orth agreed with Elliott, pointing drive for Vanderbilt that took 6:43 off the clock. out that in general even despite so many distrac- Fry would have another chance at a field goal tions it was just the start of the second half of with two seconds left in the first half, but once the season with the Vanderbilt (2-4, 0-3 SEC) again he just missed on a 55-yard field goal atgame. tempt to leave the score still 7-6 in Vanderbilt’s “It’s the start of the second half of the season favor at the halftime break. today,” Orth said. “We just tried to pretend that The first half concluded with the Gamecocks our record was 0-0 and that we had to come out holding a 204-182 advantage in total yards. and get a victory. And fortunately we did that.” The Commodores added to their lead just The Gamecocks arrived on the scoreboard under seven minutes into the second half to go early in the game when they took advantage of ahead 10-6 when Tommy Openshaw finished a Vanderbilt fumble picked up by TJ Holloman. off a 10-play, 73-yard drive that lasted 5:43 with The Ralph Webb fumble picked up by Holloa 23-yard field goal. man garnered the Gamecocks ideal field posiThe Vanderbilt lead would not last long as tion at the Vanderbilt 24-yard line. A few plays exactly a minute and a half later, South Carolina later, Elliott Fry then finished off South Carowould take a 13-10 lead with 6:34 left in the lina’s first offensive possession of the game with third quarter after a Orth 78-yard touchdown a 47-yard field that procured the Gamecocks a pass to Pharoh Cooper.
Crary pass to give the Gamecocks opportune field position at the Vanderbilt 16-yard line. South Carolina would close out the game with a 424-332 advantage in total yards. In picking up his first career win as a starter, Orth ended his efforts in the win over Vanderbilt throwing for 272 yards on 17-for-28 passing. Orth threw for one touchdown. The majority of Orth’s passing yardage went the way of Cooper, who ended his day with seven catches for 160 photo by allen sharpe yards and the one touchdown. Brandon Wilds was the catalyst for the GameCooper did most of the damage on the touch- cocks on the ground, finishing with 119 yards rushing on 24 carries. down, breaking away from the middle to the Moore was the leader for the Gamecock outside and then outrunning the Commodore defense in the win with 11 tackles, one interdefense down the right sideline to cap off the three-play, 83-yard drive. It was the longest re- ception, one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. ception of the year for the Gamecocks. McCrary passed for 177 yards for Vanderbilt. South Carolina would add three points soon He was 21-for-42 with one touchdown and three thereafter to take a 16-10 lead with 3:11 left in interceptions. Darrius Sims was the leading the third quarter with a Fry 19-yard field goal rusher for Vanderbilt with 104 yards rushing on closing out an eight-play, 44-yard drive that encompassed 2:52. The scoring drive originated six carries. He also had 22 yards receiving on three catches. off a Vanderbilt turnover that came on Bryson South Carolina now heads into a bye week beAllen-Williams executing the tip drill perfectly fore next visiting Texas A&M for a Halloween and intercepting a McCrary pass that gave the showdown on Oct. 31. Gamecocks the football at the Commodore Elliott and the Gamecocks know what lies 45-yard line. Another Vanderbilt miscue would allow South ahead. “We understand the work that we have to try Carolina to take a nine-point lead at 19-10 with 5:27 to play in the game after a Fry 22-yard field and achieve in our open week and I think our team is up for it,” Elliott said. “I think they’re goal. The field goal was made plausible when South Carolina’s Skai Moore intercepted a Mc- really excited. It was a heck of a win.”
Gamecock community featured on SportsCenter by kyle heck Reporter
It may have been early, but that didn’t stop a horde of fans from coming out to the Horseshoe on the University of South Carolina campus for their chance to be on national television. The popular ESPN feature show “SportsCenter” was live from Columbia on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 17. The network picked Columbia because the state of South Carolina has been through so much over the last couple of weeks after floods ravaged much of the state. In addition, legendary head coach Steve Spurrier announced his retirement earlier in the week. Hosts Sara Walsh and Matt Barrie talked college football, but they also featured stories of people stepping up during the tough time in South Carolina. ESPN reporter Marty Smith spoke to current and former Gamecock players about the way the state has responded as well as how great it was to play under Spurrier. Former star Marcus Lattimore told a story about when he and former defensive end Devin
photo by kyle heck
Washington entered the destroyed home of an older man in Irmo. “Devin gave him a gift card that was about $200 and that man was so grateful,” Lattimore said. “He held Devin for about 30 seconds. I thought scoring a touchdown in WilliamsBrice was a great feeling, but seeing that man cry in Devin’s arms, you can’t put a price tag on that. That was the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever seen in my life.” South Carolina interim head coach Shawn Elliott made an appearance on the show, as well as Gamecock men’s basketball coach Frank Martin. Also in attendance were athletics director Ray Tanner and University president Harris
Pastides. The Horseshoe has been home to ESPN’s College Gameday a few times, but with that show unlikely to make an appearance in Columbia this year, it was still nice for fans to get a chance to come out and show their South Carolina pride. “I’ve watched SportsCenter basically every day since kindergarten,” USC student Jacob Navd said. “I’m a University Ambassador so I talk about events like this all the time. You have four years here so take advantage of every opportunity that you have. Cool stuff like this will happen. It’s just a great weekend and in light of everything that’s happened, you just have to enjoy everything for what it’s worth.” While many people around the country have heard about the devastation the floods caused in South Carolina, there are others who haven’t heard about the kindness and generosity that has been so prevalent in the Palmetto State. Elliott was asked about that when he was live on SportsCenter. “South Carolina strong,” Elliott responded. “We have a great sense of pride here. It’s amaz-
ing when you walk down the streets and talk to each other about what they’ve been through and what they’re going through. There’s still smiles on their faces. We’re hard-working people here in South Carolina. We’ve got a great, strong sense of tradition, pride and work ethic and they rally around one another. We’ve got a great support system.” With South Carolina trying to get back to a sense of normalcy, the show was the start of a day that featured a Homecoming win for the Gamecocks. “I think it’s been about seven weeks since we’ve had a home game here,” Pastides joked. “A lot of us are hungry and with the events of both the flood and the HBC, I think we’re coming together after a tumultuous two weeks.” After his live appearance on SportsCenter, Elliott told Spurs & Feathers that he was grateful for the opportunity to help showcase the University and state on national television. “It’s unbelievable,” Elliott said. “Really to have them here at any moment to showcase our great state and great University is really special and we appreciate everything they did.”
Spurs & Feathers • 9
October 21, 2015
South Carolina Gamecocks
football Schedule 09/03/15...........vs. North Carolina ............... Charlotte, N.C......................W, 17-13 09/12/15...........vs. Kentucky # ....................... Columbia, S.C....................... L, 26-22 09/19/15...........at Georgia # ........................... Athens, Ga............................. L, 52-20 09/26/15...........vs. UCF...................................... Columbia, S.C......................W, 31-14 10/03/15...........at Missouri #........................... Columbia, Mo....................... L, 24-10
CONFERENCE OVERALL PA W-L PF PA STRK
84 6-1 221 121 L1
3-2 133 116 5-2 232 136 W1
79 4-2 157 139 L1
83 3-3 223 154 W1
61 4-3 116 90 L2
157 3-4 143 184 W1
10/10/15...........vs. LSU #................................... Baton Rouge, La.................. L, 45-24
77 2-4 116 111 L1
10/17/15...........vs. Vanderbilt #...................... Columbia, S.C......................W, 19-10
PA W-L PF PA STRK
92 6-0 224 138 W6
90 6-1 249 117 W4
10/31/15...........at Texas A&M #...................... College Station, Texas...............TBA 11/07/15...........at Tennessee #....................... Knoxville, Tenn.............................TBA 11/14/15...........vs. Florida #............................. Columbia, S.C...............................TBA 11/21/15...........vs. The Citadel....................... Columbia, S.C...............................TBA 11/28/15...........vs. Clemson............................ Columbia, S.C...............................TBA
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79 5-1 219 146 L1
91 5-2 305 155 L1
60 5-2 239 126 W2
75 2-4 143 139 L1
89 4-2 153 154 W2
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10 • Spurs & Feathers
October 21, 2015
Gamecocks unite behind Elliott to pick up first SEC win of the year by brian hand Executive Editor
appear in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs for four straight years. Appalachian State was a combined 36-14 while he was When he was talking about taking over the a player. interim head coaching role on Tuesday, Oct. 13, After his playing days were over, Elliott I asked Shawn Elliott if this was all a little bit transitioned into working on the coaching staff surreal to him at the press conference. at Appalachian State. His final nine years at He told me to catch back up with him later in Appalachian State he coached the offensive the week. line. He was on staff as the Mountaineers won After his first career win as a head coach three straight FCS national championships from against Vanderbilt, I asked him the same ques2005-07. tion. Elliott has been on staff at South Carolina for “I’m happy more for our football team than I the back-to-back-to-back 11-win seasons and photos by juan blas in his first year with the Gamecocks in 2010 am for myself, I can tell you that,” Elliott said after the Gamecocks’ 19-10 win. “I have a great the Gamecocks picked up their first SEC East amount of pride for the state of South Carolina him at Williams-Brice Stadium as a head coach crown. and the University of South Carolina. I couldn’t at South Carolina. Before this past week, that This year things were obviously not going was only the stuff of dreams for Elliott. But he write a better script to tell you the truth.” as well as expected. But this past week, Elliott Elliott came out with his team to “2001” has been preparing for this moment all of his and the Gamecock coaching staff made sure holding a visor in honor of the Former Head life. to do all the little things so that the Gamecocks Ball Coach and after the Gamecock win over As a senior at Camden High School in 1990, walked away with a win on Homecoming Vanderbilt he was thinking back of the opportu- Elliott as a defensive lineman helped lead the against Vanderbilt. nity Steve Spurrier gave him to be on the South Bulldogs to a perfect 15-0 record and the aforeSouth Carolina junior wide receiver Pharoh Carolina staff. mentioned state championship. He was named Cooper after the Gamecock win over Vander“When I interviewed for this job, I was up all-state that year. bilt said the team loves some of the changes that there (football office) with coach Spurrier and I From there, Elliott would go on to be a stand- Elliott made over the course of the last week looked at him and I said, ‘I won a state champi- out for Appalachian State where he helped lead like wearing all black uniforms against the onship on that field.’ I said, ‘there’s something the Mountaineers to two Southern Conference Commodores. special about this place to me.’” titles. He was named All-SoCon as a senior and “It was pretty fun,” Cooper said. “With coach Now that something special includes a win for he became the first player in school history to Elliott, we knew it was going to be new. We
were excited coming into this game. We were excited for practices. Honestly, we didn’t know we were playing black on black .. the cool thing was the all black cleats because we had never seen those. That turned the energy up in the locker room, early pregame and that carried onto the field. After the game and after the win, there was still excitement in the locker room. We had a great time. It just feels good to win as a team.” Another thing that Elliott and the Gamecocks did was make sure to incorporate former Gamecocks into the traditional Gamecock Walk before the game. And they were overwhelmed with how many former South Carolina players came out to support the team. “They knew what we were up against,” Elliott said of the former Gamecocks. “I got the message out and said we need some support. These guys (our team) needed a pat on the back and to see those guys show up and embrace us when we got off that bus was unbelievable. I wish I could shake every one of their hands.” Elliott knows there is a long road ahead for him and the Gamecocks. But for now, he is ecstatic about win No. 1 for him as a head coach and, more importantly, win No. 3 on the year for the Gamecocks. “The way we came back and the way we won, it was a special night,” Elliott said.
Garnet and Black Madness event shows passion for basketball by brian hand Executive Editor
ing to eradicate the old mindset of you can’t win at South Carolina and the Colonial Life Arena will not be packed on a consistent basis. When Frank Martin took the South Carolina job In fact, South Carolina’s Garnet and Black Madhe was told quite often that he couldn’t win there. ness event available to only University of South It wasn’t possible he was told. Carolina students was overflowing at the Carolina Martin’s response was always, “why not?” Volleyball Center on Friday, Oct. 16. Now that Martin’s men’s basketball program has The evening was emceed by BET’s Big Tigstarted to win some games and enter the 2015-16 ger and featured a Minute-To-Win-It contest at season with high expectations that thought process the start that involved members of the men’s and has gone from you can’t win to “that building is women’s basketball teams partnering with a South too big, you can’t sell it out.” Carolina student to try and help them win valuable Martin’s reprizes such as a free TV. sponse? “Why Both teams also scrimmaged on the evening not?” with Staley and Martin telling all the students in If the night of attendance exactly what to expect in the upcoming Friday, Oct. 16, year as well. is any indication, Last year, the South Carolina women’s basketSouth Caroball team led the country in overall attendance and lina men’s and Staley was thrilled that the 2015-16 season got off women’s basket- All Gamecock basketball to another rousing start in the area with the turnout ball will have no coverage sponsored by at the Garnet and Black Madness event. problem continuYesterdays “I think it’s a great job by our marketing depart-
I are trying to do. Obviously, Dawn’s done it at an unbelievable success rate with the run that they’re on right now, which is incredible. And then as we continue to build our program, you’ve got to have students in your building. That’s what gives you the life in there.” Two-time reigning SEC Player of the Year Tiffany Mitchell never dreamed of having such fan support when she signed with South Carolina. But she says, this year it is finally hitting her that South Carolina students and fans are giving her the best ment to put something like this on for students, so experience possible. they can know how important they are to the envi“It’s just real cool to see the fan support … and ronment in Colonial Life Arena,” Staley said. just how much they like the environment,” the The Gamecock men’s basketball team was senior guard said. among the tops in the country last year in overall Senior forward Michael Carrera is always attendance and Martin knows how important amazed at the passion of South Carolina students having students involved is for the two basketball and fans. programs. “It means a lot,” Carrera said. “It means a lot to “Our student body is unbelievable in every sport us to just see the fans in the stands cheering for us and it keeps growing in basketball in the arena,” and cheering for the women’s team. It’s just amazMartin said. “So we’re just continuing to try to get ing how the fans love us and show you that they’re our students to just buy into what both Dawn and always going to be there for us.”
Spurs & Feathers • 11
October 21, 2015
Gamecock Club appreciative of efforts of Spurrier by brian hand Executive Editor
photo by brian hand
wards sustaining success. “All our fans are doing it very well,” Spurrier concluded. “I talk about our donors a lot, but they’re in position to do that. I’ve learned fundraising is based simply on what you have and we’re not asking anybody to go broke giving to our school. We’re just asking those that have a little extra to give back to your old school.” Gamecock Club executive Director Patrick McFarland was extremely appreciative of the efforts of the now Former Head Ball Coach during his time at the helm of the South Carolina football program. “From the day he got here, he was willing to go visit with our chapters and sign autographs and get in front of our fans,” McFarland relayed. “Obviously we all know that means a ton to people that care about the program. He gave of his time and the things he didn’t have to do, he was willing to do. That was really appreciated by me and our fans.” Robbin Moss of the Lexington County Gamecock Club said because of these type
of efforts it was a sad day for her when she learned that Spurrier was stepping away, particularly as through Gamecock Club events and more she had been able to get to know the Spurriers. “It is a sad day and I’ll tell you why, I help (Spurrier administrative assistant) Rita (Boykin) and them in the (football) office with football camps and women’s clinics and I see that personal side of him versus of being on the field,” Moss said. “I’ve gotten to know his family and I’ve gotten to know Jerri and I just think the world of everything she does with the players and being their mamas. She is just the typical football mom.” A member of the Gamecock Club for the last 25 years, Tim Hall of Aiken completely agrees with Moss, pointing out that not only was he personable and engaged with Gamecocks, he won. “He took a program that Holtz had taken to one level and then moved it up,” Hall said. “While this year is a down year, I even think he’s taken it to a level where the next coach
is even on a different level than he was coming in replacing Holtz. I think he set the program up for good shape for the next person coming in, whoever that may be.”
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The Gamecock Club is an integral part of South Carolina athletics. The athletics department at South Carolina could not run without the generous support of Gamecock Club donors and Steve Spurrier was a big proponent of making sure he did all he could to show donors and fans just how much he appreciated their efforts. In fact, it was noted prior to the start of the 2014 season that Steve and Jerri Spurrier had contributed over $1 million to the University. At the annual South Carolina media day on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, Spurrier broke down how the donations had worked out in reaching the $1 million mark. “The way it happened when I got here in 05, part of my contract was a luxury suite and I told (then Athletic Director) Mike McGee my wife doesn’t need a luxury suite, she likes sitting out there in the stands with the other wives, so go ahead and use that and sell it and sell it to one of our other boosters and what have you,” Spurrier said at the time. “So they figured out that averaged around $50-55,000 thousand a year for that luxury suite. So they added that and (Gamecock legend) Sterling Sharpe and I won a bunch of money in the Chick-Fil-A golf tournament so they said that was about $250,000 grand over the years. And then (current South Carolina Director of Golf) Puggy Blackmon we did that wine deal and that brought in about $150,000 to the athletic department and I actually wrote a check to the track program my first year here. But anyway, they added it all up and said it came to that and basically I just wanted the Gamecocks to know that ‘hey, this is my school now.’” This now well over $1 million donated by the Spurriers was in addition to the efforts he undertook to make sure South Carolina had more $1 million donors. At the time of his stepping away there were around 20 $1 millon donors (including planned gifts). “We found some boosters, some big-time donors that gave over a million bucks,” Spurrier told Spurs & Feathers in the summer of 2014. “When I got there we had one person to give over a million bucks in the history of the school. Our facilities are really good … you got to have the facilities to keep up. Within the last eight, nine years at South Carolina ours are up there amongst the best now. That’s been a big reason for our success.” Spurrier also completely understood during his time in charge of the Gamecocks that whether donors were giving millions or were giving $55 at the Roost level of the Gamecock Club every little bit counted to-
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12 • Spurs & Feathers
October 21, 2015
As a lifelong Gamecock, I will forever be thankful to Steve Spurrier by brian hand Executive Editor
One of the first things I thought about when I was debating whether or not to take my current position at Spurs & Feathers was how interesting it would be to work with Steve Spurrier. And it has been. I was born in 1980, so all of Spurrier’s success on the gridiron as a head coach came in my formative years that led me to what I do today for a living. Growing up, Spurrier was always the head coach you loved to hate. You didn’t really hate Spurrier and Florida though. You just hated how much they were winning, especially if you were a Gamecock fan like I was. You wanted that so badly. That is why when Spurrier took over as head coach at South Carolina in November of 2004 and at his introductory press conference said, “why not USC?,” Gamecock fans everywhere were so giddy. The man that they had watched for so many years demoralize Gamecock team after Gamecock team was now on our side. We knew it would take a bit of time, but it was truly special when Spurrier got South Carolina to the levels that we had always envisioned with the back-to-back-to-back 11-win seasons, an SEC East title and a final ranking of fourth in 2013. Aiken Communications took over Spurs & Feathers right before that 2013 season and I will always remember my first interaction with the Head Ball Coach. Introduced to the HBC by assistant athletics director for media relations Steve Fink prior to his annual turn at the podium at his media golf outing in July of 2013, Spurrier looked at me and asked what led me to get my job? I then told him I had grown up a Gamecock fan and both of my parents went to Carolina and I had also attended the University at one point. “At one point?” he questioned. “Yes, coach, I played soccer at North Greenville and then started my graduate degree at South Carolina, but I finished my master’s at Middle Tennessee while working in Triple-A baseball with the Nashville Sounds,” I said. “Mid Tenn, huh? (Former Gamecock assistant) Rick Stockstill’s there,” Spurrier said. That was Spurrier I would from there come to find out. He always could find a connection with anything. That was his
photo by tim o’briant
way of connecting with people. Over the past few years while working with him we have had the unique opportunity to do the “Off the Field” video segment with the HBC during the football season. For a lifelong Gamecock it’s been quite the thrill as we have been able to visit his office and talk with him before and after just about anything. That is where I think people get it twisted. So many just think because he is so opinionated that he is not a great person. That is a huge myth. He is a great family man and all one really has to do is look at his wife, Jerri, and the rest of his family to see that. I will be forever appreciative of the op-
portunities that the HBC has provided Spurs & Feathers. But I think most of all, I will remember my golf outing with the HBC. That will always be my personal memory outside of the Gamecock wins. I am an awful golfer and before the 2014 media golf outing, I played in the HBC’s group. I was so scared that I was going to make a fool of myself that day. But the HBC would not have it. As long as I was trying he was going to give me the benefit of doubt, especially since I only played once a year. In fact, Spurrier told me numerous times, “if you only play once a year, you can’t get mad” and would constantly give me tips on how to get better.
I’ll never be a great golfer, but those tips definitely improved my game on that day and I had as enjoyable of a round as I have ever had. I have told people that round of golf always epitomized in my mind what being a Gamecock fan had been like before Spurrier. There were some good and bad things, but it was never consistent for long stretches of time until Spurrier helped changed the culture. Just like making me believe I could hit a golf shot, Spurrier made Gamecocks everywhere believe that South Carolina football could be considered among the nation’s best. That’s his legacy. And for that, I will forever be thankful to Steve Spurrier.
October 21, 2015
Spurs & Feathers • 13
by kyle heck Reporter
even happens if he doesn’t come here.” Because Spurrier was able to elevate South Carolina onto a national stage, that only makes the job that much more appetizing to coaches across the country. When he was first introduced, the HBC asked the question, “why not us?” It’s safe to say he answered that question and showed that you could win at South Carolina. “Any successor, seeing who preceded him, is going to have a lot of motivation to fill his shoes and do a good job,” firstyear USC law student Bax Burnette said. “It could bring in a big name just because Spurrier is arguably one of the best coaches in SEC history.” While there was some sadness that Spurrier is leaving the Gamecocks, there was also a lot of gratitude being shown to the HBC. People understand that he did so much for the University and the football team and that will never be forgotten. “Being a Gamecock fan will always be enjoyable, but Spurrier made it so much better,” Gaskins said. “I’ll always be thankful that he made my four years at USC the best four years in our football program’s history.”
seasons and never had a losing season with the Gamecocks, save for this year, when the team was 2-4 when he resigned. Steve Spurrier had quite an impact on In addition, Spurrier didn’t just make the the University of South Carolina. All one football team better, he made the entire would have to do is take a walk around University better and that’s something that downtown and ask people about the Head stands out to a lot of fans. Ball Coach to see just how much he meant “He was extremely important,” said Jefto the University of South Carolina and the frey Gaskins, a recent graduate of USC. Gamecock community. “Having a good football program is a major “I think like everyone else, I was form of advertisement for any University. shocked,” said Mike Campbell, a USC I’ve been a SC fan my whole life, so I got graduate and former Lieutenant Governor to witness all the improvements in both candidate. “I wish he would’ve stayed academics and athletic facilities over Spurthrough the end of the season, but putting rier’s time here. He helped our University myself in his shoes, I can certainly underbring fundraising to new heights, which stand why he felt like it was the best decireally helped us improve our facilities to sion for he and his family. My hat is off to the top level. He had an enormous impact the guy. There is nothing that anyone could on not only the football program, but also ever say to knock that man for what he’s on the entire athletics department and the done for this University, for this team and University as a whole.” really for the state of South Carolina.” “I was gone for 20 years and I came back Spurrier came into Columbia and trans(to Columbia) to start Scootaway and I formed the South Carolina football procouldn’t believe how much this University gram. Before his arrival, the Gamecocks had grown and the improvements to the had one 10-win season and that came in stadium,” Scootaway CEO Frank Charles 1984. Over the course of 10 and a half Scozzafava said. “Not just football, but all years at South Carolina, Spurrier helped of the other facilities we have now. I don’t the Gamecocks to three consecutive 11-win think all these beautiful athletic facilities
photo by allen sharpe
Fans reflect on Spurrier’s legacy
14 • Spurs & Feathers
October 21, 2015
South Carolina Gamecocks
Recruiting Round-up DL Darius Whitfield of Mobile, AL committed to USC last Tuesday, a day in which the USC program was shaken by the unexpected resignation of head coach Steve Spurrier. But Whitfield said that news didn’t shake him from his desire to join the Gamecocks who have been recruiting him since his sophomore year. “I kind of made my mind up in late September,” Whitfield said. “They were just showing interest, showing interest, showing interest. I’ve been talking to South Carolina since the end of my sophomore year and it’s just always felt like a sincere place and home for me.” Whitfield hasn’t been to the campus yet but he has watched the Phil Kornblut team from afar. He’s Contributing seen the struggles Writer on defense but is not discouraged. “Even though they’ve been struggling a little bit they’ve been swarming to the ball,” said Whitfield who projects as a three technique defensive tackle. “That first half against LSU impressed me, just stopping the run, showing effort and making plays.” Tuesday’s developments with Steve Spurrier stepping down leads to an uncertain future about the coaching staff. Whitfield is close with recruiter Kirk Botkin and wants to hang in with the Gamecocks, but he’s still going to move cautiously until the new coach and staff are set. “I’m going to still look into things but right now that doesn’t concern me,” he said. “They have a good academic program and the fans are crazy. I love the fans. I’m glad to be a South Carolina Gamecock.” Whitfield, whose brother plays at Alabama, helped his team win a state championship and go undefeated last season. He has six sacks so far this season. USC had 17 commitments for its 2016 football recruiting class prior to Steve Spurrier’s decision to immediately retire. Minutes after the news broke, the class was down to 16 with the decommitment of LB PJ Blue of Montgomery, AL. And it may be only 15 after word from a source that LB Jacorey Morris of Grove Hill, AL had decided prior to this news to switch to either Florida or Clemson. Morris has not said anything publicly about his plans. As for the rest of the class, there have been no more defections. Many of the commitments took to Twitter to express
By Phil Kornblut
their feelings. Most said they are staying with the Gamecocks. One who was not so sure based on his tweet was WR Bryan Edwards of Conway. “As of now I am verbally committed to USC, South Carolina my home and I have tons of love for it and the University of South Carolina their program and fans. Obviously the timing of coach Spurrier’s retirement is a surprise and sad thing to see, however at the same time I have to do what’s best for me and my future as a student athlete. I will be contemplating my future in the next few weeks in light of recent events.” DB JJ Givens of Mechanicsville, VA hopes to have further clarity on his thinking toward USC after meeting with his recruiter this Monday. “Coach Deke (Adams) is coming out to my school on Monday and he said we’ll talk and after that talk I just feel as though I’ll really know whether I’m committed to South Carolina,” Givens said. “I was kind of shocked (about Spurrier’s resignation) but you never know a person’s reasons. He did what’s best for him and I completely respect that a hundred percent.” Even before Spurrier’s announcement Givens was planning to take other official visits. He hasn’t scheduled any at this point but he said he’s looking at Arizona State, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State for visits. He’s also been talking to Clemson and said the Tigers remain in it with him as well and “still recruiting me pretty hard.” This season Givens has 6 interceptions as a defensive back and has 9 touchdown catches as a receiver. Another USC commitment OL Lloyd Cushenberry of Geismar, LA said he, too, remains committed at this point but it’s not an absolutely firm commitment. “As of now I am still committed to South Carolina,” Cushenberry said. “Me and my family are still taking about everything and I am keeping my options open.” Both Givens and Cushenberry committed to the Gamecocks this past summer. QB Brandon McIlwain of Newtown, PA is the prize of USC’s 2016 recruiting class. He wanted to play for Steve Spurrier, be coached by Spurrier and be scrutinized by Spurrier. He won’t get that chance now but he has no plans on backing out of his commitment to the Gamecocks. “I’m still definitely committed to South Carolina,” McIlwain said Tuesday night. “The coaching staff is still there. The guys I have a relationship with are still there. I talked to Coach Mangus and Coach Elliott and what they are saying is they still have a season
going and they are going to work hard and push the guys in practice and see what they can do the rest of the season. Coach Elliott is now the head coach and Coach Mangus is the offense coordinator and they are going to build it and keep it going and get us some wins this season.” McIlwain said he was recruited by Mangus and has a close relationship with him, and he’s also developed a rapport with Elliott, so he has no problem with those two running the offense. “I love Coach Elliott and have had a great relationship with him throughout my recruiting and he’s a great coach and great motivator,” McIlwain said. “I’m excited to see what he can do with the program. Coach Mangus is the guy I talk to the most and the biggest recruiter for me and I know how good of an offensive mind he is. I was so excited to be coached by him and to learn from him and now it’s extremely exciting to see what he can do with the offense and see how he can push these guys and make the offense move.” All that said, McIlwain also knows he’s going to miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime to learn the art of playing quarterback from one of the most renowned teachers of the position in the modern era in Spurrier. “I’m really disappointed because he’s such an amazing coach, such a legendary coach,” he said. “It would have been an honor to play for him, but things have their time and he thought it was time for him to stop coaching at South Carolina and I respect it. Now I’m just excited to play for Coach Elliott and Coach Mangus and all the other coaches there.” So, even with Spurrier gone, but Elliott and Mangus still on board, at least for now, McIlwain sees no reason to consider going anywhere else. “The big reason I’m committed is the staff,” McIlwain said. “The coaching staff, I’ve gotten such a great relationship with and I’m definitely still committed to South Carolina.” But there is no guarantee the staff, including Elliott and Mangus, will be there in January when McIlwain plans to enroll in school. He’s aware a new coach could come in and change everything, and that’s the only way he’ll reconsider his commitment. “A lot of things have to happen for that to occur,” he said. “It’s obviously something I’ll have to talk about with my family and see what the right decision is. That’s so far off and so many things have to happen for that, I haven’t really thought about that.” McIlwain continues to hear from the pro baseball scouts and he still talks to them to keep the relationships
alive. He still hasn’t decided 100% on enrolling early, partially because the school district hasn’t yet approved him for early graduation. He should know on that by the end of October. “I more than likely will be enrolling early,” he said. “I definitely have to see what’s happening with the coaching staff and everything and see if the timing is right. But at this point I still am planning on enrolling early.” And if he enrolls at USC early, McIlwain said he could join the baseball program this spring as well as he plans to play both sports with the Gamecocks. USC not only lost a home football game this past weekend and all the revenue that accompanies that, the Gamecocks also missed out on a recruiting weekend. Four official visits were scheduled and several other prospects planned to come in for unofficial visits. The official visits were planned with DE Travez Moore and WR Isaiah Graham of Bastrop, LA, LB Vosean Joseph of Miami and WR Dre Massey of Holmes JC, MS. Moore said he and Graham will reschedule with the Gamecocks and he’s not lost any of his interest in the program. “I’m really liking South Carolina,” Moore said. “You know, even though they didn’t win against Georgia I liked how they kept fighting and how they kept driving. And I like the plans from Coach Spurrier that he has for me. I’m really liking South Carolina right now.” Moore said he’s been to LSU like “20 times already” and doesn’t plan to take an official visit there. He hasn’t been there this season but plans to return there for the Florida game. He said he will take an official visit to TCU in January and he’s also interested in Tennessee. He has USC, TCU and LSU as his top three in no order. Joseph currently is committed to Florida and is scheduled for an official visit there November 28th. Massey said he plans to reschedule with the Gamecocks when recruiter Steve Spurrier Jr. visits him October 19th. This weekend he plans to go to Memphis for the Ole Miss game. DB Dreshun Miller of Marietta, GA had planned to visit USC this past Saturday but with the game moved to LSU that nixed those plans. But he plans to be in this Saturday for the Vandy game. Miller said he talked with USC recruiter GA Mangus Friday and Sunday and firmed up the visit. He’s hoping to leave Williams-Brice with an offer. “That would be a big joy,” Miller said. “I’ve been liking that school since the 10th grade. I mean, the first unofficial
Spurs & Feathers • 15
October 21, 2015
visit I took was there, so it’s some history behind it.” Miller said Illinois is coming to see him at school Monday. He recently picked up offers from Coastal Carolina and Valdosta State to go along with an earlier one from Carson Newman. And another prospect who had said he was visiting Saturday was QB Dakereon Joyner of Fort Dorchester. ATH Stephen Davis Jr. of Dutch Fork faces the first big step in his comeback from a torn ACL and a torn MCL on October 21st. That’s when he has his surgery by Dr. Wendell Holmes of the Moore Orthopedic Clinic in Columbia. Then, months of rehab and, he hopes, a full recovery. Davis suffered the injury the third game of the season when, while playing running back, he planted and was hit on the knee. “I wasn’t expecting it to happen in my senior year,” Davis said of the season ending injury. “I’m dealing with it pretty good. I’m just upset that I can’t play right now with my team and help my team out. It happened and I’m just trying to get thru it and just praying. I just miss it a lot.” The injury has kept Davis from being active with his recruiting other than talking to coaches on the phone and thru social media. He’s not been able to make it to any games. He actually had planned to go to USC Saturday but of course the game has been moved to LSU. Davis hasn’t scheduled any official visits but he’s been looking at USC, Clemson, LSU and Florida State for four of them. He’s also still hearing from Auburn, the school he was committed to until September 6th. “Right now I’m just looking to see who likes me more while I’m having the knee surgery,” he said. “I’ve been hearing a lot from South Carolina. They’ve been checking up on me. I’ve been hearing a lot from Auburn. They’ve been checking up on me. UCLA checked up on me the other day. Clemson checked up on me the other day, too.” Davis said he won’t make a decision for a while because of his situation with the knee. At this point, two from his top group may have a slight edge over the rest. “If I had to pick a favorite it would probably be Clemson and Auburn,” Davis said. “I just like the schools.” Fort Dorchester OL John Simpson said Monday night the only official visit he is certain about at this point is LSU. He has not set a date. The only unofficial visit Simpson has taken this season was to USC for the Kentucky game and he doesn’t have any other official visits planned right now. Simpson said he’s focused on his season as his team is undefeated and ranked among the top 4A teams in the state. Simpson said his top seven remain the same… Clemson, USC, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee and LSU. He said despite speculation Clemson is his leader he does not have a favorite. He doesn’t plan to announce a decision until January 9th at the
photo by allen sharpe
Army All American Game. WR Diondre Overton of Greensboro, NC has had Clemson, NC State, North Carolina, Nebraska and Tennessee as his top five. A sixth school has entered the fray and is working to get him in for a game as well. “South Carolina was trying to get me down there last weekend,” he said. “South Carolina has always been recruiting me but the contact has been on and off. They are trying to get me back down for a game to reassure me on things. I went down there one time and it impressed me a lot. They have a great history of producing NFL players. But I haven’t really been recruited by them heavily. They kind of fell off with a lot of the other schools that stopped contacting me.” Overton said USC could move up with him depending on how he feels about things after he goes there for a visit. The Shrine Bowl selection has not scheduled any official visits but he said he’s talking with his mom about setting up trips with Clemson and Tennessee. He plans to announce his college decision January 3rd at the SemperFidelis Bowl. DB Isaiah Stallings (6-4 200) of Fayetteville, NC was named to the North Carolina Shrine Bowl team and he’s a safety being pursued by USC. He has USC in his top five along with Clemson, NC State, Duke and Ole Miss. He has been to USC, NC State and Duke this season and he plans to get to Clemson and Ole Miss at some point. He had planned to be at USC for the LSU game and he also visited the Gamecocks for the Kentucky game. “It was pretty nice, I liked the atmosphere,” Stallings said of that USC visit. “It was my first time going to a South Carolina game and it was pretty cool to see the whole experience and how everything goes. They like the fact I’m a bigger safety than usual and I can
cover space. Coach Hoke told me about the defense he’s bringing there and it’s similar to what I play here in high school so if I was to go there it wouldn’t be that hard for me to pick up.” Stallings said he will take some official visits and he’s not sure when he’ll make his decision. RB Tyrek Tisdale (6-2 200) of Orlando decommitted from Florida last week and is ready to see what else is out there for him. He’s hoping one of those opportunities is with USC. The Gamecocks had recruited him until he committed to the Gators in late March. “They haven’t talked to me since I committed in March,” Tisdale said. “I had a good relationship with Coach Sands and Coach Spurrier. I have family from there. They have a good environment and a good support system. And they have good coaches. There was nothing wrong with them. I like how they coach and how the players are. I like the school and the environment. I like everything. I was blessed to be offered by them and I just thank the coaches for the offer.” Tisdale attended a game at USC last season and has been there for an unofficial visit and a junior day. Tisdale said despite his commitment to the Gators, he didn’t have much communication with the staff over the past few months and that led him to end his relationship with the program. “They just stopped talking to me and didn’t really communicate, they wouldn’t answer,” he said. “They only talked when I came up to Gainesville and I didn’t really appreciate that. I felt alone and distant. I felt like I was pretty much a free agent. “I want a school that’s going to communicate with me and call me every once in a while, show some interest.” Tisdale took an official visit to Oregon State earlier this month. He also picked up a recent offer from West Virginia and has also had offers from Ken-
tucky and Miami. DE Tony Clayton of Vienna, GA has a top five, in order, of Florida, Auburn, Tennessee, Florida State and Oklahoma. USC has been recruiting him with more zest of late. DB Javon Jackson of Tyrone, GA committed to Duke over USC. USC 2017 QB target Jake Fromm of Warner Robins, GA committed to Alabama. Basketball News: While the USC football program goes through its coaching transition, USC basketball coach Frank Martin is hopeful of adding another local star to his program. 6-1 Seventh Woods of Hammond made his official visit with the Gamecocks over the weekend. Woods has not said anything publicly other than a short tweet about the visit but his coach shared a little information. “He had a good time,” Hammond coach Mark McClam said. “He went to a two hour practice and enjoyed being with all the guys,” Woods also took official visits to North Carolina and Georgetown. There is no timetable for a decision. 6-10 Sedee Keita of Philadelphia, a USC target, visited Temple over the weekend. He’s also been to USC and will visit Providence at some point. Another USC target, 6-10 Dewan Huell of Miami made his official visit to Florida State over the weekend. He has also been to Miami and will visit USC this weekend. USC women landed a commitment from 5-6 PG Araion Bradshaw of Hyde Park, MA for the 2016 class. Baseball News: USC’s baseball team picked up a commitment from 2016 RHP Wilson Beattie of Summerville.
16 • Spurs & Feathers
October 21, 2015
Fire sparked as Gamecock, Disher finds success as college coach by brian hand Executive Editor
the second time he had been drafted as one year earlier, Disher had been selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 45th Round. Ever since his sophomore year at South Car- Disher’s first year in professional baseball olina, Phil Disher assumed that once his play- saw him earn MVP honors in the New Yorking days were over that he would be working Penn League, but unfortunately after playing in college baseball. with the Lexington Legends of the South AtBut the South Aiken High School product lantic League the next year he was forced to did not expect that would be at his hometown retire due to nagging injuries with his hip. school of USC Aiken in Aiken, South CaroUpon his retirement, there was no question lina. what he would do next as he shortly thereaf“One day kind of out of the blue, (USC ter he commenced working with the hitters Aiken head) coach (Kenny) Thomas actually and the catchers at Wofford. called me as I was out walking my dog and After two years at Wofford, Disher left to I didn’t really know what he wanted and he work with Georgetown. told me they had an open spot and he asked This past season with the Hoyas, Disher, me if I would be interested,” Disher said. who was Georgetown’s hitting coach, helped “Obviously from that point, I talked to coach junior catcher/designated hitter Nick Collins (Ray) Tanner a good bit, who I’ve always become the first BIG EAST Player of the leaned for advice about various jobs and vari- Year in program history. ous career moves because he’s kind of the USC Aiken head coach Kenny Thomas, authority - especially in the state - and he told who is friends with current South Carolina me it’d be a great idea and I’ve known coach athletics director and former baseball head Thomas for quite a while and having an incoach Ray Tanner, is thankful that Disher fant now, my wife and I wanted to come back decided to join his staff. south. So it was a great opportunity to get “I texted coach Tanner (when trying to find back home and kind of get back where I was a new assistant) and said, ‘what do you think born and raised.” about Phil Disher?’ and he text immediately Disher has loved every minute of it since back and said ‘he would be perfect,’” Thomas joining up with the Pacer baseball program said. “He would be a great fit and be perfect of the NCAA Division II Peach Belt Confer- for you.’ I guess you could say my friendship ence. with coach Tanner has helped in that and I “It’s been awesome since I’ve been down think coach Tanner’s been very good to me here,” Disher said. “I knew what I was comand our program over the years and that was ing into. I was coming into a good program a big help in this scenario too.” with awesome facilities and everything and a Fellow former Gamecock Nolan Belcher is team with great unity amongst the players.” also on the Pacer baseball staff as the pitching During that alluded to sophomore year at coach and he is happy to have another South South Carolina, Disher was approached by Carolina great on staff with him. former Gamecock baseball assistant and cur“One of the better parts about it is that we rent Clemson head coach Monte Lee about get to share stories (about coach Tanner, getting into coaching. Gamecock baseball),” Belcher said. “Coach “I know when I was there, the guy who kind Dish has a lot of experiences not only at the of steered me in that direction was coach SEC level and the professional level, but he (Monte) Lee, who’s up at Clemson now,” was at Wofford and Georgetown and he got a Disher said. “He pulled me aside my sopholot of good experiences there and it helps me more year and asked me if I would be interout a lot having him around.” ested in one day coaching and it led me to get Plus, with Belcher from Augusta, Georgia, a minor in coaching at the University as well and Disher from Aiken, the two definitely as it was something I always have unmatched knowledge wanted to pursue since he of the CSRA, which can only kind of sparked that fire.” benefit the Pacers. During his time at South “He’s kind of got the GeorCarolina, Disher garnered gia side covered and I’ve kind All-SEC and All-America of got the South Carolina honors before being picked in side covered, so hopefully we All Gamecock baseball the 15th Round of the 2008 can put those two together coverage sponsored by Major League Baseball Draft and make some pretty good DiPrato’s by the Houston Astros. It was squads here,” Disher said.
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Spurs & Feathers • 17
October 21, 2015
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Steve Spurrier made me a Gamecock by kyle heck Reporter
Carolina, the Gamecocks were a program that hovered around .500 and sometimes could beat teams they weren’t supposed to. It wasn’t just South Carolina that lost Spurrier completely changed the landsomething when Steve Spurrier announced scape of South Carolina football. Instead of his resignation. The entire sport of college sometimes beating the likes of Tennessee, football was affected. Florida, Georgia and Clemson, the HBC Spurrier was a legend, no question about made it a common occurrence. Pretty soon, it, and college football will not be the same you stopped going into games hoping to without him. Ultra competitive, the Head win. You expected to win. It all culminated Ball Coach proved to be one of the smartest from 2010-13, when the Gamecocks won a minds in all of football during his two-plus SEC eastern division title one year and 11 decades of coaching. I could go through all games the other three years. of the numbers and accolades, but this colI count myself incredibly lucky because umn would turn into a novel. those were the four years that I was a stuI experienced a wide range of emotions dent at South Carolina and it was during upon hearing that Spurrier was hanging that time period that Spurrier won me over. it up, but one of the most prevalent ones You see, I was a diehard Clemson fan was sadness. It’s sad because you can be from the time I moved to South Carolina sure that he is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of from Georgia when I was eight. I mean coach. South Carolina and Gamecock fans diehard. No one else in my family liked everywhere should count themselves lucky sports, so I would listen to Tiger football that they got to experience 11 years of his and basketball games on the radio because I competitiveness and brilliancy. couldn’t watch them on TV. At 23-years-old, I’m younger than probNaturally, I wanted to attend college at ably a lot of people reading this. So when it Clemson. However, they didn’t have a jourcomes to the history of South Carolina foot- nalism school and I really wanted to be a ball, there are a lot of people that know a sportswriter. South Carolina was the best heck of a lot more than me. But one thing I instate option for that since they have an do know is that before Spurrier got to South outstanding journalism school.
Reluctantly, I enrolled at the University, but was set on remaining a Clemson fan. That changed during my first football game in the student section when the Gamecocks were taking on Southern Miss on a Thursday night to open the season. Seeing the atmosphere at Williams-Brice Stadium and how fun it was to watch Spurrier and the Gamecocks do their thing, I realized it would be impossible to remain a Clemson fan. How could I when it was clear Spurrier was turning the Gamecocks into a program that had to be taken seriously. I was swept up in the fever that was caused by Spurrier and I haven’t looked back since. Because of the HBC, I will forever be a Gamecock. My Clemson history aside, South Carolina is the school I graduated from and after attending nearly every game since that fateful Thursday night in 2010, I understand what Spurrier has meant to this school. After experiencing the rise to national prominence firsthand, I can’t look back now. I’m proud to call myself a Gamecock and that won’t change, regardless of the performance on the football field and that is all thanks to Spurrier. He’s given me memories I’ll never forget.
When he took the job, self-proclaimed experts everywhere said he wouldn’t be able to win at South Carolina. Those critics will be quick to point out that Spurrier didn’t win a SEC title, which was one of the main goals he set. However, he won almost 64 percent of the games he coached at South Carolina. That’s incredible when you think about it. South Carolina was a school that had an all-time record below .500. That is no longer the case, thanks to the HBC, the winningest coach in South Carolina history. It has been a pleasure watching him prove people wrong time and time again. And while he undoubtedly would’ve hoped for a better ending to his career, it does not take anything away from what he’s done for this University. He can ride off into the sunset knowing he’s the greatest coach in Gamecock history as well as one of the most successful head coaches in college football history. Thanks for the memories, Steve. Thanks for taking on the challenge of coaching South Carolina and setting a new standard for Gamecock football. And last, but certainly not least, thanks for converting me from “that team in the upstate.” You will be missed.
18 • Spurs & Feathers
October 21, 2015
Expectations still high for the Gamecocks by kyle heck Reporter
“I thought it was great,” Staley said of the first practice. “I thought we had great energy. I thought that we looked good in some areas After a long offseason, the South Carolina in which we didn’t two weeks ago before I women’s basketball team hit the court once left town. There are some areas that we defiagain on Monday, Oct. 12, in what was the nitely need to work on. We need to work the first official practice of the new season. kinks out from an offensive standpoint.” The Gamecocks are coming off of a highly South Carolina lost two starters last year in successful season last year where they won Aleighsa Welch and Elem Ibiam, but return the SEC regular-season and tournament 11 letterwinners from that team. Among championship, advanced all the way to the those are the Gamecocks’ top three returnNCAA Final Four and finished the season ing scorers and rebounders and the top ranked third in the nation. two assist producers. Because of that, the Before the season last year, South Carolina expectations will remain sky-high for the knew the talent it had and wasn’t shy about Gamecocks. telling everyone that the goal was a national Staley is excited that South Carolina is championship. After the first practice on looked on as an elite program, but doesn’t Monday, Oct. 12, the Gamecocks enter the want the players to become complacent just 2015-16 season with the same goals. because they finally cracked the Final Four “Most definitely,” sophomore A’ja Wilson last year. said. “Our expectations are still high and “This team has probably embraced (exwe’re just going to (try to) keep pectations) a little too much reaching our goal, which is a in that they might be a little national championship. That’s bit complacent and probably something that we’re all aimforget about what it took to ing for.” get to that point,” Staley said. Head coach Dawn Staley, “We almost have to break who has had a busy summer them down and build them coaching the national team, back up to let them know that All Gamecock basketball last year, we worked for that. was excited to get back with her team and prepare for a new coverage sponsored by It wasn’t something that came Yesterdays year. easily. I want them confident,
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but I also want them respecting the journey because it’s a long journey and it’s a journey in which if they’re disciplined enough, we can get back and maybe take it a step further and get to the national championship game and win a national championship.” Since Welch and Ibiam were such big leaders on the team last year, the Gamecocks are
looking for new leadership to emerge. Luckily for South Carolina, Wilson has jumped into that role despite being just a sophomore. As a freshman last season, Wilson was a big part of the team and with a full season under her belt, she is a lot more comfortable heading into a new campaign. “I’m not that freshman anymore,” Wilson said. “I kind of know the ropes now, I know the plays and know what coach Staley wants. I’m just trying to help the transfers and the newcomers coming in.” The Gamecocks added three transfers from ACC schools including one that is eligible to play this year in forward Sarah Imovbioh. Guards Shay Colley and Doniyah Cliney are the two incoming freshmen. There will be a little bit of a different philosophy this season as Staley just wants her team to “play basketball.” In other words, she wants the Gamecocks to play fast and hard and use their athleticism and conditioning to take advantage of other teams. “We’re asking them to do things that we haven’t asked them to do in a long time,” Staley said. “Just do what you do naturally. We want to see if we can play at a pace that will put our opponents back on their heels a little bit. We got a lot of players to play so we want to utilize their ability to get up and down the floor.”
Staley relishes USA Basketball experiences by brian hand Executive Editor
On Saturday, Oct. 10, Dawn Staley was in Prague, Czech Republic helping the 2015 USA Basketball Women’s National Team conclude a perfect 4-0 four-game European Tour with an 85-53 victory over reigning EuroLeague champion ZVVZ USK Prague. On Monday, Oct. 12, the passionate and dedicated Staley was in Columbia, South Carolina helping to prepare her South Carolina women’s basketball team as they officially commenced practice for the 201516 season. Staley has spent pretty much all of her life playing or as an assistant with USA Basketball. She relishes the opportunity and concedes she would welcome taking over the head coaching job by the time of the 2020 Olympics. “Anytime that I can be of service to USA basketball for all that it has given me and done for me, absolutely,” Staley commented to Spurs & Feathers last February. “It’s a pressure-packed position. But I think it’s
Currently an assistant on UConn head coach Geno Auriemma’s USA Basketball staff for the 2016 Rio Olympics, Staley admitted though that with the start of South Carolina’s official practices just a couple days after the European Tour concluded that she was “counting down the days” until she got back to Columbia. “I was enjoying my experience just coaching the national team,” Staley said. “But I was half in and half out just trying to figure out ways that we can maximize the talented roster (at South Carolina). And also just staying mindful, it’s basketball season and we’re probably a week behind where we were last year at this time, so I was thinking about how do we make up that week and practice on some things that I think can help us.” Always one to use every opportunity as photo by allen sharpe a learning experience or a growth opportunity, Staley utilized the European Tour one that allows (me) to use my experiences as well to learn from the fellow coaches on as a player and being around different play- the USA Basketball staff. ers that I have coached at this level it’ll “I’ve been really fortunate in my coachhelp me draw on those experiences.” ing career that every time, I’ve needed to
learn a little bit more and add something a little bit different about what we’re doing, I’ve had that opportunity,” Staley relayed. “And this experience working with Geno (Auriemma) and (DePaul head coach) Doug Bruno and (Hartford head coach) Jennifer Rizzotti and (Minnesota Lynx head coach) Cheryl Reeve really has helped me.” Always one to normally think defensively first, Staley has enjoyed working particularly with the other offensive minds on the USA Basketball staff. “We built what we’ve done on defense,” Staley said. “All of those coaches are offensive-minded, so it’s funny to see them spend more time offensively (in practice). Like Geno probably does 80-20; 80 offense, 20 defense, whereas me as a coach it was the opposite where I’m 80 percent (defensive). But over the last few years it’s been almost half and half. And I think it’s helped us. I think it’s helped our players and, of course, you’ve got to have talent though. Our offense has caught up with our talent and that’s a good thing.”
Spurs & Feathers • 19
October 21, 2015
Martin comfortable, confident with this year’s Gamecocks by kyle heck Reporter
we put the next one in.” With practice just getting underway, Martin is still in the process of giving his team everyEntering his fourth season as head coach of thing they need to get ready for the upcoming South Carolina, Frank Martin is as comfortable season. Thus far, Martin said he has just turned as he has ever been while at the school. the players loose to see what kind of ability they He now has a solid core of upperclassmen that have to communicate and their willingness to he can count on to lead the younger players. fight and compete defensively. Throw in a talented incoming freshmen class Soon, Martin and his team will start working that includes McDonald’s All-American P.J. on defense wholeheartedly. While players comDozier and Martin is excited for the upcoming ing out of high school are used to the offensive season. side of the ball and scoring points, the defensive “The thing that stands out is how good our up- transition in college can be a challenge. Howperclassmen have been,” Martin said. “They’re ever, Martin is confident in his freshmen’s abilout there teaching the freshmen, they’re out ity to pick it up. there talking and they’re trying to help the next “The freshmen, they’ve been good,” Martin guy. They understand what they’re doing which said. “I’m extremely happy with that group. But now allows me to be more creative to help them the reason they’ve been pretty good is because as players.” our upperclassmen have been so good.” Of the 15 players on the roster, six are upMartin has also been impressed with the way perclassmen, including several players who Dozier has transitioned to college. He has a play huge roles on the team. That includes play- willingness to learn and exceed at anything put ers like Sindarius Thornwell, Duane Notice, in front of him. Michael Carrera, Mindaugas Kacinas and “I’m not worried about the mistakes right Laimonas Chatkevicius. now, I’m worried about the imWith the Dozier-led freshmen provements,” Martin said. “He’s class joining the experienced retaining stuff at an unbelievable core, Martin finally feels like he rate. That’s a credit to his backhas the depth needed to compete ground and a credit to the prepaagainst anyone in the country. ration that he’s had before he got “I don’t have to play the guys to college. I don’t sit around and I get mad at anymore,” Marrave about what guys are going tin joked. “We’ve got enough All Gamecock basketball to do because no one knows people. If they don’t do their job, coverage sponsored by what’s going to happen, but he’s they just kind of come out and Yesterdays fun to be around. He’s an engag-
photox by allen sharpe
ing personality. He’s all about unity and bringing people together and it’s fun to be around.” As far as where will Dozier will play at, Martin said the freshman has been practicing at point guard about 90 percent of the time so far. As far as other guards, Thornwell is looking to bounce back from a sophomore season in which he struggled. After making the All-SEC Freshmen team, the junior fought through knee problems last season. Martin said Thornwell has looked good so far in practice and he demonstrated that when he dunked a ball in practice recently. “I was like, ‘wow, I haven’t seen that since third grade,’” Martin joked. “He’s got some pop in his legs. You’ve got to understand he’s had that inconvenience for a year so he’s trying to regain leg strength. But there’s no discomfort, which is allowing him to play at a better balance.”
Redshirt freshman TeMarcus Blanton is also well on his road to fully recovering from a hip injury that caused him to redshirt when he first arrived on campus. Martin said the Georgia native is “ahead of schedule.” “Technically, he was not supposed to start jogging until right now,” Martin said. “But he’s been cleared for full go since early August.” In some not-so-good news, Martin also announced that senior Brian Steele will be unable to play his final year because of nagging knee injuries. However, Steele will stay on as a student assistant coach and hopes to go into coaching after he’s done with school. “My heart goes out to him,” Martin said. “For someone that’s worked so hard to earn a scholarship and to be such a contributing member of the building blocks of our program to not be able to play is frustrating.” Overall however, Martin is happy with his team early on in practice. As mentioned before, the depth he has now will allow more competition within the team, which will only help in the long run. “When you have enough guys, you don’t worry about who to play,” Martin said. “When guys don’t do things right, I’m not going to play them because they have to learn. We’re at a place right now where if I have to sub somebody, the person I’m subbing out because they don’t do things right, they better hope that the person I put in doesn’t get it right because if he does, he might not play again for a week or 10 days. That’s the kind of competition that if you have as a coach, you can have success.”
Frank Martin on Notice: ‘Duane’s a rock’
by brian hand Executive Editor
out it has been nice even in practice so far having more guys in the fold with the improved depth. “Last year, we only had seven guys practicing Frank Martin is quick to point out how special (during SEC play due to injuries and other facDuane Notice is on and off the court. tors),” Notice mentioned. “Instead of having guys In fact, South Carolina’s fourth-year men’s too tired to play in practice, we have guys fighting basketball head coach would be more than happy to come off the court. We compete against each to put Notice on a team and go against anybody, other every day in practice at the guard spot, anywhere. which makes us better and more competitive. We “Duane’s a rock,” Martin mused. “You tell me the three close to 40 percent, which is pretty good have so many different weapons with size and where I’ve got to go and I’m more than happy to for a sophomore.” talent.” take Duane with me. The latter part of his freshMartin knows with the Gamecocks building Notice made 22 starts in his freshman camman year, I thought he started playing real well,” a foundation over the past few years, Notice has paign in 2013-14, averaging 8.2 points, 2.9 reMartin said. “His work ethic, his camaraderie, his had to do more than would have normally been bounds and 2.9 assists per game. He followed up belief in us - in our program, in our coaches, in his expected of an underclassmen, which excites him his solid freshman year with the alluded to even teammates - carried him into his sophomore year. of what Notice can do as an upperclassmen now better sophomore year with 11.7 points, 2.7 assists He had a great really early part of the season last and with added depth also on the team. and 2.6 rebounds per game. He was named the year and then he didn’t play as well in the month “He’s a rock and he guards, plays,” Martin reDec. 8 SEC Player of the Week. of January. But then you look at us at the end of layed. “I’m hoping that with more people around The 6-foot-2, 218-pound combo guard is truly the year and we dealt with all of the nonsense we him, he doesn’t have to carry as big a burden from an All-SEC caliber player in the upcoming year had to deal with and once again without an uphow many different things he has to do so the and he knows he has a number of different things perclassmen (to lead him he) did it and by the end game can be simpler, so he can be more efficient he brings to the table for the Gamecocks. of the year he played his tail off again. And we in how he’s playing.” “I think we have a lot of parts on this team and became a pretty good basketball team and he shot Notice agrees with Martin’s assertion and points personally I just feel like I can bring different
elements to the team, whether that be leading by example, sometimes getting vocal, playing hard on defense, playing hard on offense, making the open shot and just trying to create for my teammates,” Notice said. “I just feel like everybody has their role on this team and we do what we can to kind of form a great unit.” Like everyone involved with Gamecock basketball, Notice is overall just excited for the upcoming season. “Every year coming into the year, I’ve been excited,” Notice said. “But I can honestly say this season, I’ve been the most excited and anxious to play just because the groups that we have collectively, I think that everybody is buying in mentally and physically. We’ve worked hard in the weight room, we’ve worked hard on the court. You don’t have to beg anybody to come in the gym on their own time and I feel like the camaraderie is really real between us. We do everything together, whether that is classes or hanging out. So I feel like this season we have a lot of work to do. But at the same time, everybody’s bought in and we’re excited.”
20 • Spurs & Feathers
October 21, 2015
Burnett continuing to look for ways to get better the current year or five years down the road,” Burnett said. “We’ve never really done that, we’ve just focused on the year at hand and I As she is nearing the end of another profeswant to focus on where do we want to be in sional season, former South Carolina women’s four years. I think that’s essential for what we golf star Katie Burnett is already looking for do. I want to be working toward something ways she can improve next year. on a daily basis or working toward goals on While she didn’t quite have the season she a daily basis and doing competitions with wanted to have in 2015, Burnett is still in the myself. That’s how we’re structuring it this top 100 of the Race to CME Globe rankings offseason.” and has earned over $100,000 in winnings. Outside of her golf game, Burnett and agent “I started out good, but didn’t finish as well,” Meredith Taylor, another former Gamecock Burnett said. “I have a lot of things to work women’s golfer, just introduced Katie Burnett on in the offseason. I know what they are and fan gear (http://www.katieburnettgolf.com/ I know what I want to do and where I want to landing/index). The gear features shirts, hats go with it and what things I’d like to change as and more that has Burnett’s name and other far as practice and improvements.” things on them. Burnett is excited to wipe the slate clean in “It’s really exciting,” Burnett said. “Meredith preparation for next year. With her rookie sea- has been in charge of it the whole time and son coming in 2013, Burnett has had a couple I’ve just approved the design or whatever. But of years to get used to professional golf and is it’s really cool. It’s awesome that people even starting to think more longterm now. want it. That’s just an extra bonus.” “It’s going to be a lot more structured,” BurDespite being a Georgia native, Burnett was nett said. still affected by the destructive floods that tore Last season, Burnett ran into some unforethrough Columbia and other parts of the state. seen complications that took her off her game After playing four years at South Carolina, a little bit. She had to have her wisdom teeth Columbia became like a second home to her taken out as well as fight back and shoulder and she wanted to help out the area. So Burissues, so she missed four or five weeks where nett, Taylor and fellow former Gamecock Tifshe couldn’t do anything golf related. fany Catafygiotu went into the city and helped The plan this offseason is to stick around and out the flood victims in any way they could. continue to work on her plan for next season. “I can’t believe (seeing) certain areas I’ve “Any sort of business, people come up with drove down and what it looks like now, it’s just a business plan for ‘X’ number of years or for horrible,” Burnett said.
by kyle heck Reporter
Spurs & Feathers • 21
October 21, 2015
Family atmosphere instilled leading to quality college coaches by brian hand Executive Editor
Ray Tanner always preached to his baseball team that baseball was its own fraternity. You talk to former Gamecocks and almost always the words family and friendship are brought up. In fact, some of Tanner’s former players were so taken by the family atmosphere with South Carolina baseball that they have decided to make it their profession. Former Gamecock Phil Disher is one of those individuals. “It’s the next best thing,” Disher said. “You get to stay in the game. Almost all of the guys working in the profession are good people to begin with it, so it gives them a chance to give back and mold some young minds and hopefully be a good influence on players.” Currently the hitting coach for NCAA Division II USC Aiken of the Peach Belt Conference, Disher is joined on the Pacers’ baseball staff by former Gamecock Nolan Belcher, who works with the Pacer pitchers. USC Aiken head coach Kenny Thomas knows just how lucky he is to have two Gamecock greats on his staff. “It’s unbelievable really that we would have because we knew each others background, two guys that played on championship teams kind of knew the coaching style the other one for Ray Tanner,” Thomas noted. “Obviously, would have without ever even working with I went to coach Tanner before we made these them because of the influences we had at hires and asked him what he thought. He Carolina.” spoke unbelievably high of both of them. NoFormer South Carolina pitcher Parker Bangs lan’s been with us for a couple years and has is on the staff at Presbyterian College after done a tremendous job and adding Disher to spending the last three years as the head our staff was huge. Our players in a very short baseball coach at Heathwood Hall Episcopal period of time have really, really connected School in Columbia, South Carolina. with him. He’s such a great offensive instrucPresbyterian College head coach Elton Poltor and they really like him a lot. It’s really big. lock was thrilled he could add someone of It’s amazing is what it is that we were able to Bangs’ background to his staff. get those guys.” “He should make an immediate impact with Before taking the job at USC Aiken this past our pitchers,” Pollock said in a release about summer, Disher had worked at Georgetown Bangs hire. “He brings with him a wealth of for the last three years. experience at both the collegiate and profesPrior to that, he had been at Wofford for two sional level and his level of success should years working with the hitters and catchers. carry over.” He knew joining up with Belcher on Thomas’ Current North Greenville head coach Landstaff would be easy due to on Powell is another former their backgrounds. Gamecock presently having “I knew Nolan before I came success in college baseball. here,” Disher said. “I didn’t Powell is so fond of his lesknow him extremely well sons learned at South Carosince we didn’t play together, lina that he even currently but we had hung out a few has two other assistants who All Gamecock baseball times. It was pretty seamless played for Tanner on his staff coverage sponsored by coming in as it seemed like in Jon Coutlangus and Scott DiPrato’s we had been lifelong friends Wingo.
usc aiken sports information
In only one season with the program, Powell and Coutlangus took the Crusaders from eight wins in 2014 to a NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas Tournament title and the school’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2015. Powell was not shy about the lessons he learned at South Carolina playing a large role in helping to turn around the Crusader baseball program. “I had a great college experience at South Carolina and was fortunate enough to play for some great college coaches who let us have fun, who taught us how to compete,” Powell said to Spurs & Feathers last May. “It was never a job for us at South Carolina. It was never business. The game of baseball was always a game and we played it like a game. And my teammates at South Carolina, we always played like we were on a sandlot field. That was part of our identity when we were there is that we were going to be grittier than everybody else we played. We were going to dive more and get dirty and have more tenacity and fight and I really believe that about the teams that I was on at South Carolina back in the early 2000s, that’s who we were. You had those schools like Georgia Tech, Florida and even LSU that had the top recruiting classes that on paper were supposed to beat you every
time. We weren’t that team. We had a bunch of nobodies, a bunch of JuCo bandits that could play too, but nobody knew who we were and so that was kind of our identity.” Before joining Powell’s North Greenville staff recently, Wingo was a student assistant on Chad Holbrook’s Gamecock baseball staff. Early in his career, nobody probably would have expected Wingo to move into the coaching ranks, but as Holbrook told Andy Demetra last year for a story for Spurs & Feathers in the end it made perfect sense. “I never thought for a moment that he wanted to be a coach,” Holbrook said. “I thought maybe Scott didn’t have the patience. But he’s so even keeled now. His demeanor has totally changed because he’s watched coach Tanner. He’s watched all of us. He’s been through the minors.” Belcher loves the opportunity to work with Disher on a daily basis and thinks the success that he and Disher are having in the coaching profession as well as many others has a great deal to do with how coach Tanner and his staff treated them as players. “It’s a lot of pride up there, not only with baseball, but all the sports,” Belcher relayed. “We’re just a community in general. A lot of it stems from coach Tanner and just how he coached us. It is a family.”
22 • Spurs & Feathers
South Carolina already had “2001” and gifts). To be a factor, you need to dress the passionate fans. Steve Spurrier proved the part; after years of lagging behind, Spurrier Gamecocks’ identity could be winning, too. helped push the Gamecocks in that direction. Above all, he changed the psyche of South Carolina football. He gave Gamecock fans leven years ago, Steve Spurrier saun- that most valuable of currencies: the belief tered in to the Zone at Williams-Brice that after decades with only brief glimmers of Stadium with a smirk and a question. success, sustained excellence was possible. “Why not us?” he asked at his introductory Why not us, indeed. news conference November 23, 2004. Spurrier was already known as an offensive Over the last decade, that question went innovator when he arrived at USC, the archifrom a rallying cry to a reality under the tect of the wide-open “Fun & Gun” system Head Ball Coach. The Steve Spurrier era that turned the staid, cloud-of-dust SEC on its ended Tuesday when Spurrier, 70, officially ear. His offenses never had quite as much fun announced his resignation six games into the or gun at USC - even during their 33-6 stretch 2015 season. He leaves the Gamecocks with from 2011-13, the Gamecocks never finished a record of 86-49 as head coach. higher than 35th in the nation in total offense. The timing of the decision has angered His main innovation was instead winning some, but there should be far more gratitude at an historic level. One of his first orders for what Spurrier accomplished than bitterof business at South Carolina was tearing ness over how he left. In 11 years, he took down many of the “Beat Clemson” signs that the Gamecocks to unprecedented levels of adorned the hallways and meeting rooms success. He turned South Carolina into a around Williams-Brice Stadium. He didn’t nationally relevant program and a nationally dismiss the rivalry – he just believed the recognized brand, that visor Gamecocks should have loftier and smirk becoming as much goals than beating one opof a logo for Gamecock football ponent. They should set their as the Block C. A fan base sights on SEC titles, not just used to hearing jabs about its state titles. He scoffed when program now had a world-class fans gave his team a standing needler on its side. A septuaovation after nearly upsetting genarian actually made South #2 Auburn in 2006. “Why Carolina football cool. would you cheer our team after He did it by signing impact a loss?” he asked. in-state recruits who might That culture change evenhave fled the border in years tually took root. Fans often past. He leveraged the Gamemeasure their morale based cocks into building better on how they do against their facilities (as he’s pointed out bitter rivals. Consider this: at numerous Gamecock Club South Carolina has played stops, South Carolina had one Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Andy Demetra million-dollar athletics donor and Clemson every year since Contributing when he arrived in 2005. It 1992. From 1992 to 2009, they Writer now has 21 including planned went 15-57.
October 21, 2015
From 2010 to 2014, they went 15-5. And those players he signed. Stephon Gilmore…. Connor Shaw… Marcus Lattimore…. Jadeveon Clowney… Alshon Jeffery… Bruce Ellington. In a five-year span, Spurrier gave South Carolina a Mount Rushmore of all-time greats. They finally replaced names like Stephen Davis, Richard Seymour, Albert Haynesworth, and Joe Hamilton, megawatt in-state stars who got away or never gave the Gamecocks a chance. They helped lead the Gamecocks to a school-record 18 straight home wins (Spurrier called it his favorite milestone) and three straight top-10 finishes in the AP poll. Only Stanford and Oregon joined them. No other SEC school – not Alabama, not Florida, not any of the other traditional heavies – could claim the same. If Gamecock fans don’t like the way Spurrier exited, or can’t accept his reasoning behind it, that’s fair. Surely there will be some retroactive blaming if the Gamecocks don’t get out of their current rut fast enough. He may not have duplicated his SEC and national championship success from Florida, but considering the beleaguered history of South Carolina football, what he did was every bit as remarkable. Chuck Culpepper, writing for the Washington Post, said that South Carolina has “arguably the nation’s highest historical quotient of enthusiasm to wins.” Spurrier leveled out that ratio in a way few could have imagined. He turned suffering into swaggering at South Carolina. He turned “wait till next year,” a line uttered so many times by Gamecock fans in resignation, into a threat. I’ll always remember talking with Connor Shaw, South Carolina’s all-time winningest quarterback, at one of his last practices before leaving for the Capital One Bowl in 2013. I asked him to describe his first-ever meeting with Steve Spurrier, as a junior at Flowery Branch High School in suburban Atlanta. It’s
photo by jenny dilworth
an experience countless other former players can recall in photographic detail. What Spurrier didn’t realize was that Shaw was an avid HBC fan. He fell in love with the Florida Gators as a five year-old, watching the Nokia Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day 1997 with his Dad and older brother. He loved the “Fun & Gun” offense: the cockiness, the id, the way his quarterbacks could ruthlessly disembowel a defense. Shaw went so far as to paint his bedroom walls Florida blue and orange. Sometime before their appointment, Spurrier was tipped off about Shaw’s love for the Gators. When he met him along with quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus, Spurrier opened with a question. “I understand you were a Florida fan,” the HBC said. “No sir. I was a Steve Spurrier fan,” Shaw replied. Shaw could have spoken for many. Eleven years ago, Steve Spurrier asked a question. It turned out he had the answer all along. For Gamecock fans, it was love at first smirk.
Spurs & Feathers • 23
October 21, 2015
Gamecock Radio/Television Information
The Gamecock Sports Network from IMG College counts 24 affiliate stations for the 2015-16 football season. For Sirius/XM subscribers, follow the @GamecockRadio Twitter page for weekly updates on channel information for Gamecock broadcasts. The weekly Carolina Calls show will air from 7-8 p.m. on the flagship station of the Gamecocks, WNKT-FM (107.5 FM), and over the Internet at www.GamecocksOnline.com. The show takes place each week at Wild Wing Café, located at 729 Lady Street in the Vista. Wild Wing Café, which is South Carolina’s home for the best wings south of Buffalo, has 12 locations in the Palmetto State. Visit www.wildwingcafe.com for more information. Inside the Roost South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner and Derek Scott from the Gamecock Sports Network from IMG College host an hour long radio show every Monday night at 7 p.m. from Hilton Columbia Center in the Vista. The show is broadcast on 107.5 FM and features discussions on current issues with Ray Tanner and interviews with coaches and athletics department staff. South Carolina-Texas A&M In-Game frequency The South Carolina-Texas A&M in-game frequency for the Gamecock Radio Network for inside the stadium is 97.7 (primary ) and 100.1 (secondary).
2015-16 RADIO AFFILIATES*
Abbeville WZLA-FM 92.9 johnston/Aiken WKSX-FM 92.7 Allendale WDOG-FM 93.5 Camden WPUB-FM 102.7 Camden WCAM-AM 1590 Charleston WWIK-FM 98.9 Chesterfield WVSZ-FM 107.3 Columbia WNKT-FM 107.5 Florence WFRK-FM 93.5 Florence WHYM-AM 1260 Gaffney WZZQ-FM 104.3 Gaffney WZZQ-AM 1500 Greenville WROO-FM 104.9 Hilton Head WVGB-FM 94.5 Hilton Head WVGB-AM 1490 Lake City WHYM-AM 1260 Myrtle Beach WSYN-FM 103.1 Newberry WKDK-AM 1240 Rock Hill WRHM-FM 107.1 Rock Hill WVSZ-FM 107.3 Seneca WSNW-AM 1150 Seneca WSNW-FM 94.1
X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
Sumter WIBZ-FM 95.5 Union WBCU-AM 1460 * Men’s basketball and baseball affiliates will be updated at a later time.
GAMECOCK MARKETPLACE Come for the beer, Stay for the food!
Mac Senn Financial Advisor “Best BBQ in Gamecock Country” Catering & Tailgating Packages Available
530 Devine St. (Next to Todd Moore) 733-2556 www.palmettopig.com Monday-Friday 7am to 6pm Saturday 7am to 4pm Closed Sunday
“The best Pimento Burger in town! It melts in your mouth!” – Ed G S&F
phone 803.781.4002 fax 803.781.4220
711 E. Main St
The Publick House Restaurant & Pub
7235 St. Andrews Rd. Columbia, SC 29212 MathiasSandwich.com
101 Westpark Blvd. Suite D Columbia, SC 29210 Bus. 803-772-2221 firstname.lastname@example.org
Always open 2 hours before Game Time 2307 Devine Street 803-256-2625
SENIOR RATES $22 MONDAY - FRIDAY $34 SATURDAY-SUNDAY-HOLIDAYS Pine Ridge Township • 222 Clubhouse Drive West Columbia, SC 29172 • 803.755.2000 WWW.CHARWOOD.COM
IT’S GREAT TO BE A GAMECOCK!
24 • Spurs & Feathers
October 21, 2015
Depth Charts for October 31 South Carolina OFFENSE WR: WR: WR: LT: LG: OC: RG:
15 Matrick Belton 3 D.J. Neal 8 Shamier Jeffery 11 Pharoh Cooper 81 Hayden Hurst 5 Terry Googer 9 Carlton Heard 71 Brandon Shell 55 Christian Pellage 76 Mike Matulis 69 D.J. Park 70 Alan Knott 78 Zack Bailey 54 Clayton Stadnik 75 Will Sport 72 Donell Stanley RT: 74 Mason Zandi 63 Blake Camper TE: 89 Jerell Adams 40 Jacob August 84 Kyle Markway QB: 10 Perry Orth 12 Michael Scarnecchia FB: 39 Rivers Bedenbaugh TB: 33 David Williams
6-4, 209, Jr. 6-3, 193, Fr. 6-1, 198, Jr. 5-11, 207, Jr. 6-5, 252, Fr. 6-4, 226, RFr. 6-0, 182, Sr. 6-6, 328, Sr. 6-6, 314, Fr. 6-5, 293, Sr. 6-4, 325, So. 6-4, 270, So. 6-6, 320, Fr. 6-3, 240, Jr. 6-5, 295, Sr. 6-4, 320, RFr. 6-9, 314, Jr. 6-8, 295, Fr. 6-6, 231, Sr. 6-6, 258, RFr. 6-4, 243, Fr. 6-1, 203, Jr. 6-4, 210, RFr. 6-2, 245, So. 6-1, 222, So.
Columbia, S.C. Stone Mountain, Ga. St. Matthews, S.C. Havelock, N.C. Jacksonville, Fla. Atlanta, Ga. Athens, Ga. Goose Creek, S.C. Brooksville, Fla. Boynton Beach, Fla. Dillon, S.C. Tyrone, Ga. Summerville, S.C. Greensboro, N.C. Milton, Fla. Floydale, S.C. Chapin, S.C. Virginia Beach, Va. Pinewood, S.C. Columbia, S.C. St. Louis, Mo. Ponte Vedra, Fla. Fleming Island, Fla. Leesville, S.C. Philadelphia, Pa.
7 Shon Carson 32 Rod Talley
5-8, 206, Sr. 5-10, 201, So.
Scranton, S.C. Laurens, S.C.
DEFENSE DE: DT: NT: DE: WLB: MLB: SLB:
55 David Johnson 49 Boosie Whitlow 5 Darius English 95 Dante Sawyer 90 Taylor Stallworth 94 Kelsey Griffin 92 Gerald Dixon, Jr. 52 Phillip Dukes 99 Abu Lamin 8 Marquavius Lewis 44 Gerald Dixon 18 Cedrick Cooper 10 Skai Moore 12 Ernest Hawkins 11 T.J. Holloman 4 Bryson Allen-Williams 28 Jonathan Walton 23 Larenz Bryant SPR: 20 T.J. Gurley 26 Jasper Sasser LCB: 7 Al Harris Jr. 3 Chris Lammons
6-1, 240, So. 6-3, 240, Fr. 6-6, 225, Jr. 6-3, 291, So. 6-2, 308, So. 6-2, 316, Jr. 6-3, 327, Sr. 6-3, 319, Sr. 6-4, 326, Jr. 6-3, 264, Jr. 6-2, 269, Sr. 6-2, 248, Sr. 6-2, 218, Jr. 6-1, 224, So. 6-2, 231, Jr. 6-1, 233, So. 6-0, 235, Jr. 6-0, 220, Jr. 5-10, 193, Sr. 6-0, 210, So. 5-11, 163, So. 5-10, 183, So.
Lithonia, Ga. Opelika, Ala. Powder Springs, Ga. Suwanee, Ga. Mobile, Ala. Buford, Ga. Rock Hill, S.C. Manning, S.C. Fayetteville, N.C. Greenwood, S.C. Rock Hill, S.C. Lithonia, Ga. Cooper City, Fla. Baltimore, Md. Stone Mountain, Ga. Ellenwood, Ga. Daphne, Ala. Charlotte, N.C. Cairo, Ga. Jacksonville, Fla. Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Lauderhill, Fla.
FS: 21 Isaiah Johnson 6 Chris Moody SS: 42 Jordan Diggs 24 D.J. Smith RCB: 1 Rico McWilliams 16 Rashad Fenton 22 Jamari Smith
6-0, 206, Sr. 6-1, 215, Jr. 6-0, 209, Jr. 5-11, 195, So. 5-11, 186, Jr. 5-10, 180, Fr. 5-10, 200, So.
Cary, N.C. McDonough, Ga. Fort Myers, Fla. Marietta, Ga. Hampton, Ga. Miami, Fla. Jacksonville, Fla.
SPECIALISTS KO: PK: P: KR: PR: SN: H:
19 Landon Ard 29 Elliott Fry 29 Elliott Fry 19 Landon Ard 13 Sean Kelly 85 Michael Almond 16 Rashad Fenton 32 Rod Talley 11 Pharoh Cooper 47 Drew Williams 48 Nick McGriff 13 Sean Kelly 19 Landon Ard
5-9, 182, Sr. 6-0, 164, Jr. 6-0, 164, Jr. 5-9, 182, Sr. 5-10, 189, Jr. 6-3, 200, Fr. 5-10, 180, Fr. 5-10, 201, So. 5-11, 207, Jr. 6-2, 213, Jr. 6-0, 224, RFr. 5-10, 189, Jr. 5-9, 182, Sr.
Rock Hill, S.C. Frisco, Texas Frisco, Texas Rock Hill, S.C. Oakland, Fla. North Augusta, S.C. Miami, Fla. Laurens, S.C. Havelock, N.C. Irmo, S.C. Gainesville, Fla. Oakland, Fla. Rock Hill, S.C.
Texas A&M OFFENSE WR: -OR- LT: LG: -OR- C: RG: RT: -OR- TE: -OR- WR: WR:
-OR- WR: QB: TB:
4 Damion Ratley 6-1, 190, So. 2 Speedy Noil 5-11, 192, So. 65 Avery Gennesy 6-5, 305, Jr. 75 Koda Martin 6-6, 300, RFr. 73 Jeremiah Stuckey 6-4, 305, Jr. 78 Keaton Sutherland 6-5, 310, Fr. 56 Mike Matthews 6-2, 290, Sr. 77 J.J. Gustafson 6-5, 285, So. 79 Joseph Cheek 6-7, 305, Sr. 72 Jermaine Eluemunor 6-4, 315, Jr. 74 Germain Ifedi 6-6, 335, Jr. 75 Koda Martin 6-6, 300, RFr. 63 Ryan Lindblade 6-7, 308, Jr. 89 Jordan Davis 6-4, 251, Fr. 47 Caden Smith 6-3, 260, Sr. 9 Ricky Seals-Jones 6-5, 240, So. 82 Boone Niederhofer 6-0, 207, Jr. 11 Josh Reynolds 6-4, 195, Jr. 18 Edward Pope 6-4, 170, Jr. 19 Jeremy Tabuyo 5-11, 192, Jr. 3 Christian Kirk 5-11, 200, Fr. 23 Sabian Holmes 5-11, 170, Sr. 10 Kyle Allen 6-3, 210, So. 1 Kyler Murray 5-11, 188, Fr. 5 Tra Carson 6-0, 235, Sr. 20 James White 6-0, 220, So.
DEFENSE Yoakum, Texas New Orleans, La. Southaven, Miss. Manvel, Texas Pacifica, Calif. Flower Mound, Texas Missouri City, Texas Dallas, Texas Seguin, Texas Denville, N.J. Houston, Texas Manvel, Texas Richmond, Texas Clear Lake, Texas Roscoe, Texas Sealy, Texas San Antonio, Texas San Antonio, Texas Carthage, Texas Honolulu, Hawaii Scottsdale, Ariz. Southlake, Texas Scottsdale, Ariz. Allen, Texas Texarkana, Texas Pearland, Texas
DE: DT: DT: DE: SLB: MLB: WLB: RCB: -OR- LCB: FS: SS: NICK:
10 Daeshon Hall 6-6, 260, Jr. 9 Qualen Cunningham 6-3, 240, So. 83 Alonzo Williams 6-4, 305, Sr. 92 Zaycoven Henderson 6-1, 297, So. 88 Kingsley Keke 6-3, 319, Fr. 95 Julien Obioha 6-4, 280, Sr. 5 Daylon Mack 6-1, 335, Fr. 98 Hardreck Walker 6-2, 305, Jr. 15 Myles Garrett 6-5, 262, So. 40 Jarrett Johnson 6-3, 260, So. 33 Shaan Washington 6-3, 235, Jr. 16 Dwaine Thomas 6-2, 220, Fr. 46 A.J. Hilliard 6-2, 245, Jr. 11 Josh Walker 6-1, 240, So. 54 Jake Blount 6-4, 240, Jr. 42 Otaro Alaka 6-3, 231, So. 31 Claude George 6-2, 235, Jr. 21 Brandon Williams 6-0, 205, Sr. 8 Nick Harvey 5-10, 180, So. 1 De’Vante Harris 5-11, 185, Sr. 17 Alex Sezer Jr. 5-9, 180, Jr. 23 Armani Watts 5-11, 200, So. 26 Devonta Burns 6-0, 211, Sr. 14 Justin Evans 6-1, 195, So. 30 Justin Dunning 6-4, 220, Fr. 13 LaDarius Wiley 6-1, 205, RFr. 6 Donovan Wilson 6-1, 205, So.
-OR- Seattle, Wa. Chandler, Ariz. Abbeville, La. Longview, Texas Richmond, Texas New Orleans, La. Gladewater, Texas Spring, Texas Arlington, Texas Katy, Texas Alexandria, La. Boutte, La. Klein, Texas Gilmer, Texas Flower Mound, Texas Houston, Texas Lafayette, La. Brookshire, Texas Lancaster, Texas Mesquite, Texas Orange, Texas Forney, Texas Arlington, Texas Wiggins, Miss. Whitehouse, Texas Los Angeles, Calif. Shreveport, La.
4 Noel Ellis
5-10, 185, So.
New Orleans, La.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLK: P: SNP: -OR- HOLD: PR: -OR- KR: -OR-
24 Taylor Bertolet 5-9, 188, Sr. 36 Daniel LaCamera 6-4, 210, Fr. 38 Drew Kaser 6-3, 215, Sr. 46 Shane Tripucka 6-3, 210, So. 45 Austin Frey 6-1, 225, RFr. 40 Christian Robertson 5-11, 230, RFr. 14 Conner McQueen 5-10, 175, Jr. 46 Shane Tripucka 6-3, 210, So. 3 Christian Kirk 5-11, 200, Fr. 2 Speedy Noil 5-11, 192, So. 14 Justin Evans 6-1, 195, So. 3 Christian Kirk 5-11, 200, Fr. 2 Speedy Noil 5-11, 192, So. 14 Justin Evans 6-1, 195, So.
*These depth charts are taken from the listings from each team’s previous game. Spurs & Feathers goes to print shortly after the conclusion of each game. Please visit www.spursandfeathers.com over the course of the week for updated depth charts.
Reading, Penn. Tarpon Springs, Fla. Strongville, Ohio Allen, Texas Tomball, Texas Grapevine, Texas Klein, Texas Allen, Texas Scottsdale, Ariz. New Orleans, La. Wiggins, Miss. Scottsdale, Ariz. New Orleans, La. Wiggins, Miss.
October 21, 2015
Spurs & Feathers • 25
Spurrier leaves a formidable legacy
I have never been ashamed to admit that I shed a few tears over a sad movie, so I’m not embarrassed to tell you that, while I didn’t boo-hoo, I did have a misty-eyed moment after Coach Steve Spurrier announced his resignation last Tuesday. He was much more than another coach I have worked with, he became a friend to me. Let me say right up front, if you are a fan or friend who wants to label Coach a quitter or say he deserted his team in the middle of the year, you should be ashamed of yourself. He did what he thought was best for the South Carolina football program, players, coaches and especially the Gamecock Nation, and while the timing was sudden and sad, it was perfect. The Steve Spurrier era began to unravel in early December, a year ago, when he made his infamous “two or three years” comment. On paper it appears that all, or most all, of the nine players who de-committed, may have been better prospects than those who filled their spots. If you fall behind even one Photo By Mary Ann Chastain recruiting class in the Southeastern Conference, you are in trouble. Plus, the comment was viewed as an acknowledgement by him he is not stubborn. When he found out he felt when he said at his first press conference have wished for this Hall of Fame coach, but that his age was an issue. couldn’t run his “Fun and Gun” offense, he “why not us?” and then watched in awe as he he leaves a formidable legacy that will be a The old “I’ll be here for you for the entire changed it to fit the players he had, and he made “us” relevant. challenge to match. four years,” pledge by head coaches should went and got a running back named Marcus It was not the movie script ending we would It’s STILL a great time to be a Gamecock! be way down the list of reasons a prospect Lattimore. He made staff changes and tried picks a school. It should be behind, “Will new approaches when one didn’t work, but he I like the guys I’ll be playing with? Is the had no answer for he issues this team faced. academic situation right for me? What about He used the word “inevitable” in his parting the campus, the city, the fan base?” Coaches remarks, and he realized that time had come often break that pledge before a signee takes from him, and rather than drag on as lamehis first step on campus, so the primary deci- duck coach, he made the move sooner rather sion should be about “Where do I want to than later. Steve Spurrier is not a quitter. He spend my college career, with or without, did not desert his team. He did the thing that football?” was best for his players and assistants. He reEven the bowl win over Miami to salvage a moved himself as a distraction, so they could winning record did little to raise the expecta- get a fresh start and move forward. In my tions for this season. With no experience at mind, it was a great example of selflessness. quarterback, an offensive line with injury There are two positives. This is an opporissues, and only one “name” receiver, the of- tunity for interim Head Coach Shawn Elliott, fense was expected to be a work in progress. to show what he can do (the win over Vandy The defensive players were making the was a good start), and it gives Athletics Ditransition to Coach Jon Hoke’s scheme, and rector Ray Tanner the opportunity to do a that always takes time, which they didn’t thorough search for the best man to replace a have. Bottom line: this is a legend. team with talent, but it is down Whatever you think about a notch or two from what it has the how and when of Coach been in recent years. Spurrier’s decision to resign, reAs for the timing, the key is member he led the Gamecocks in something Coach said in an to the greatest decade in their interview with The State the day history. Whether or not you are after his announcement. “Somea bettor, if someone had offered times the players need to hear a you 10,000-to-1 odds that South new voice.” With things going Carolina was going to have 10 badly, the players were no lonwinning seasons in a row, you ger being inspired by his words. would have put down a few In essence, he had lost his team. bucks. His influence of facilities Glenn Snyder One of the first things I and the university are priceless. Inside learned about the HBC, is that I will never forget the chill I Look 1421 Atlas Road I 776-4466 I www.jeffersmcgill.com I Serving the Midlands for over 50 years
26 • Spurs & Feathers
October 21, 2015
South Carolina Gamecocks # Name Pos. 1 Rico McWilliams CB 1 Deebo Samuel WR 3 Chris Lammons CB 3 D.J. Neal WR 4 Bryson Allen-Williams LB 4 Jalen Christian WR 5 Darius English DE 5 Terry Googer WR 6 Chris Moody FS 6 Connor Mitch QB 7 Al Harris Jr. CB 7 Shon Carson TB 8 Shamier Jeffery WR 8 Marquavius Lewis DE 9 Carlton Heard WR 9 Sherrod Pittman LB 10 Skai Moore LB 10 Perry Orth QB 11 T.J. Holloman LB 11 Pharoh Cooper WR 12 Ernest Hawkins LB 12 Michael Scarnecchia QB 13 Sean Kelly P 13 Jalen Henry LB 14 Shaq Davidson WR 14 Ali Groves FS 15 Matrick Belton WR 15 Antoine Wilder SS 16 Rashad Fenton CB 16 Gage Pucci QB 17 Chaz Elder SS 18 Cedrick Cooper DE 18 Danny Gordon QB 19 Landon Ard PK 19 Lorenzo Nunez QB 20 Joseph Charlton K/P 20 T.J. Gurley SPR 21 Isaiah Johnson FS 22 Brandon Wilds TB 23 Christian Owens WR 23 Larenz Bryant LB 24 D.J. Smith FS 25 Darin Smalls CB 25 A.J. Turner TB 26 Jasper Sasser SPR 27 Toure Boyd FS 28 Jonathan Walton LB 29 Elliott Fry PK 30 Daniel Fennell LB 30 Darius Paulk TB 32 Rod Talley TB 33 David Williams TB 34 Mon Denson TB 34 Scott Grant SS
Hgt. 5-11 6-0 5-10 6-3 6-1 5-9 6-6 6-4 6-1 6-3 5-11 5-8 6-1 6-3 6-0 6-0 6-2 6-1 6-2 5-11 6-1 6-4 5-10 5-10 5-11 5-10 6-4 5-10 5-10 6-0 6-2 6-2 6-0 5-9 6-3 6-5 5-10 6-0 6-2 6-5 6-0 5-11 5-11 5-10 6-0 5-11 6-0 6-0 6-3 5-8 5-10 6-1 5-10 5-10
Wgt. 186 202 183 193 233 177 225 226 215 211 163 206 189 264 182 225 218 203 231 207 224 210 189 207 175 183 209 185 180 195 209 248 203 182 210 180 199 206 220 204 220 195 190 185 207 180 235 164 220 198 201 222 222 178
Cl. RS JR RS FR SO FR SO FR RS JR RS FR RS JR RS SO SO RS SR RS SR JR RS SR FR JR RS JR RS JR JR SO RS FR RS JR FR RS FR RS SO RS JR FR FR FR RS JR RS SR RS FR RS SR FR FR SR RS SR RS SR FR JR SO FR FR RS SO JR JR JR FR RS JR RS SO RS SO FR RS FR
Hometown/High School/Last College Hampton, Ga./Lovejoy Inman, S.C./Chapman Lauderhill, Fla./Plantation Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson Ellenwood, Ga./Ceder Grove Damascus, Md./Damascus Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern Atlanta, Ga./Woodward Academy McDonough, Ga./Henry County Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas Scranton, S.C./Lake City St. Matthews, S.C./Calhoun County Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood/Hutchinson Athens, Ga./Clarke Central/Gardner-Webb Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast Cooper City, Fla./University Ponte Vedra, Fla/Florida State College Stone Mountain, Ga./St. Pius X Havelock, NC./Havelock Baltimore, Md./Dunbar/Hartnell College Fleming Island, Fla./Fleming Island Oakland, Fla./West Orange/FAU/Tallahassee JC Foley, Ala./Foley Gaffney, S.C./Gaffney Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson Columbia, S.C./Keenan/Hampton Riverdale, Ga./Hapeville Charter Miami, Fla./Miami Carol City Glendora, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga Union City, Ga./Banneker Lithonia, Ga./Lithonia Worthington, Ohio/Worthington/Miami (Ohio) Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison Columbia, S.C./A.C. Flora Cairo, Ga./Cairo Cary, N.C./Panther Creek/Kansas Blythewood, S.C./Blythewood Griffin, Ga./Griffin Charlotte, NC./Vance Marietta, Ga./Walton Summerville, S.C./Summerville Clifton, Va./Centreville Jacksonville, Fla./Wolfson Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Chaffey College Daphne, Ala./Bayside Academy Frisco, Texas/Prince of Peace Christian Loganville, Ga./Grayson Columbia, S.C./North Greenville Laurens, S.C./Laurens/Gardner-Webb Philadelphia, Pa./Imhotep Charter LaGrange, Ga./LaGrange Laurens, S.C./Laurens
Coaches Shawn Elliott - Interim Head Coach Deke Adams - Defensive Line Kirk Botkin - Linebackers Jon Hoke - Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs G.A. Mangus - Quarterbacks/Tight Ends Joe Robinson - Special Teams Coordinator Everette Sands - Running Backs Steve Spurrier Jr. - Co-Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator Lorenzo Ward - Co-Defensive Coordinator Travelle Wharton - Offensive Line Jamie Speronis - Associate AD/Football Operations Joey Blake - Director of Football Nutrition Joe Connolly - Director-Football Strength & Conditioning Robbie Liles - Director - Recruiting Operations Patrick Shine - Administrative Coordinator - Recruiting Scott Spurrier - Quality Control Coordinator (Offense) Grady Brown - Quality Control Coordinator (Defense) Shaq Wilson - Quality Control Coordinator (Defense) Brian Turk - Quality Control Coordinator (Special Teams)
# Name Pos. 35 Shannon James CB 39 Demetrius Smalls CB 39 Rivers Bedenbaugh FB 40 Jacob August TE 40 Jason Senn FS 41 Tyler Ragsdale LB 42 Jordan Diggs SS 43 Garrison Gist FB 43 Benji Russell SS 44 Gerald Dixon DE 44 Max Moorman FB 45 Reubyn Walker LB 45 Clayton Stadnik TE 46 Cedrick Malone LB 46 Jakob Huechtker LS 47 Drew Williams LS 48 Nick McGriff LS 48 Dexter Wideman DE 49 Devin Potter TB 49 Boosie Whitlow DE 51 Cody Waldrop OG 52 Phillip Dukes DT 55 David Johnson DE 55 Christian Pellage OT 57 Cory Helms OC 59 Logan Crane LS 63 Blake Camper OT 69 D.J. Park OT 70 Alan Knott OC 71 Brandon Shell OT 72 Donell Stanley OG 74 Mason Zandi OT 75 Will Sport OG 76 Mike Matulis OT 77 Malik Young OT 78 Zack Bailey OG 79 Trey Derouen OG 80 John Dixon WR 81 Hayden Hurst TE 82 Sean Odom WR 83 Jamari Smith CB 84 Kyle Markway TE 85 Michael Almond K/P 85 Devin Dingle WR 86 Kevin Crosby TE 87 Connor Redmond TE 88 Javon Charleston WR 89 Jerell Adams TE 90 Taylor Stallworth DT 91 Shameik Blackshear DE 92 Gerald Dixon, Jr. DT 93 Ulric Jones DT 94 Kelsey Griffin DT 95 Dante Sawyer DE 99 Abu Lamin DT
Hgt. 5-7 5-9 6-2 6-6 5-8 6-0 6-0 5-10 6-0 6-2 5-10 5-10 6-3 6-0 5-6 6-2 6-0 6-4 5-10 6-3 6-2 6-3 6-1 6-6 6-4 6-3 6-8 6-4 6-4 6-6 6-4 6-9 6-5 6-5 6-3 6-6 6-3 5-11 6-5 6-0 5-10 6-4 6-3 5-10 6-1 6-4 6-0 6-6 6-2 6-4 6-3 6-5 6-2 6-3 6-4
Wgt. 154 170 245 258 181 210 209 251 188 269 234 220 240 200 188 213 224 293 203 240 300 319 240 314 301 212 295 325 270 328 320 314 295 293 308 320 314 185 252 194 200 243 200 160 238 225 185 231 308 250 327 300 316 291 326
Cl. RS JR RS SO RS SO RS FR FR FR RS JR RS SR RS SO RS SR FR RS JR RS JR RS JR RS SO JR RS FR FR RS JR FR RS JR RS SR RS SO FR JR FR FR RS SO RS SO RS SR RS FR RS JR RS SR RS SR RS FR FR FR FR FR JR RS SO FR FR FR RS FR FR FR SR SO FR RS SR JR JR SO RS JR
Hometown/High School/Last College Florence, S.C./South Florence Bluffton, S.C./Bluffton Leesville, S.C./Lexington/Georgia Southern Columbia, S.C./Fork Union Military Beaufort, S.C./Beaufort Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Wando Fort Myers, Fla./Island Coast Rock Hill, S.C./Northwesterm Atlanta, Ga./Woodward Academy Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe Alpharetta, Ga./Milton Rock Hill, S.C./Florida A&M Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford Camden, S.C./Camden/Coastal Carolina Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe Irmo, S.C./Dutch Fork Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville Saluda, S.C./Saluda/Camden Military Granite Falls, N.C./South Caldwell Opelika, Ala./Opelika Seffner, Fla./Armwood Manning, S.C./Manning Lithonia, Ga./Lithonia Brooksville, Fla./Nature Coast Tech Alpharetta, Ga./Milton/Wake Forest Dartmouth, Mass./Dartmouth Virginia Beach, Va./Frank W. Cox Dillon, S.C./Dillon Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek Goose Creek, S.C./Goose Creek Floydale, S.C./Latta Chapin, S.C./Chapin Milton, Fla./Pace Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista Pelzer, S.C./Woodmont Summerville, S.C./Summerville, S.C. Lilburn, Ga./Parkview Alexandria, Va./Episcopal Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School Orangeburg, S.C./Orangeburg Prep Jacksonville, Fla./Fletcher St. Louis, Mo./St. John Vianney North Augusta, S.C./Westminster Summerville, S.C./Cane Bay Bamberg, S.C./Bamberg-Ehrhardt Lawrenceville, Ga./Archer Gurnee, Ill./Warren Pinewood, S.C./Scott’s Branch Mobile, Ala./Murphy Bluffton, S.C./Bluffton Rock Hill, S.C./Northwestern Oxford, Ala./Butler (Kan.) Community College Buford, Ga./Mill Creek Suwanee, Ga./East Mississippi C.C. Fayetteville, N.C./Fort Scott C.C.
Spurs & Feathers • 27
October 21, 2015
Texas A&M Aggies
# Name Pos. 1 De’Vante Harris DB 1 Kyler Murray QB 2 Speedy Noil WR 3 Christian Kirk WR 4 Noel Ellis DB 4 Damion Ratley WR 5 Tra Carson RB 5 Daylon Mack DL 6 Donovan Wilson DB 7 Jake Hubenak QB 7 Richard Moore LB 8 Nick Harvey DB 9 Qualen Cunningham DL 9 Ricky Seals-Jones WR 10 Kyle Allen QB 10 Daeshon Hall DL 11 Josh Reynolds WR 11 Josh Walker LB 12 Sam Moeller DB 13 Reggie Chevis LB 13 Jamal Jeffery WR 14 Justin Evans DB 14 Conner McQueen QB 15 Myles Garrett DL 15 Frank Iheanacho WR 16 Kobe Miller QB 16 Kemah Siverand WR 16 Dwaine Thomas LB 17 Alex Sezer Jr. DB 17 Jordan Traylor QB 18 Edward Pope WR 18 Larry Pryor DB 19 DeShawnCapers-Smith DB 19 Janson Moore QB 19 Jeremy Tabuyo WR 20 James White RB 21 Keith Ford RB 21 Brandon Williams DB/RB 22 Kwame Etwi RB 23 Sabian Holmes WR 23 Armani Watts DB 24 Taylor Bertolet PLK 25 Kendall Bussey RB 25 Priest Willis DB 26 Devonta Burns DB 27 Brice Dolezal RB 27 Roney Elam DB 28 Victor Davis DB 29 Jay Bradford RB 30 Justin Dunning DB 31 Claude George LB 32 Will Paulhill DB 32 Kevin Wilson DB 33 Shaan Washington LB 34 Blaine Townsend RB 35 Riley Garner LB 36 Daniel LaCamera PK/P 37 Taylor Stump WR 38 Drew Kaser P 39 Austin English FB
Kevin Sumlin John Chavis Jake Spavital Jeff Banks Dave Christensen Mark Hagen Larry Jackson Terry Joseph Clarence McKinney Aaron Moorehead Terry Price Michael Byrne Jeff Joseph Chris Smith Jeremy Springer Mikado Hinson Justin Moore Matt Fontenot Scott Johnston Gary Reynolds Matt Watson BJ Denker
Ht. 5-11 5-11 5-11 5-11 5-10 6-1 6-0 6-1 6-1 6-3 6-0 5-10 6-3 6-5 6-3 6-6 6-4 6-1 5-11 6-1 5-9 6-1 5-10 6-5 6-6 6-2 6-1 6-2 5-9 6-1 6-4 6-0 6-0 5-11 5-11 6-0 5-11 6-0 5-9 5-11 5-11 5-9 5-9 6-2 6-0 5-9 6-2 6-0 5-11 6-4 6-2 5-10 6-1 6-3 6-0 6-3 6-4 5-10 6-3 5-11
Wt. 185 188 192 200 185 190 235 335 205 195 215 180 240 240 210 260 195 240 195 290 180 195 175 262 230 210 195 220 180 195 170 200 185 188 192 220 215 205 190 170 200 188 200 205 211 180 175 200 196 220 235 192 205 235 220 230 210 180 215 221
Yr. Sr. Fr. So. Fr. So. So. Sr. Fr. So. So. Fr. So. So. So. So. Jr. Jr. So. Sr. So. So. Jr. Jr. So. So. Fr. Fr. Fr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Fr. Fr. So. Jr. So. Fr. Sr. Fr. Sr. So. Sr. Fr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Fr. So. Fr. Fr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Fr. Fr. So. Sr. So.
Hometown (Previous School) Mesquite, Texas / Horn Allen, Texas / Allen New Orleans, La. / Edna Karr Scottsdale, Ariz. / Saguaro New Orleans, La. / Karr Yoakum, Texas / Blinn College Texarkana, Texas / Liberty Eylau Oregon Gladewater, Texas / Gladewater Shreveport, La. / Woodlawn Georgetown, Texas / Blinn JC Cedar Hill, Texas / Cedar Hill Lancaster, Texas / Richmond Travis Chandler, Ariz. / Hamilton Sealy, Texas / Sealy Scottsdale, Ariz. / Desert Mountain Seattle, Wash. / Lancaster [TX] San Antonio, Texas / Tyler JC Gilmer, Texas / Gilmer San Antonio, Texas / Antonian Prep Houston, Texas / Sharpstown Lufkin, Texas / Lufkin Wiggins, Miss. / Stone Gulf Coast [MS] CC Klein, Texas / Klein Oak Arlington, Texas / Martin Houston, Texas / Westside College Station, Texas / A&M Consolidated Cypress, Texas / Cypress Ridge Boutte, La. / Hahnville Orange, Texas / Little Cypress-Mauriceville Gilmer, Texas / Gilmer Carthage, Texas / Carthage Sulphur Springs, Texas / Sulphur Springs New Orleans, La. / Warren Easton Henderson, Texas / Henderson Honolulu, Hawai’i / St. Louis Pearland, Texas / Dawson Cypress, Texas / Oklahoma Brookshire, Texas / Oklahoma Conroe, Texas / Oak Ridge Southlake, Texas / Carroll Forney, Texas / North Forney Reading, Pa. / Exeter Township New Orleans, La. / Newman Tempe, Ariz. / Marcos De Niza UCLA Arlington, Texas / Martin Austin, Texas / Westlake Newton, Texas / Newton Rosenberg, Texas / Terry Splendora, Texas / Splendora Whitehouse, Texas / Whitehouse Lafayette, La. / Hutchinson [KS] CC Conroe, Texas / Conroe Daphne, Ala. / Daphne Alexandria, La. / Alexandria Senior Wichita Falls, Texas / Rider College Station, Texas / A&M Consolidated Tarpon Springs, Fla. / East Lake Humble, Texas / Atascocita Strongsville, Ohio / Walsh Jesuit Tomball, Texas / Concordia Lutheran
Head Coach Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends Offensive Line/Run Game Coordinator Defensive Tackles Director of Football Sports Performance Secondary Running Backs Wide Receivers Defensive Ends Graduate Assistant (Offense) Quality Control (Defense) Quality Control (Offense) Quality Control (Special Teams) Director of Player Development Associate A.D./Football Assistant Director of Football Operations Director of Recruiting Director of Football Operations Head Equipment Manager Graduate Assistant (Offense)
# Name Pos. 40 Jarrett Johnson DL 40 Christian Robertson DS 41 Brandon Alexander TE 41 Peter Grady PLK 42 Otaro Alaka LB 42 Josch Motley WR 45 Austin Frey DS 45 Cullen Gillaspia LB 46 A.J. Hilliard LB 46 Shane Tripucka P 47 Caden Smith TE 48 Landis Durham LB 48 Dreagan Patterson WR 49 Taylor Martinez LB 50 Tank Davis OL 50 Mac Labhart LB 52 Tristan Horton LB 53 Ben Huskinson DL 54 Jake Blount LB 55 Justin Manning DL 56 Mike Matthews OL 58 Matthew Kirchner DE 59 Isaac Flores DL 61 Braden Meador OL 62 Chad Loitz OL 63 Ryan Lindblade OL 64 Erik McCoy OL 65 Avery Gennesy OL 66 Nathan Kellman OL 67 Drew Beakey OL 68 Justin Dworaczyk OL 69 Brayden Talbert OL 70 Connor Lanfear OL 71 Trevor Elbert OL 72 Jermaine Eluemunor OL 73 Jeremiah Stuckey OL 74 Germain Ifedi OL 75 Koda Martin OL 77 J.J. Gustafson OL 78 Keaton Sutherland OL 79 Joseph Cheek OL 81 Jalyn Judkins WR 82 Boone Niederhofer WR 83 Kyle Whitley WR 83 Alonzo Williams DL 84 Morgan Whatley WR 85 Grant Gustafson TE 85 Reggie Rusk WR 86 David Darley DE 87 Greer Shetler TE 88 Kingsley Keke DL 88 Bryce Reeves WR 89 Jordan Davis TE 90 DeshawnWashington DL 92 Zaycoven Henderson DL 94 Tanner Schorp DL 95 Julien Obioha DL 98 Hardreck Walker DL 99 James Lockhart DL
Ht. 6-3 5-11 6-6 5-11 6-3 5-11 6-1 6-2 6-2 6-3 6-3 6-3 6-0 6-0 6-4 6-0 5-9 6-3 6-4 6-1 6-2 6-3 6-3 6-6 6-1 6-7 6-4 6-5 6-3 6-3 6-6 6-5 6-6 6-6 6-4 6-4 6-6 6-6 6-5 6-5 6-7 6-2 6-0 6-2 6-4 6-2 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-4 6-3 6-2 6-4 6-3 6-1 6-3 6-4 6-2 6-3
Wt. 260 230 230 220 231 188 225 230 245 210 260 235 198 219 305 230 185 230 240 300 290 205 300 320 325 308 311 305 314 290 285 307 315 320 315 305 335 300 285 310 305 225 207 215 305 200 235 171 240 210 319 195 251 285 297 250 280 305 260
Yr. So. Fr. Sr. Jr. So. So. Fr. Fr. Jr. So. Sr. Fr. Jr. Jr. Fr. Fr. Fr. So. Jr. So. Sr. Fr. Jr. Jr. So. Jr. Fr. Jr. Sr. Fr. Fr. Fr. Fr. Fr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Fr. So. Fr. Sr. So. Jr. Fr. Sr. Fr. Fr. Fr. So. Fr. Fr. Fr. Fr. Fr. So. So. Sr. Jr. Fr.
Hometown (Previous School) Katy, Texas / Seven Lakes Grapevine, Texas / Grapevine Brenham, Texas / Brenham Cedar Park, Texas / Vista Ridge Houston, Texas / Cypress Falls College Station, Texas / A&M Consolidated Tomball, Texas Katy, Texas / Taylor Klein, Texas / TCU Allen, Texas / Allen Roscoe, Texas / Roscoe Plano, Texas / East Amarillo, Texas / Bushland Fort Bend, Texas / Travis Garland, Texas / Lakeview Centennial Dallas, Texas / St. Mark’s The Woodlands, Texas / The Woodlands Houston, Texas / Strake Jesuit Flower Mound, Texas / Tarleton State Dallas, Texas / Kimball Missouri City, Texas / Elkins Plano, Texas / Plano Santa Rosa, Texas / Santa Rosa Montgomery, Texas / Montgomery Austin, Texas / McNeil Richmond, Texas / Foster Lufkin, Texas / Lufkin Southaven, Miss. / East Mississippi CC Corona, Calif. / Roosevelt Houston, Texas / Lutheran South Academy Houston, Texas / Langham Creek Montgomery, Texas / Montgomery Buda, Texas / Buda Rockwall, Texas / Heath Denville, N.J. / Lackawanna [PA] College Pacifica, Calif. / City College of San Francisco Houston, Texas / Westside Manvel, Texas / Manvel Dallas, Texas / Jesuit Flower Mound, Texas / Marcus Seguin, Texas / Seguin Angleton, Texas / Angleton San Antonio, Texas / Churchill Troy, Texas / Troy Abbeville, La. / Long Beach [Calif.] Poly Houston, Texas / Memorial Fort Worth, Texas / All Saints Dallas, Texas / South Oak Cliff Westlake Village, Calif. / Oaks Christian San Antonio, Texas / Alamo Heights Richmond, Texas / George Ranch Graham, Texas / Graham Clear Lake, Texas / Clear Lake Nederland, Texas / Nederland Longview, Texas / Longview San Antonio, Texas / Reagan New Orleans, La. / Brother Martin Spring, Texas / Westfield Ennis, Texas / Ennis
28 • Spurs & Feathers
October 21, 2015
photo by kyle heck
‘First 18’ recipients gather for celebration of women’s athletics by kyle heck Reporter
She sent several emails to the athletic department to see if they were curious. Sure enough, they were and on Friday, Oct. 16, evBack in 1975, the implementation of Title IX ery member of the “First 18” showed up at the allowed women athletes to be put on scholar- Rice Athletics Center for a reception. ship. It was a monumental event and one that “It kind of hit me when I saw the year,” SuSouth Carolina immediately took advantage ber said. “75-76? 15-16? We’re coming up on of, offering 18 scholarships, three to each of 40 years. At my age, if you don’t just go ahead the six women sports on campus, beginning and put it out there to the universe, sometimes with the 1975-76 year. things don’t happen. So I said what could it While the playing conditions were often less hurt just to write an email.” than ideal and the athletes usually had to get Suber was amazed to see the turnout for to competitions on their own, they were grate- the special evening and weekend overall. ful that they were getting a scholarship to play The “First 18” was also honored during a the sport they loved. commemorative brick ceremony outside of Now 40 years later, Martha Suber, a former Williams-Brice Stadium before the Gamewomen’s basketball player at South Carocock win over Vanderbilt. They were also lina, decided she wanted to try and get the recognized on the field during the Homecomrecipients of the “First 18” scholarships back ing win. together for a celebration of the four decade “The best way I could describe it is I’ve sort anniversary. of been like a kid at Christmas,” former soft-
ball, basketball and tennis player Nona Kerr said. “It’s just been amazing. You wouldn’t think anything like this was ever going to happen. You remember being here and how special it was, but never in a million years did I think we would all get to come back together.” Athletics director Ray Tanner loved the idea as soon as he heard it. “This is special,” Tanner said. “When this was initially brought forward, I said, ‘this is great, let’s do it,’ not realizing that we were going to get all 18 back. It is exciting and a celebration of the history of women’s sports at the University of South Carolina and we get a chance to celebrate when it all began.” “I think it’s one of the most amazing things we’ve done for women’s athletics because I think where things are now for our athletes, it’s at an all-time peak as far as full scholarships and the way we travel and the facilities
that we have,” South Carolina volleyball head coach Scott Swanson said. “I feel like the people who started it 40 years ago paved the way for all female athletes now. I think we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.” Suber was excited that all 18 of the recipients were able to come back and is looking forward to an exciting and memorable weekend. “It’s been a year coming and I can’t believe that it’s finally here now,” Suber said. “Everyone is having a good time. I never dreamed it would be this big. My original vision was we might be at a basketball game and walk out on the court and wave at everybody and walk back and sit down. I never really thought about the red carpet treatment that we’ve gotten and that’s what they’ve done for us. We feel like rockstars this weekend.” For stories and video features on the “First 18,” please visit http://www.itsgreattobeagamecock.com/first18/.
Spurs & Feathers • 29
October 21, 2015
South Carolina/Vanderbilt postgame notes and quotes south carolina athletics media relations
get better. We’ve got to get better as coaches and we’ve got to get better as players, we’ve got to be able to push the ball in and we’ve got to be able to line up and get the ball over. That’s what we’ve got to do. We understand the work that we have to do. I think our team is up for it and I think they’re really excited. It was a heck of a win.”
GENERAL NOTES • The game marked the first for Shawn Elliot as South Carolina’s interim head coach following the resignation of Steve Spurrier. He is now 1-0 as a head coach. • South Carolina defeated Vanderbilt 19-10 on homecoming to secure its first SEC win of the season and improve to 2-1 at home. • Carolina is 24-4 in its last 28 home games. • The Gamecocks wore black jerseys with black pants for the first time since November 1, 2014, against Tennessee. • Captains for South Carolina for the game: junior linebackers Skai Moore and T.J. Holloman, senior safety Isaiah Johnson, junior wide receiver Pharoh Cooper and senior offensive linemen Will Sport and Mike Matulis. • The game marked the twenty-fifth gridiron meeting between South Carolina and Vanderbilt. With today’s win, the Gamecocks now hold a 21-4 lead in the all-time series, including wins in seven-straight contests. • Attendance was 75,159.
On former athletes showing up for Gamecock walk… “They knew what we were up against. I got the message out and said we need some support. These guys (our team) needed a pat on the back and to see those guys show up and embrace us when we got off that bus was unbelievable. I wish I could shake every one of their hands.”
OFFENSIVE NOTES • Junior quarterback Perry Orth made his third-career start in a Gamecock uniform. He went 17-of-28 for 272 yards, one touchdown and one interception. His 272 passing yards is a career high, and his 28 pass attempts ties a career high. • Pharoh Cooper’s 78-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter was his 14th career touchdown and the longest reception of the season for a Gamecock. He finished the game with seven receptions for 160 yards and the touchdown. He has gone over 100 yards receiving four times this season and eight times in his career. Today’s totals move him into sole possession of 10th place in career touchdowns, 10th in career receiving yards and tied for 11th in career receptions. • Senior tailback Brandon Wilds returned to action after missing three games with bruised ribs. He topped 100 yards rushing for the sixth time in his career, running 24 times for 119 yards and hauling in two catches for eight yards. DEFENSIVE NOTES
photo by allen sharpe
• Junior placekicker Elliot Fry connected on field goals of 47- and 19-yards in the second quarter to move him past Ryan Succop into 2nd all-time in career points in South Carolina history. He would later tie the school record for field goal attempts in a game with six, connecting on tries from 47-, 31-, 19- and 22-yards. After four field goals and a PAT, he has compiled 261 career points.
South Carolina interim head football coach Shawn Elliott Opening statement • South Carolina forced five Vanderbilt turnovers, the most in “I just want to start out by saying this was one heck of a team a game since also forcing five against South Alabama on Nov. win. Monday night we had no clue what was happening to tell 22, 2014. The Gamecocks are now 3-0 when they win the turn- you the truth. It kind of had us blindsided just like it did the over battle in 2015. Their plus-3 margin was tied for the largest rest of the country, the University and the state. I told our guys of the season (North Carolina, 9/3/15). in there that, ‘you had your back against, you had your backs • Skai Moore led the team in tackles with 11. He also had an against the wall all week,’ they never batted an eye, they kept interception, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, a sack and a fighting, they kept playing and they did everything we asked pass breakup. of them. I said it’s just like this great state. You have the trag• Sophomore linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams and sophoedies here, the floods and you see people rebuild, helping one more cornerback Chris Lammons each recorded their first another, fighting to get back what they had and that’s exactly career interceptions. what we did today. I thought our defense stepped up to the • Junior defensive end Marquavius Lewis recorded a sack for plate, played an exceptional ballgame, other than a personal the second-consecutive game. He finished with four tackles, a foul. Offensively we were a little inconsistent. I haven’t really sack, two tackles for loss and a pass breakup. looked at the stats, it was like we’d take two steps forward and • T.J. Holloman was flagged for targeting and ejected late in one step back on each series throughout the game and we never the second quarter after breaking up a pass. He recorded three could put back-to-back-to-back plays together. I thought we tackles, a fumble recovery for 11 yards and a QB hurry prior to moved the football well, I thought we were pretty confident in the ejection. what we were doing and it was just one mishap after another. We had 424 total yards and 19 points and that doesn’t correlate, SPECIAL TEAM NOTES it really doesn’t. We struggled in the red zone and we’ve got to
Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason Opening Statement… “First of all I would like to congratulate Coach [Shawn] Elliott. I thought his team played hard. They made plays when they needed to. We didn’t make enough plays. For us we just have to continue to grind. When you look at this game, it was a game of missed opportunities. There were too many turnovers on our side of the ball. Five turnovers in somebody else’s house, that’s a tough task when you talk about wins. The change in momentum in this game was probably the Pharoh Cooper slant play for the touchdown. We gave it right back to them, and then we shut them down for a field goal attempt. Our football team continues to shoot ourselves in the foot in terms of the turnovers, and tonight the penalties on the offensive side of the ball were too many. We have to be better all the way around. I thought we were solid in special teams and made the field what it was. Our overall play was not good enough to win. You can’t go on the road and turn the ball over five times and expect to win the game in somebody else’s house. We have to play better. We will play better. We’re going to get it fixed.” Category 1st Downs Total Yards Passing Rushing Penalties-Yards 3rd Down Conversions 4th Down Conversions Turnovers Time of Possession Passing Leaders South Carolina COM Orth 17 Vanderbilt COM McCrary 21 Rushing Leaders South Carolina CAR Wilds 24 Williams 7 Vanderbilt CAR Sims 6 Webb 16 Receiving Leaders South Carolina REC Cooper 7 Neal 4 Vanderbilt REC Scheu 6 Sims 3
SC VU 17 20 424 332 272 177 152 155 6-39 6-53 2-13 6-15 0-0 0-1 2 5 27:10 32:50 ATT 28 ATT 42
YDS 272 YDS 177
TD 1 TD 1
INT 1 INT 3
YDS 119 49 YDS 104 58
AVG 5.0 7.0 AVG 17.3 3.6
TD 0 0 TD 0 0
LG 24 18 LG 41 21
YDS 160 49 YDS 59 22
AVG 22.9 12.3 AVG 9.8 7.3
TD 1 0 TD 0 0
LG 78 28 LG 17 13
30 • Spurs & Feathers
October 21, 2015
Spurrier leaves lasting memories Last week I wrote an article here about how weird the 2015 football season has been for South Carolina. Little did I know it was just the tip of the iceberg as things took a full blown left turn on Monday night when news broke that Steve Spurrier planned to retire immediately and that his time as Head Ball Coach of the Gamecocks was over. I had planned on writing an article on Frank Martin’s basketball team this coming week but that will have to wait at least seven more days. The events of last week have left me reflecting on emotions that I have never quite felt regarding Bill Gunter football. There are things Contributing in life that you will Writer always remember, certain birthdays growing up, probably your wedding day, the days that your children are born and then sporting moments of your favorite team. For me, the day Lou Holtz was hired was a memorable day, I was in high school and remember a friend’s mother suggesting we skip school that day to head to Williams-Brice Stadium for the announcement. However, as much as I remember
that day, it pales in comparison to the day that Stephen Orr Spurrier was announced as the next head football coach for the Gamecocks. Growing up and following football in the 1990s Spurrier was an idol of mine. The football coach of the Florida Gators who believed in beating out the brains of his opponent and then in the postgame press conference making sure they knew another beating would be coming the following season. Spurrier telling the Gamecock fan base “why not us?” was a great moment to which we all agreed, “Yeah! Why not us, why can’t we win and be successful also?” Then Spurrier went about teaching us how the Gamecock football program could not only win but win in dominant fashion. On Tuesday it was all over though, a strange way to go out but oddly, a fitting way for this season to move forward. What better than a strange midseason retirement during an already weird season. For the record, I think Spurrier went out on his own terms which I admire. I have thought since the Georgia game that a change was needed in the football program and that this, was likely going to be Spurrier’s final season. Still, it was hard to envision what this past Saturday would be like when the Gamecocks took the field without the Head Ball Coach. Consider for a minute that I am 33 years of age. For over half of my lifetime, I have watched Hall of Fame coaches in Holtz and Spurrier roam the sideline and call the shots for South Carolina. For some of you Gamecocks that have lived
longer than I have, you had grown somewhat accustomed to the revolving coaches door over at Williams-Brice Stadium. That door had produced four coaches in a 18-year period dating from 1980 to 1998. Coaching changes were occurring nearly every five years meaning stability was something Gamecock fans never grew to know. It has been odd to move through the week thinking about the future of South Carolina football. Who will be the next coach, how will the program be run, questions of that nature are constantly asked and I do not have the answers. Waiting for those answers can be a little frustrating as there is something unique and exciting when a coaching change takes place. Things had become a little off-balance over the past 19 games and the schedule reflected it as the Gamecocks had just a 9-10 record. Still, while waiting for the next Gamecocks ball coach, it is fun to reflect on what Spurrier accomplished and taught Gamecock fans throughout his 11-year run in Columbia. During the press conference, Spurrier was asked what his favorite accomplishment with the Gamecocks was. His answer was the 18-game home winning streak that place over the span of three years. There were some incredible victories during that time and it highlighted what South Carolina football and Gamecock fans at Williams-Brice Stadium is capable of and that, I believe, is what Spurrier taught the Gamecocks the most.
Never settle for being second best in the SEC Eastern Division or in the overall big picture of the SEC. The Gamecocks can compete at a high level and with the best teams not just in the conference but also in the nation. Tuesday, October 13, 2015 will be another day that I never forget. It marked the end of a special era for Gamecock fans and I am glad I was at the press conference to see Spurrier go out. Watching him operate the program and bring it to another level over these past 12 years has been special and I appreciate the opportunity to have covered it. The future began on Saturday with Shawn Elliott gaining his first victory as a head coach. It was a surreal moment as Elliott led the Gamecocks out of the tunnel holding the visor high to honor Spurrier. It was a new era and like most of the days this week, one that I will likely never forget.
In life we like to picture the “end” and how we will be remembered. I think back to my own expectations, be it in high school, college or in the NFL it rarely ends the way we would like. My own personal dreams of playing 10+ years and winning multiple championship didn’t come true. That big press conference and parade that was to ensue didn’t happen. What happens is usually along the lines of what happened Monday when we all got the news that the HBC was resigning. We reached the point where we know ... “It’s over.” Usually it’s not a singular thing that tells you your time is up, it’s a collection of little things that add up, eventually to showing us that the end is here. For the HBC the desire to leave “on the shoulder pads of the players” just wasn’t going to happen. “Yesterday I was sort of a liability” As much as we hated the timing of the resignation, it was just time for coach to vacate. He understood that it would be foolish to “grind” or “push through” these last games in an effort to make things better. We in society love to use those examples of enduring uphill struggles or pushing through pain to prove in some way that we are strong because we “pushed through it.” Usually unconsciously “grinding” through a sit-
uation grinds the person up with it. There’s nothing valiant about trying to endure a dysfunctional situation, when you know the solution isn’t “pressing on.” I grew up in sports and they teach that “don’t quit” attitude and for years this topic was black and white for me, either you hung on or you quit and that made you a “quitter.” Now I think this is some of the worst advice someone can throw around, especially how we lump it into every life situation. For me I realized in Langston Moore the latter part of Contributing my NFL career Writer that enduring, not quitting was pointless, no matter how much I tried to push through physically mentally I was exhausted. Trying to fake it until I make it, made me loathe the sport and people I once loved. It made me sour and
turned me into someone who resented playing the game I loved. Eventually my body gave way and made the decision for me via injury. Be glad it happened... Spurrier’s presence will loom over Carolina’s history much like the billboard outside of Williams -Brice stadium. He came here 10+ years ago to follow another legendary coach, something we never thought would happen to our program. He came in and gave us the Spurrier we wanted, the guy who was confident and cocky because he knew he and his teams could beat you. We got the Spurrier who exuded confidence and swagger, who made being a Gamecock cool nationwide. Our players, assistant coaches, and fans took on this persona, giving Carolina what they needed our own era of success that can’t be denied. We know the wins have been inconsistent as we look over the history of Carolina football program but the HBC gave us consistency during his tenure. Finishing as the winningest coach in Carolina history, 18-game home winning streak, SEC east championship plus many many more memories we have to be thankful for our time together. We could sit here and discuss the many memories we’ve had together over the past decade with the
HBC, but for me the biggest is him being a part of our history. Yeah he may be a Gator at heart and that’s ok, but there is no denying the affinity and happiness he had being here in Columbia and being a Gamecock. Rarely can we leave on our own terms they way we envision but Spurrier gave us one last play before he resigned. And that was doing the right thing for the university and the program by stepping aside. I respect this decision because it takes guts to be honest with yourself when you are done. It takes leadership to stand up and say that “I’m not getting it done anymore,” I’ll step aside so the next person can try and do better. Trust me it’s never the right time to say goodbye or to end an era, but holding on to something that isn’t working is worse. I can guarantee there are plenty of people reading this article wanting to quit something in their life but they are still trying to “hold on” or “not quit” just yet. But in holding on we don’t allow ourselves to become more than what we are currently. So much like Spurrier at the podium last Tuesday, smile look at those around you and “be happy it happened and not sad it’s over.” Forever to thee....
photo by jenny dilworth
Moore: Don’t be sad it’s over, be glad it happened
Spurs & Feathers • 31
October 21, 2015
It was a great run for the HBC
Over the years, it was pretty commonplace that South Carolina would replace their head football coach every six years or so. Sometimes less, sometimes more, but I grew up expecting it to happen. I was not entirely surprised with the announcement of Coach Spurrier’s resigning. His comments made the week before about Missouri knowing our offensive plays and his tone made me think that we were getting close. Here was the offensive genius admitting that we only had two running plays against Mizzou and, yeah, they probably did figure it out. I could not believe what I was hearing from the once feared “Evil Genius.” Yet, there I sat Monday evening stunned with the news. I actually had a hard time sleeping. My wife would tell you that is never a problem for me, but I kept waking up and thinking maybe it was just a dream. Not a dream and as they say, all good things must come to end and, so it is with the Spurrier Era. His 11th season and the most wins in South Carolina history. I suppose the suddenness of the resigning and the end of coaching being done so abruptly was surprising at first, but after listening to the news conference, it shouldn’t have been. He always said when the time came, he would end it and end it Coach did. It’s not the first time a coach resigned in mid season. Coach Paul Dietzel announced his resignation after a loss in the second game of the a whole lot worse than Coach Spurrier leaving, year in 1974 against Duke. He did go on and but the overall numbness of hearing of both finish the year. That team went on to finish 4-7, was really similar. though they did win four out of their last six. Sparky Woods followed. He was head coach I can remember sitting in the fairgrounds for five seasons. His first was probably his best parking lot listening to the post game show team and the season-ending injury to Todd when Coach Dietzel made the announcement. Ellis against NC State put 1989 in a tailspin. If People started blowing their horns in celebra- Todd had finished the season, Carolina would tion. I was 14 at the time and wondered why have won at least eight games, maybe nine fans would be celebrating. I am still left to and played in a bowl and possibly won the first wonder. bowl in USC history. Woods’ career may have Jim Carlen followed for seven years. I still been different which I believe he would tell believe he got the short end of the deal when he you that himself. was fired in 1981. I was working with the athBrad Scott took the next five years. In Scott’s letic office as a student intern and was floored first year the Gamecocks won their first-ever by the announcement. bowl game. It also was the highlight of his Richard Bell followed for a career at USC. The last year was year. That didn’t go so well as one of the worst in USC history we were 4-7 in 1982. He refused with a 1-10 overall record and to fire assistants and was not 0-8 in the SEC. asked back. I guess that’s putting That was followed by the it nicely. arrival of the legendary head Then came the man in black. coach Lou Holtz. The exciteJoe Morrison was head coach ment around his arrival was for six years with the highlight probably the greatest to that being 1984 and the 10-2 season. point. His first year was 1999 My feeling on hearing of Coach and the team went 0-11. It was Spurrier’s resignation took me probably the best winless team Ed Girardeau back to the night that Coach in the history of college football, Contributing Morrison died. but that’s not a title in which to Editor Obviously, the sudden death is get too excited.
photo by allen sharpe
But that was followed by the best two years in Gamecock football history (at the time). In 2000 Carolina went 8-4 followed by the 9-3 2001 team with wins in two Outback Bowls in a row. Holtz was unable to duplicate those teams again and after six years he was out. Holtz announced his resignation and finished out against the infamous game in Clemson that had an ugly brawl and a resounding loss. It was not a pretty ending. Thus, maybe Coach Spurrier’s ending his career with USC in mid-season is not the worst idea in the world. Lame duck coaches don’t fair so well. As Coach said, “It’s time for a new start.” Looking back in 10-plus seasons there were three 11-2 seasons in a row. The 2013 season ended with South Carolina ranked #4 in the nation. USC beat #1 Alabama, Clemson a record five times in a row, Georgia four out of five times; several top five teams, and Florida and Tennessee multiple times. The Gamecocks also had 18 home wins in a row, at the time the longest streak in the nation and in 2010 won the SEC East. All of that and winning the last four bowl games over Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Miami. All of these, among other things, are first at the University of South Carolina. As I run through all of that, I guess it should make sense why it’s disappointing that its over. But
what a great run! It was surreal to watch Gameday on ESPN Saturday morning and there was Coach on the set in Michigan. He was great, which is what I would expect, but it certainly didn’t seem right. If you missed it, at the end they picked the biggest games of the day and when asked who the winner of the USC at Notre Dame game would be, Spurrier said, “USC is playing Vanderbilt in Columbia and the Gamecocks will get the win!” It completely confused Lee Corso and the set, but it was a great shout out to us. And Shawn Elliott and the Gamecocks pulled off the win over Vanderbilt. It wasn’t the prettiest in terms of play on the field, but it was a win and quite frankly, I was somewhat resigned after the LSU game that we wouldn’t win an SEC game. Fortunately, I was wrong. So we have a week off and can plan for the rest of the season. The fan side of me says, “Don’t worry about the away games, see if we can get ready and, in particular, beat The Citadel and Clemson to end the season.” Reality is for that to happen there needs to be, at the very least, improvement and great effort against all of these teams in the final games. A new era has begun with a win. Let’s see if we can get a few more!
32 â€˘ Spurs & Feathers
October 21, 2015