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november 25, 2015 • Volume 37 • Issue 24 • $1.50

New indoor facility continues to show commitment to Gamecock student-athletes Postmaster: Time sensitive material. Please expedite

Publication mailed from Columbia on Monday, Nov. 23

SEC Nation analysts impressed with resiliency of Palmetto State

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 (803) 335-1400 Ext. 500 Brian Hand Executive Editor (803) 335-1399 Ext. 506 Ed Girardeau Contributing Editor/ Advertising Account Executive (803) 646-9807 Dee Taylor Advertising Director (803) 644-2371 Kathy Boyette Advertising Sales Manager (803) 295-3654 Brooks Rogers Advertising Representative (803) 446-4022 Reporter Kyle Heck Photographers Allen Sharpe and Jenny Dilworth Cover Design Brian Hand (photo by Allen Sharpe) 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.

November 25, 2015

Board of Directors meeting a gathering of great Gamecocks by brian hand Executive Editor At various points throughout a calendar year, the Gamecock Club will host their Board of Directors to discuss varying issues and the latest of those such meetings was held on Friday, Nov. 20, at Seawell’s in Columbia. During the Board of Directors meetings, Gamecock Club chapter presidents and others are in town to first break into different groups such as the marketing/president’s councils, the budget committee and the executive council. This year’s different breakout groupings took place an hour before the entire grouping of the Board of Directors met in the main banquet hall at Seawell’s to have lunch and then to go over each of the council meetings and much more. In the main banquet hall each particular committee member head gave a presentation about their talks along with accepting the budget for the Gamecock Club. The Board of Directors meetings are something that executive director Patrick McFarland and the Gamecock Club look forward to because it is a gathering of great Gamecocks. This particular Board of Directors meeting was special in that it for the first time came a day before a home football game. In the past, they had not been able due to various circumstances to have the meetings before a football game, but they had been able to host them the day before a basketball game before. Every year, the Board of Directors have a kickoff meeting in August where they usually have the opportunity to attend a closed Gamecock football practice. This past season, they held their annual kickoff event

photo by brian hand

with a catered meal by Chris Fulmer and the Ultimate Tailgaters before a Gamecock football scrimmage at Williams-Brice Stadium. “We really appreciate what our Gamecock Club Board of Directors do for us,” McFar-

land said. “Just like all years, this year there is a great deal going on with the Gamecock Club. We couldn’t be where we are though as far as record numbers without their tremendous efforts and support.”

Gamecock Club information/upcoming events Colleton County Gamecock Club Annual Pep Rally Party

EVENT: The Colleton County Gamecock Club Annual Pep Rally Party will be Monday, November 23 from 6-8 p.m. at the Walterboro Elks Lodge. CONTACT: Come out and join the fun! There will be a DJ, snacks, Cocky and a cash bar. For more info contact Lori Beard at 843.909.1919 or

The Palmetto Bowl Block Party in Aiken

When: Friday, November 27, 2015 Time: 5-10 p.m. Tickets: You can purchase a ticket in Aiken at Aiken Drug, Fox and Lady, Unique Expressions or at Lominicks Pharmacy. Tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the gate the day of the event. The Palmetto Bowl Block Party will be a celebration of South Carolina football and the longest uninterrupted football rivalry in the south. There will be live music, food and activities for all. For more information, please visit

Spurs & Feathers • 3

November 25, 2015

The Citadel shocks the Gamecocks by brian hand Executive Editor

South Carolina knew that it would be a tough assignment in taking on one of the top teams in the FCS that just happened to run an unfamiliar offense. That triple-option attack of The Citadel gave the Gamecocks fits as the 350 yards rushing by the Bulldogs led them to shock South Carolina, 23-22, at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 21. The loss obviously was extremely tough on South Carolina interim head coach Shawn Elliott and the Gamecocks. “It was a tough day. It was a tough day on all of us and it will be a tough night,” Elliott said after the loss. “We have to do something because we have a heck of a Clemson team coming in here ready to play.” The Gamecocks would receive the football first in the game, but nothing would materialize, forcing South Carolina to punt the football to the Bulldogs. The Citadel would take advantage just two plays later as Cam Jackson took the option pitch from quarterback Dominique Allen and then rushed to the end zone from 59 yards out to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead with 12:26 remaining in the first quarter. The Gamecocks would respond on their next offensive possession with Elliott Fry connecting on a 36-yard field goal that made the score 7-3 in favor of The Citadel. The Fry field goal finished off a six-play, 52-yard drive that lasted 2:34. On The Citadel’s second offensive possession of the game shortly thereafter the Bulldogs would make it 14-3 in their favor when b-back Tyler Renew rushed in from seven yards out. The Citadel touchdown capped off a 13-play, 75-yard drive that lasted 6:21. South Carolina would add another field goal to start the second quarter with a 25-yard field goal by Fry completing a 14-play drive that encompassed 60 yards and took 5:36 off the clock. The Fry field goal pulled the Gamecocks to within eight at 14-6 with 12:55 left in the first half. The Gamecocks would add on another field goal with 4:12 left in the opening half when Fry’s 40-yard field goal completed a 12-play, 70-yard drive for South Carolina. The field goal that finished off a drive that lasted 4:23 pulled South Carolina to within five at 14-9. With 6:22 left in the third quarter the Gamecocks would capture their first lead of the game at 16-14. Running back Brandon Wilds scored the touchdown when out of the shotgun, Gamecock quarterback Perry Orth handed the ball off to Wilds, who then scored from one yard out on third and goal. The Wilds touchdown was the final play of an 11-play, 80-yard drive that encompassed 5:09. The big

photo by allen sharpe

play of the drive that set up the touchdown run by Wilds was a 47-yard pass from Orth to Pharoh Cooper on third and seven from the 50-yard line. The Citadel would take the lead back at 17-16 with 10:26 left in the game when Bulldogs’ kicker Eric Goins connected on a 48-yard field goal. The field goal ended a 12-play, 62-yard drive that took 6:37 off the game clock for The Citadel. The 48-yard field goal was a careerlong for Goins. The Gamecocks would take the lead back quickly thereafter with Orth finding a streaking Cooper for a 41-yard touchdown reception with 8:40 to play in the contest. The touchdown pulled the Gamecocks ahead of the Bulldogs, 22-17, and concluded a drive that went 74 yards in five plays, but only took 1:46 off the clock. South Carolina would go for two next, but the attempt would fail to leave the Gamecocks up by five. The Citadel would take the lead back almost as quick on their next offensive possession with Renew rushing in from 56 yards out on a dive play. The 56-yard touchdown run was

the final play of a 75-yard drive in five plays that lasted 2:33. The Citadel would go for the two-point conversion as well, but it would fail to give the Bulldogs just the slim 23-22 advantage with 6:07 remaining. The one-point advantage would be enough though with The Citadel holding on for the shocking win. The Gamecocks looked like they would take the win on their final drive, but Orth’s 94-yard touchdown pass to Cooper was negated due to the officials noting that not all 11 Gamecocks were set before the snap. South Carolina finished with a 439-387 total yards advantage over The Citadel in their loss. Orth was 28-for-43 with 367 yards passing. He threw for one touchdown. Two Gamecocks finished with over 100 yards receiving with Cooper (191 yards) and Adams (105) both eclipsing the mark. Cooper caught the ball 11 times for the 191 yards, while Adams finished with 105 yards receiving on six catches. Brandon Wilds was the leading rusher for the Gamecocks with 40 yards on 16 carries.

He had the one touchdown run. Gerald Dixon led the Gamecocks in their loss with 13 tackles, which included seven solo stops. The Citadel only threw the football three times with Allen going 2-of-3 for 37 yards passing. Allen also rushed the football 17 times for 25 yards. Two Bulldogs finished with over 100 yards rushing with Renew leading the way with 174 yards rushing on 23 carries to go along with his two touchdown runs. Jackson rushed for 106 yards on 12 carries for The Citadel. He had one touchdown run. South Carolina next turns its full attention to Clemson for their annual rivalry showdown with the Tigers. The game is set to kick off at noon on Saturday, Nov. 28, at Williams-Brice Stadium. The game will either be on ESPN or ESPN2. With no bowl game on the horizon, Orth and the Gamecocks know the opportunity against the top-ranked Tigers could be a huge one. “That’s all we got,” Orth said. “We’re going to give it our all and see what happens.”

4 • Spurs & Feathers

November 25, 2015

photo by allen sharpe

Cooper continues strong year in loss to The Citadel by brian hand Executive Editor

seemingly found him for a game-winning 94-yard touchdown. But it was not to be as the officials decreed that not all Pharoh Cooper had a great day against Gamecocks were set on the play, resultThe Citadel. But once again, despite ing in an illegal procedure call to negate his best efforts, the Gamecocks fell just the touchdown. short in another close loss. “I heard the crowd cheering and then “My individual stats were good,” the it died down,” Cooper said. “I looked junior wide receiver said after the Game- on the big screen and everyone was still cocks’ 23-22 loss. “But we lost the game. standing there; no one was running toThat’s the only thing that really matward the end zone to celebrate with me. ters.” I had a clue right there when I looked Cooper concluded the one-point loss up at the board before I crossed the goal to The Citadel having hauled in a career line.” high-tying 11 receptions for a seasonAlways one to lead by example more high 191 yards receiving. It marked the than by being vocal, Cooper says his ninth time in his career that he corralled thoughts right now are definitely not on over 100 yards receiving in a contest. whether or not he should declare for the Cooper’s efforts on the day were all that NFL after the season, but on South Caromuch more impressive in that he injured lina’s rival Clemson. his foot on the third play of the game. “Still leading by example, practicing Noticeably not himself for much of the every day 100 percent,” Cooper said of game, Cooper still did everything in his his plans to help the Gamecocks heading power to try and lift the Gamecocks past into the Clemson game. “As a vocal part, the Bulldogs with even Gamecock great I just have to tell them to come together. Marcus Lattimore noting It is some guys’ last game. on Twitter about Cooper, It’s their last game to play “the fight in you doesn’t their heart out. We need to go unnoticed.” get the young guys riled In fact, it looked as if he up for the seniors that are had led the Gamecocks Pharoh Cooper leaving. We are going to to victory as junior quarKeenanSuggs try and have a great week terback Perry Orth had Player of the Week of practice.”

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Spurs & Feathers • 5

November 25, 2015

Previewing the Clemson football team by kyle heck Reporter

photo by allen sharpe

nicely for Clemson. Junior linebacker Ben Boulware is probably the leader of the Tiger defense and both he and fellow linebacker B.J. Goodson are around the ball a lot. Mackensie Alexander is the Tigers’ top cornerback and will likely be responsible for trying to contain South Carolina star wide receiver Pharoh Cooper. Winners of five of the last six meetings overall, the Gamecocks will be trying to defeat Clemson for the fourth straight time in Columbia. The Tigers haven’t walked away from Williams-Brice Stadium with a win since the 2007 season. Kickoff is scheduled for noon and can be seen nationally on ESPN or ESPN2.

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This time of year can mean only one thing in South Carolina - the annual Clemson-South Carolina rivalry game is upon us. This time, the Gamecock get to host the game at Williams-Brice Stadium, where they will be looking for some revenge against the Tigers. After winning five straight games in the series, Clemson was able to defeat South Carolina at home, 35-17, last year. As has been the case the last few years, the Tigers come into the game with a prolific offense capable of scoring a lot of points. Clemson is led by sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has put together a nice season in his first full year as a starter. Tailback Wayne Gallman is the leader in the Tiger backfield, averaging around 100 rushing yards per game. The Gamecocks must be wary of Watson on the ground as well, as he is capable of doing some damage with his feet as well as his arm. Clemson loves getting the ball in wide receiver Artavis Scott’s hands and they will be sure to try and do that again in the rivalry game after the sophomore’s big game against the Gamecocks last year. Scott is far and away the leading receiver for the Tigers in terms of receptions this season and also leads the Tigers in receiving yards. A couple of other receivers to watch out for are Charone Peake and Deon Cain. The latter is a particularly dangerous deep threat with his speed allowing him to outrun a lot of defenders. Watson also loves to use his tight ends, in particular junior Jordan Leggett, who is a dangerous threat in the red zone. As far as the defense is concerned, Clemson lost a lot of starters from last years top-ranked unit. However, the Tigers have still been able to be successful for the most part on that side of that ball this year. The revamped defensive line is led by defensive end Shaq Lawson, who leads the Tigers in tackles for loss and sacks. On the other side of the line, junior Kevin Dodd has also filled in

6 • Spurs & Feathers

November 25, 2015

Columbia Tip-Off Club offers indepth look into Gamecock basketball by brian hand Executive Editor

have been supporting Martin and South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley strongly ever since. The passion and energy for South Carolina The Columbia Tip-Off Club seeks to develop, men’s and women’s basketball in the midlands is promote and grow interest in both basketball obviously extremely high right now. programs at the University of South Carolina “It’s really a long time coming to see the fever,” and this year they will have six meetings with the Dennis Powell, a former South Carolina men’s first set for Dec. 8 in the McGuire Room at the basketball player who played for Frank McGuire Colonial Life Arena. and was part of the ACC championship-winning “With the Tip-Off Club it’s all about being a team in 1971, said. support group for men’s and women’s basketball Powell is the president of the Columbia Tip-Off at South Carolina,” Powell said. “This year we Club, which has been supporting the South Caro- decided to have six meetings and we will first lina basketball programs for over have a reception for members on 50 years. Dec. 8. Guests of members that The Columbia Tip-Off Club would like to attend the event it has been through a number of will cost them just $25. It will be different phases over the years, a cocktail reception with heavy but around the third year of the Hors d’Oeuvres and adult beverDarrin Horn era it went dormant. ages. Coach Martin will speak, That changed when South CaroCoach Staley will speak and their lina men’s basketball head coach staffs will be there. We’ll have a All Gamecock basketball tour of the locker rooms given by Frank Martin arrived in Columbia and under Powell’s leadership, coverage sponsored by the athletic department.” the club was restarted and they Yesterdays All of the Columbia Tip-Off

Club meetings are scheduled around South Carolina home basketball games with the first meeting of the year slated for the day before the men’s basketball home game with Vanderbilt on Jan. 8, 2016 (cocktail hour from 6-8 p.m.). The meetings are special in that as well as hearing from South Carolina coaches those in attendance also get to hear from visiting SEC head coaches like Vanderbilt’s Kevin Stallings. In addition, on Tuesday, Jan. 26 (luncheon at noon) new Mississippi State head coach Ben Howland will speak and on Saturday, Jan. 30 (brunch at 10 a.m.) new Alabama head coach Avery Johnson will speak to those in attendance. On Thursday, Feb. 18 (luncheon at noon) new Georgia women’s basketball head coach Joni Taylor will talk to the crowd before new Tennessee and former Clemson and Texas head coach Rick Barnes speaks on Wednesday, Feb. 24 (luncheon at noon). “There is a lot of energy and it really will be a great time to be around these coaches and to see what’s going on in the SEC,” Powell said. “It will be exciting.” The Columbia Tip-Off Club is a great op-

photo by allen sharpe

portunity for South Carolina basketball fans to get a chance to hear from Martin and Staley and to help support both basketball programs. An Individual membership costs $125 while a Spur membership, which admits three, costs $350. A Garnet and Black membership allows for eight attendees and costs $1,000. Additional attendees or guests are just $25 per meeting. For more information, please email the Columbia Tip-Off Club at columbiatipoffclub@gmail. com. You can call the Columbia Tip-Off Club at 803-767-1407. You can also follow the Columbia Tip-Off Club on Twitter at @ColaTipOffClub.

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Spurs & Feathers • 7

November 25, 2015

photo by brian hand

Pictured are members of the 1969 South Carolina football ACC Championship-winning team at the official ribbon cutting ceremony for Ken Wheat Field on Friday, Nov. 20.

Indoor facility continues to show commitment to student-athletes By kyle heck Reporter

The 111,000-square-foot climate-controlled facility cost $14.32 million and contains a full, regulation-sized AstroTurf football It’s no secret that South Carolina is doing field, observation decks, a reception area, everything it can to improve facilities across bathrooms, training room and other storage the board for many sports. Whether it’s a areas. There is also a 30 feet wide safety zone new softball stadium, new tennis and beach around the field, ensuring the well-being of volleyball complexes or a transformation the players. around the football stadium, Athletics DirecThe indoor facility is just another step Tantor Ray Tanner has been busy transforming ner and the athletics administration has taken the University and the overall student-athlete to ensure that South Carolina stays among experience. the country’s elite when it comes to facilities. On Thursday, Nov. 19, Tanner gave local “This is a very special facility that we media the opportunity to get their first look have,” Tanner said. “We’re very excited about inside the new state-of-the-art indoor practice this facility and what it does for our football facility by Gamecock Park. While the footprogram.” ball team has been able to practice inside for The impact isn’t just limited to the football the last couple months, Tanner said that the team, however, as Tanner mentioned that University just recently got the green light other teams on campus will be able to use the to start letting more people see the finished facility. product. The surface is named “Ken Wheat Field”

in honor of the former Gamecock, who was a member of the 1969 ACC Championshipwinning team. Tanner said that everyone who has gotten a chance to see the indoor facility has come away impressed. “From the people that have been in here, a lot of the professional scouts that have stopped by and other football people from around the country, it’s one of the more impressive facilities (they’ve seen) and we’re still going to do some work in here,” Tanner said. Some of that other work Tanner mentioned is graphics that are scheduled to go up on the walls of the facility. Whether it’s logos or pictures of current and/or former Gamecocks, Tanner said that is yet to be determined. However, he hopes that work will be completed by the spring or summer of 2016. While the indoor practice facility was a

major goal that Tanner and South Carolina wanted to accomplish, that does not mean the work is finished. He and his staff want to continue to show everyone around the country that South Carolina is committed to providing its athletes with the best experience possible, both on and off the playing field. “As you can tell around the athletic department with all of the facilities, we’ve continued to try to put our student-athletes in a position to be successful as they compete,” Tanner said. “You go back to when the Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center was built, that was the academic commitment for our student-athletes. It’s their home, it’s their community and we’ve continued to try and add locker rooms, improvements, fields and now the indoor facility for our football program. It’s very special and it’s part of the commitment that you make as an administration to your student-athletes.”

8 • Spurs & Feathers

November 25, 2015

Holbrook on his team: ‘I expect them to perform at a high level’ by kyle heck Reporter This fall, South Carolina head baseball coach Chad Holbrook was focusing on trying to improve his team. After a disappointing season in 2014, the Gamecocks went out and got the second-ranked recruiting class in the nation. On paper that class, along with the solid core of returning players, put the Gamecocks in great shape to improve. In his press conference on Wednesday, Nov. 18, that wrapped up the fall season, Holbrook saw a lot of things he wanted to see. “The fall was a good one for us,” Holbrook said. “I was certainly encouraged by the way a lot of our pitchers threw the ball. There’s a lot of things that didn’t take place in the fall because our whole team was rarely out there. We did have some injuries and we had to sit some guys out, some important guys too. But we were able to get enough guys out there to battle and fight and compete against each other. I think I have a good idea now of what we have going into the spring.” Players like outfielders Dom Thompson-Williams, Gene Cone and pitcher Taylor Widener are some of the ones that had to sit out during fall practices and scrimmages. In addition, highly touted catcher Chris Cullen sat out. As far as the biggest differences with this year’s team, Holbrook said the improved depth of the pitching staff stood out along with the quality behind the plate at catcher. Last but not least, Holbrook is really excited about the athleticism this year’s Gamecocks have. “I’ve always been a coach that loves outfielders that can run and track (balls) down,” Holbrook said. “I think all coaches like that, but I feel like I want that to be a staple of our team “There’s some differences between this each and every year. When we had Jackie (Bradley Jr.) and (Whit) Merrifield and (Evan) year’s group and last year’s group, that’s apparent and easy for me to see,” Holbrook said. Marzilli, you just felt like nothing dropped. I “For that reason, I feel extremely comfortable have that same feeling with this group. You knowing that we’ve got some really good put them on a timer and watch them run, kids that have really worked hard and I think you’ll be impressed.” While pitching was the stothey’re good baseball playry of the fall, Holbrook is coners. I expect them to perform fident that his offense will be at a high level. I said at the able to do some good things beginning of the fall, I think once the season rolls around. they could be a team that While there were some guys could play among the nation’s that struggled, the players that elite and be right there in the All Gamecock baseball are likely going to play big conversation with all the other coverage sponsored by roles on the team excelled and big boys in college baseball. I DiPrato’s posted good numbers. expect nothing less than that,

photo by allen sharpe

to be honest with you.” Along with Thompson-Williams, a couple of other newcomers showed great flashes during the fall. Junior college infielder Jonah Bride had perhaps the best fall of any player on the team with Holbrook stating the Oklahoma native hit .395 during the fall. Outfielders Danny Blair and TJ Hopkins and infielder LT Tolbert also had standout performances during the fall. Another junior college transfer, sophomore catcher John Jones, impressed as well and he and Hunter Taylor caught every inning of every scrimmage during the fall. Not that the fall practice is over, the focus now is on the players’ strength and conditioning. There will still be some baseball activi-

ties, but that will be limited over the break. Holbrook is looking forward to his team having a great winter break and returning in January ready to hit the ground running once again. “We’ve got to keep improving,” Holbrook said. “November, December and January are important. To go through the long SEC season and the long college baseball season you need to have some strength and you need to have some stamina. We’re working hard in the weight room right now with (strength and conditioning) coach (Billy) Anderson.There’s going to be some challenging physical fitness days between now and when we start team practice for those guys.”

Spurs & Feathers • 9

November 25, 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



SEC East



7-1 10-1 6-0 3-1 301 159 W4




09/19/ Georgia # ........................... Athens, Ga............................. L, 52-20


5-3 8-3

6-1 2-1 305 196 W3


4-3 7-4

4-2 2-2 359 226 W4

09/26/15...........vs. UCF...................................... Columbia, S.C......................W, 31-14


2-5 4-7

3-3 1-4 154 199 L1


2-6 5-6

4-3 1-3 272 291 W1


1-6 5-6

3-3 1-3 160 166 L1

South Carolina

1-7 3-8

2-3 0-6 231 293 L4

SEC West


6-1 10-1 6-1 3-0 385 159 W8

10/03/ Missouri #........................... Columbia, Mo....................... L, 24-10 10/10/15...........vs. LSU #................................... Baton Rouge, La.................. L, 45-24 10/17/15...........vs. Vanderbilt #...................... Columbia, S.C......................W, 19-10 10/31/ Texas A&M #...................... College Station, Texas....... L, 35-28





11/07/ Tennessee #....................... Knoxville, Tenn..................... L, 27-24

Ole Miss

5-2 8-3

6-1 2-2 445 247 W1


4-3 6-5

3-3 3-1 394 330 L1

11/14/15...........vs. Florida #............................. Columbia, S.C....................... L, 24-14


4-3 7-3

6-1 2-2 319 257 L3

Mississippi State

4-3 8-3

4-2 4-1 369 236 W1

Texas A&M

4-3 8-3

5-2 1-1 333 240 W2


2-5 6-5

3-3 2-2 313 299 W1

11/21/15...........vs. The Citadel....................... Columbia, S.C....................... L, 23-22 11/28/15...........vs. Clemson............................ Columbia, S.C........................ 12 p.m.


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10 • Spurs & Feathers

November 25, 2015

Annual lettermen golf tournament another great success by kyle heck Reporter

“We never thought that a football game would get moved,” former South Carolina punter and kicker Courtney Leavitt said before the annual University of South Carolina Association of Lettermen golf tournament on Friday, Nov. 20. The annual event was scheduled to take place the weekend of the LSU home football game, but the floods that crippled the state around that time changed everything. The LSU game was moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and the Association of Lettermen had to start over and plan the golf tournament all over again. That’s why it was fitting that there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and temperatures were right around 70 degrees at Cobblestone Park Golf Club on the day of the rescheduled tournament. “Everybody was able to come out here and it’s a beautiful day out here,” USC Association of Lettermen President Ryan Brewer said before everyone teed off. Brewer said that around 100-120 people were still able to come out for the tournament, which is an impressive number considering the rescheduled date. Leavitt is the main organizer of the tournament, so that meant he had a lot of extra work to do over the last couple of months. However, during the trying times he was glad to see former Gamecocks come together and support each other. “Everyone was so patient,” Leavitt said. “A lot of folks, even though they registered for the first tournament and said that they couldn’t make it in, they said just keep their money anyway and make it go back to the association. So it’s great, it’s great to see the turnout that we have.” Former South Carolina women’s golfer Meredith Taylor was one of those that wasn’t able to play at the rescheduled date, but she decided she wanted to come help out anyway. She was at Cobblestone before the tournament started, helping people sign in and get ready. “Everyone coming back, it’s always a good time,” Taylor said. “It’s not so much about the golf, it’s more fellowship with everybody. It’s a great event.” Another unique thing about everyone coming together for the tournament is the fact that so many generations of Gamecocks are represented. Young and old, it doesn’t matter. “Guys that just graduated to guys that played

photo by kyle heck

in the sixties, or even before that,” Brewer said. “It’s just great to see everyone here and have the camaraderie and everyone back together.” Gregg Crabb is a perfect example of that. A member of the 1969 ACC Championship

football team, Crabb, who currently lives in Georgia, comes back four or five times a year for these kinds of things so he can see former teammates and other Gamecocks. His son, Kyle, was a backup quarterback during the Lou Holtz tenure and he connected with mem-

bers of that generation as well. “It means family, it really does,” Crabb said of being a Gamecock. “Because of our lasting relationships, you can see these guys once a year (or) you can see them every 20 years and it’s still there.”

Spurs & Feathers • 11

November 25, 2015

South Carolina women’s tennis utilizes fall to get as ready as possible for spring by brian hand Executive Editor Kevin Epley knows it’s pretty much impossible. The South Carolina women’s tennis head coach realizes that when it comes to relaying to freshmen during the fall just how tough the SEC is during the spring it is pretty much an implausible concept to fully comprehend. In fact, he perfectly likens it to trying to explain to someone what it is like to become a parent for the first time. “They know it’s going to be intense,” Epley said. “They know it’s going to be tough and all of those things, but they don’t really know.” Epley poses these thoughts because the Gamecocks during the fall of the 2015-16 athletic year are trying to acclimate five freshmen for what the 2016 spring season is really going to be like. “We just had a lot of question marks (entering the fall),” Epley said. “We had a lot of question marks with not only the players that we were going to be bringing in and how good they were, but also the standard question marks associated with how were the freshmen going to adjust, which is kicked off by our morning madness at the beginning of the year where they’re working harder than they ever have before.” During South Carolina’s fall events the freshmen progressed for the most part the way Epley had hoped entering the fall. “For the most part on both points from an ability standpoint we’re seeing that our freshmen are going to have the ability to compete at a high level in this conference and from a maturity standpoint in terms of adjusting to the workload and everything else, they’ve done a pretty good job,” Epley said. “How this is going to translate next semester, I don’t know. It’s very much a question mark. We’re still a very, very young team. As far as building blocks go for the years to come everything looks great.” In addition to trying to incorporate the freshmen, Epley’s Gamecocks also had to deal with “the most injuries that we’ve seen in a year” during the fall. Some of the injuries will unfortunately last until the beginning of the spring campaign in January, so Epley is making sure all of his student-athletes understand just how important the break between the fall and spring campaigns is for the team.

south carolina athletics media relations

“We have to convey how important it is to them that they stay in shape and they hit a lot of tennis balls because we hit the ground running when they get back,” Epley said. “They have to take it to heart and work through the conditioning programs they are given. There has to be a little bit of ownership on their side of things. They’ve got to be driven. With the amount of injuries that we do have it’s important that the ones that do have injuries get the necessary rehab. That’s a big thing.” South Carolina starts the spring portion of its season quickly after the start of the new semester with matches against South Alabama (11 a.m.) and Furman (4 p.m.) on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. For a program that has been to 21 straight NCAA Tournaments, Epley understands that no matter what it’s important his team also understands the standards of the program. To this end, Epley and the Gamecocks are having a team dinner on Dec. 4 to go over the expectations and the goals for the spring. “We’re going to go over all our goals for the season and what the expectations are,” Epley said. “We’ve got to go for it. We’ve got a standard to uphold here and we’re still responsible for upholding that standard. We’re going to have fight our butts off and we’re going to have to do it with whoever we have out there one way or the other.”


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12 • Spurs & Feathers

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Spurs & Feathers • 13

November 25, 2015

photo by kyle heck

SEC Nation analysts talk about resiliency of South Carolina

by kyle heck Reporter

the tough times during the flood. As they have done their research and heard the stories of those affected, the hosts and Originally, SEC Nation was scheduled to analysts of SEC Nation have been impressed be in Columbia for South Carolina’s game by the resiliency of the Palmetto State and the against LSU on Oct. 10. However, the week city of Columbia. before, the state was hit hard by a destruc“It’s been amazing,” former LSU and NFL tive flood and the game was moved to Baton star Marcus Spears said. “I’m from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Because of that, SEC Rouge, so I remember when Katrina hapNation was forced to move to a different loca- pened in New Orleans and the resiliency of tion as well. people really shows up in catastrophic things. More than a month later, the pregame show It’s a terrible way to have to show your musmade the scheduled trip to Columbia. tard as a city or a state, but it’s always incredWhile the show had its usual preview of ible to see the response.” South Carolina’s game and other games During the tough time for South Carolina, across the SEC, there was also a focus on schools from all over the SEC helped out how the University and the state responded to the state, whether it was Vanderbilt sending

truckloads of water or LSU going out of their way to make Gamecock fans feel at home in Baton Rouge. Things like that show that the SEC is more than football. “They see the stuff that is bigger than football,” former Florida quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow said. “When a tragedy hits, you can really see that this is more important. I think that’s what so many people have really been able to notice about the state of South Carolina and I think the surrounding areas have really rallied to help.” “We always talk so much about the passion of the fans in this conference, but I think that extends to the passion of this conference as a community,” said reporter Kaylee Hartung, who will be hosting SEC Nation at

Gamecock Park. “As crazy as things can get on gameday, the fact is that we’re all in this together.” It’s been a busy year in South Carolina for other reasons as well with Steve Spurrier resigning as head coach of the Gamecocks. While it will be difficult to replace such a legendary coach, the trio of analysts felt confident that South Carolina will bounce back. They recognize all of the facility improvements, the SEC affiliation and last but certainly not least, the tremendous fan base. “This school offers a lot, just like a lot of schools in the SEC,” Spears said. “It’s a great place to play, a great campus, I’ve enjoyed my time here. I remember playing here, that stadium rocks.”

14 • Spurs & Feathers

November 25, 2015

South Carolina Gamecocks

Recruiting Round-up By Phil Kornblut

QB Brandon McIlwain of Newtown, PA is the key to USC’s 2016 class and he remains locked in despite the departure of Steve Spurrier as head coach. Other schools have tried to turn him over the past few weeks, but McIlwain has remained true to the word he gave to Spurrier and GA Mangus last New Year’s Eve. McIlwain also is very close to getting school district approval to graduate early which would allow him to enroll early, but even with the approval McIlwain said it’s not a definite Phil Kornblut he will do that because Contributing of baseball. He’s Writer thinking about his senior season and his pro options. “I’m still getting the interest (from scouts), I’m still getting recruited and it’s still an option I’m keeping open,” McIlwain said. If McIlwain enrolls early at USC, it would take him out of the pro baseball draft this summer. “It’s more than that, too,” he explained. “It’s staying and enjoying my senior year, so it’s not just the draft. I’m either enrolling early or I’m staying and playing baseball for my school my senior year. It’s more than just the draft. It’s more of the experiences I would miss and stuff like that.” But, McIlwain said he’s still leaning towards enrolling early and is just waiting on everything to be approved and signed by his principal. As for what has been going on at USC, McIlwain said he hasn’t put much thought into it because of his season which ended last Friday. He’d be happy if Mangus is retained by the new coach but said it’s not a deal breaker if he is not. “Coach Mangus is the coach who recruited me and who I have the best relationship with,” he said. “It does change things because he’s a big reason why I came. There are obviously many reasons why I committed to South Carolina, but I would love to see him stay if possible. It would definitely be big for me if he could stay.” McIlwain is familiar with Houston coach Tom Herman who is believed to be the front runner for the job. He was recruited by Ohio State when Herman was offensive coordinator there and spent time with him on a visit. USC’s coaching staff continues to recruit hard though the coaches don’t know their futures with the program. About 100 pros-

pects were on hand for the Florida game and more will be in for the final two games against The Citadel and Clemson. One of those planning to be in this past Saturday is DE Sadarius Hutcherson of Huntingdon, TN. And a commitment to the Gamecocks is heavy on his mind. “They are at the top of my list,” Hutcherson said. “I’m kind of committed to South Carolina. Just say I’m close to committing. I’ve got to visit first. I’ve talked to them and everything and they are like I am. They want me to visit first. I know it’s going to be nice. I heard Columbia is a nice city.” This will be Hutcherson’s first close up look at the Gamecocks and the school and he believes USC will meet the criteria he has in mind for his school. “I’m looking to play in the best conference in the nation,” he said. “I want to learn what position I will be playing, defensive end or tight end. They say South Carolina is rebuilding. I don’t believe that. They’ve been playing in some tough games and they’ve had a chance to win every one of them. I’m looking to have some early playing time.” Hutcherson said he’s been in touch with USC interim head coach Shawn Elliott and believes he wants him to join the Gamecocks. “He has told me they would take my commitment,” Hutcherson said. “I hope he ends up as the head coach at the end of the day. Right now I believe he’s put them on the right track. My plan is to commit this month. If I’m really excited during the visit I could commit or it could come later in the month so I can make sure I’m straight with my family.” Hutcherson said he’s also looking at Tennessee, Arizona State, Memphis, Louisville, Massachusetts and Illinois. He’s also thinking about visits to Tennessee and Memphis soon. But he said USC is the clear leader. This season he has 45 tackles and six sacks. WR Dre Massey of Holmes JC, MS is a major USC target and the Gamecocks are in regular contact with him. Massey is watching the coaching search at USC with a lot of interest and his recruiting plans have been impacted by that. He originally was going to visit USC for the Florida game but that’s been pushed back to December 4th. “The new coach is supposed to be coming in around the time I visit or at least they’ll know who it’s going to be,” Massey said. “It will be good for me to go ahead and meet him before I make my decision and at least know what’s going on with the program.” Massey has taken

an official visit to Cincinnati and will visit Oklahoma November 21st, Florida November 28th and Auburn December 11th. He currently calls Florida his favorite. Massey, who is from Mauldin, said his mom will come in to Columbia for his official visit. And he has some specific things he wants to see on each of his trips. “A good atmosphere and basically their plan for me,” he said. “How they plan on using me and how much playing time and is it a good fit.” Massey said everyone is recruiting him as a slot receiver though there’s some talk of using him in the backfield as well. This season at Holmes, Massey was named first team all-region and all state. He had 21 catches for 548 yards and six touchdowns and rushed for 452 yards and three scores. He will sign during the midyear transfer signing period which begins December 16th. Recruiting has not been at the top of the list in recent months with Dutch Fork ATH Stephen Davis Jr. because of the season ending right knee injury he suffered in week two. Davis had surgery a few weeks after the injury and has been going thru rehab since then. He’s now at the point where he can put away his crutches and walk with a brace on the knee. Davis was also able to get back into the recruiting game once again. “I’ve been thinking this whole time and I’m just taking that slow,” Davis said. “Just trying to recover from my surgery.” Davis said he’s been talking to USC, Auburn and a little bit with Florida State and was at USC Saturday. He has not scheduled any official visits. Davis said he’s been talking with Everette Sands and Grady Brown from USC and they are showing him strong interest. “I hope they keep their coaching staff, but if they don’t I’m still going to look into South Carolina big. I’m feeling them a lot right now. It’s home. It’s not far away from where I live. Now that I’ve had my injury, they stuck with me throughout everything since the eighth grade and they are still here and I just feel like they want me bad. I’m still in the hunt, I’m still keeping my options open, but so far I like them.” Davis, of course, was once committed to Auburn. He’s trying to take things slowly this time and keep his options open. He doesn’t plan to make his decision until the last week in January prior to Signing day. He’s being recruited for defensive back, receiver and running back. DB Isaiah Stallings of Fayetteville,

NC has been to USC, Clemson, NC State and Duke for games this season. Stallings heard recently from USC recruiter Jon Hoke and he said the Gamecocks want him to come back for another game. He’s thinking he might return for the Clemson game. “Coach Hoke was telling me how I would fit into their program and how they do things,” he said. “The defense that they run is similar to the defense my high school runs.” Like all the recruits USC is talking to now, Stallings is having to look cautiously because of the coaching change. But he’s still interested in hearing what interim leader Shawn Elliott has to say. “I just want to make sure I get down there to meet Coach Elliott,” he said. “It affects me but not in a bad way. I just need to get down there and see everything.” Stallings is focused on USC, Clemson, NC State, Ole Miss and Duke at this point. He does plan to take some official visits before he makes his decision. DE Jordan Smith of Lithonia, GA has been committed to USC since July, but with the Gamecocks’ staff in transition, Smith is looking around his coach confirmed. Smith was at Tennessee when the Vols played the Gamecocks. Lithonia coach Marcus Jelks said Smith might not stick with his pledge. “I’m not really sure,” Jelks said. “He’s still kind of looking around. He graduates in December and with the uncertainty about who the guy will be, he’s looking around to make sure he makes the right decision.” Tennessee, Florida and Mississippi State have been in contact with Smith according to Jelks. Jelks said Smith has not scheduled an official visit with the Gamecocks at this point and he thinks he will take official visits to Tennessee, Florida and Mississippi State. USC OL commitment Will Putnam of Harrisburg, NC has been to games at other places since Steve Spurrier’s resignation but he is not wavering on his pledge. “I’m still a strong commitment to South Carolina,” he said. “Like other recruits have done I went and visited some other games and some other campuses just as an insurance policy to have something to fall back on. Right now it’s a strong commitment.” Virginia Tech and NC State are the two other schools showing Putnam the strongest interest outside of USC. Putnam said once the new coach and staff are in place, he will go in and meet with them. “See if they like me and I like them, that’s the

gel with them.” He’s looking at the Clemson weekend for his official visit. DE Cecil Stallings of Tucker, GA also is a Gamecock commitment and he said he’s still 100% with that pledge. “I feel good about it,” Stalling said adding he can’t see himself changing his plans at this point. He has been in touch with Lorenzo Ward. Stallings has not been to a game at USC this season. Ole Miss has been in touch recently about coming in for a visit but he hasn’t scheduled one. USC OL commitment Lloyd Cushenberry plans to take an official visit with Mississippi State while Gamecock commitments DB JJ Givens and RB CJ Freeman are scheduled for official visits to Wisconsin this coming weekend. Freeman was at USC Saturday. LB TJ Brunson of Richland Northeast remains committed to Louisville and visited there earlier this month. He was back at USC for the Florida game and will return for Clemson. Brunson said he’s still talking with Purdue as well. DL Naquan Jones of Evanston, IL will take an unofficial visit to Wisconsin this Saturday. He is planning to take an official visit to USC and said he will be talking with the Gamecocks about a good date for him to visit. He said he also is looking at Ole Miss, Florida, Nebraska and Michigan State for official visits but that’s not an absolute list and could change. He once was committed to the Spartans. TE Jordan Giberti of Gainesville, FL made an unofficial visit to USC for the Florida game. “Went well. Short trip but was fun,” is what Giberti had to say about the visit. USC commitment WR Kelvin Harmon of Palmyra, NJ said he remains firmly committed to the Gamecocks. He has already taken his official visit. DB Dreshun Miller of Marietta, GA was at USC Saturday and is hopeful of eventually landing an offer from the Gamecocks. Miller has been talking with USC recruiter GA Mangus and is optimistic his new senior film will impress him and the staff. Miller has offers from Coastal Carolina, Carson Newman and Valdosta State. Longtime USC commitment WR Bryan Edwards of Conway took an official visit to Clemson this past weekend his coach Chuck Jordan confirmed last Thursday morning. And in a statement, Edwards said he’s no longer committed to the Gamecocks. “After giving it a lot of thought I have decided to reconsider my commitment to South Carolina,” Edwards said. “I plan to visit a few other schools. South Carolina is still very high on my list. Bottom line is he is taking an official visit to Clemson this weekend,” Jordan said. “Part of that is the fact they’ve (USC) got a coaching change. That puts any recruit on edge not knowing what the staff might do. I don’t think he’s any less

Spurs & Feathers • 15

interested (in USC) but at the same time he’s sitting there not knowing who the coach might be.” Edwards was recruited early in the process by Clemson and the Tigers were always one of his favorites. His sister goes there and his grandfather played for the Tigers. But as the Tigers landed other commitments at wide receiver, their interest in Edwards waned. He eventually committed to USC in late March. Jordan says the Clemson recruiters perked up about Edwards about the time of Steve Spurrier’s resignation at USC. “Clemson offered a long time ago and then there was some question about not having anything available but they’ve come back to tell him they’ve got some things worked out,” Jordan said. “It was around the time Spurrier resigned. He has informed me he is going to try to do something in December. I think he’d love to get it out of the way. He’s just opening some options up.” This will be the second straight home game at Clemson for Edwards. He also was at the Florida State game. Jordan said Edwards has not scheduled any other visits at this point but Georgia did call on Thursday asking for an official visit. Edwards is the third prospect to officially decommit from USC since Spurrier’s resignation. DB PJ Blue is also strongly considering Clemson and DB Marlon Character is now committed to Auburn. Edwards is graduating from high school in December and will enroll in college in January. Jordan could not say if Edwards would wait on USC to name its new coach before making his next commitment. Edwards had his season cut short by a knee injury. He finished his career with 188 catches for 2562 yards and 32 touchdowns. He was selected for the Shrine Bowl and the US Army All American Game. USC target DE Jachai Polite of Daytona Beach, FL committed to Florida. USC offered 2017 TE Alexander Marshall of Andover, MA. Basketball News: USC target 6-10 Dewan Huell of Miami signed last Wednesday with Miami. USC women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley Monday announced the signing of 5-6 PG Araion Bradshaw of Hyde Park, MA. She’s considered a top 35 recruit nationally and averaged 12 points per game last season. South Carolina head women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley announced that Mikiah Harrigan of Pembroke Pines, Fla. has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University and play for the Gamecocks. Harrigan will have four years of eligibility beginning with the 2016-17 academic year. 6-4 Tori McCoy of Champagne, IL signed with Ohio State over USC. She visited USC last weekend.


November 25, 2015

16 • Spurs & Feathers

November 25, 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


Football Roster

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 - Offensive Coordinator/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


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 • 17

November 25, 2015

Clemson Tigers

# Name 1 Kearse,Jayron 1 Thompson,Trevion 2 Alexander,Mackensie 2 Bryant,Kelly 3 Scott,Artavis 4 Watson,Deshaun 5 Hopper,Germone 6 O’Daniel,Dorian 7 Williams,Mike 8 Cain,Deon 9 Gallman,Wayne 10 Boulware,Ben 10 Israel,Tucker 11 Bell,Shadell 11 Blanks,Travis 12 Schuessler,Nick 12 Wiggins,Korrin 13 Renfrow,Hunter 14 Johnson,Denzel 15 Green,T.J. 16 Leggett,Jordan 17 Gibson,Jefferie 18 Barnes,James 18 Johnson,Jadar 19 Muse,Tanner 19 Peake,Charone 20 Chalmers,Kaleb 21 Baker,Adrian 21 Davidson,C.J. 22 Dye,Tyshon 23 Smith,Van 24 Brooks,Zac 24 Fields,Mark 25 Tankersley,Cordrea 26 Choice,Adam 27 Fuller,C.J. 29 Edmond,Marcus 30 Williams,Jalen 31 Carter,Ryan 32 Cote,Kyle 32 Teasdall,Andy 33 Davis,J.D. 34 Joseph,Kendall 34 McCloud,Ray-Ray 35 Hall,Quintin 36 Lakip,Ammon 37 Davis,Judah 37 Scott,Cameron 38 Goodnature,Brennan 38 Trapp,Amir 39 Bianchi,Jordan 39 Groomes,Christian 40 Brice,Jaquarius 40 Byers,Roderick 41 Burrell,T.J. 42 Wilkins,Christian 43 Smith,Chad 44 Goodson,B.J.

Football Roster

Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (Previous School) S 6-5 220 Jr. FortMyers,Fla.(SouthFortMyersHS) WR 6-2 200 RFr. Durham,N.C.(HillsideHS) CB 5-11 195 RSo. Immokalee,Fla.(ImmokaleeHS) QB 6-3 215 Fr. CalhounFalls,S.C.(WrenHS) WR 5-11 190 So. Clearwater,Fla.(EastLakeHS) QB 6-2 210 So. Gainesville,Ga.(GainesvilleHS) WR 6-0 180 RJr. Charlotte,N.C.(PhillipO.BerryAcademyofTechnology) LB 6-1 215 RSo. Olney,Md.(OurLadyofGoodCounselHS) WR 6-4 220 Jr. Vance,S.C.(LakeMarionHS) WR 6-2 200 Fr. Tampa,Fla.(TampaBayTechnicalHS) RB 6-1 215 RSo. Loganville,Ga.(GraysonHS) LB 6-0 240 Jr. Anderson,S.C.(T.L.HannaHS) QB 5-11 195 Fr. Orlando,Fla.(LakeNonaHS) WR 6-2 200 Fr. Decatur,Ga.(ColumbiaHS) LB 6-1 210 RJr. Tallahassee,Fla.(NorthFloridaChristianSchool) QB 6-3 200 RJr. Grayson,Ga.(GraysonHS) S 6-0 200 Jr. Durham,N.C.(HillsideHS) WR/P 5-10 175 RFr. MyrtleBeach,S.C.(SocasteeHS) CB 6-0 200 Fr. Columbia,S.C.(A.C.FloraHS) S 6-3 205 Jr. Sylacauga,Ala.(SylacaugaHS) TE 6-5 255 Jr. Navarre,Fla.(NavarreHS) S 6-4 200 RFr. HopeMills,N.C.(Gray’sCreekHS) QB 6-1 175 Fr. Sumter,S.C.(SumterHS) S 6-1 205 Jr. Orangeburg,S.C.(Orangeburg-WilkinsonHS) S 6-2 230 Fr. Belmont,N.C.(SouthPointHS) WR 6-3 215 RGr. Moore,S.C.(DormanHS) CB 5-11 180 Fr. Greenwood,S.C.(GreenwoodHS) CB 6-0 180 RSo. Hallandale,Fla.(Chaminade-MadonnaCollegePreparatory) RB 5-10 200 RGr. Clemson,S.C.(DanielHS) RB 6-0 215 RSo. Elberton,Ga.(ElbertCountyComprehensiveHS) S 6-0 190 Fr. Charlotte,N.C.(WilliamAmosHoughHS) RB 6-1 200 Sr. Jonesboro,Ark.(JonesboroSeniorHS) CB 5-10 195 Fr. Charlotte,N.C.(WilliamAmosHoughHS) CB 6-1 195 Jr. BeechIsland,S.C.(SilverBluffHS) RB 5-9 215 So. Thomasville,Ga.(ThomasCountyCentralHS) RB 5-10 210 RFr. Easley,S.C.(EasleyHS) CB 6-0 170 RSo. Hopkins,S.C.(LowerRichlandHS) LB 5-9 225 Fr. Columbia,S.C.(BlythewoodHS) CB 5-9 175 RSo. Grayson,Ga.(GraysonHS) S 5-10 175 Fr. SixMile,S.C.(DanielHS) P 5-11 190 RJr. Winston-Salem,N.C.(R.J.ReynoldsHS) LB 6-1 225 Fr. Clemson,S.C.(DanielHS) LB 6-0 230 RFr. Belton,S.C.(Belton-HoneaPathHS) WR 5-10 180 Fr. Tampa,Fla.(SicklesHS) LB 6-0 225 Sr. Piedmont,S.C.(WrenHS) PK/P 5-10 200 RSr. JohnsCreek,Ga.(ChattahoocheeHS) LB 6-1 230 Fr. Clemson,S.C.(DanielHS) S 5-10 205 RFr. Florence,S.C.(WilsonHS) RB 5-11 205 RSr. Naples,Italy(NaplesAmericanHS) CB 5-8 155 Fr. Clemson,S.C.(DanielHS) WR 6-6 215 RSr. Greer,S.C.(RiversideHS) PK/P 5-10 185 RFr. Central,S.C.(DanielHS) DE 6-1 215 RSo. Lancaster,S.C.(LancasterHS) DT 6-4 295 RSr. RockHill,S.C.(NorthwesternHS) LB 6-0 215 RJr. GooseCreek,S.C.(GooseCreekHS) DT 6-4 315 Fr. Springfield,Mass.(Suffield(Conn.)Academy) LB 6-4 235 Fr. Sterling,Va.(DominionHS) LB 6-1 250 RSr. Lamar,S.C.(LamarHS)


Dabo Swinney Head Coach Dan Brooks Associate Head Coach/Defensive Tackles Danny Pearman Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams and Tight Ends Brent Venables Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Marion Hobby Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Ends Jeff Scott Co-Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers Tony Elliott Co-Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs Robbie Caldwell Assistant Coach/Offensive Linemen Mike Reed Assistant Coach/Defensive Backs Brandon Streeter Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator/Quarterbacks

# 44 45 46 47 48 49 49 50 50 51 52 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 59 60 61 61 62 63 64 65 67 69 70 71 72 73 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 98 99

Name Williams,Garrett Register,Chris Magwood,Jarvis Spence,Alex Reader,D.J. Brown,Beau Yeargin,Richard Falcinelli,Justin Robinson,Jabril Hearn,Taylor Prevost,Connor Spence,Austin Aiken,Martin Riggs,Zach Crowder,Tyrone Pagano,Scott Guillermo,Jay Norton,Ryan Mauldin,Collins Tatko,Bradley Bevelle,Kelby Cockerill,William Estes,David Bevelle,Kaleb Fruhmorgen,Jake Godfrey,Pat Stone,Daniel Huggins,Albert Morris,Maverick Penner,Seth Green,Noah Tisch,Logan Gore,Joe Hyatt,Mitch Brown,Jim Giella,Zach MacLain,Eric Tucker,Harrison Richard,Milan Seckinger,Stanton Dunn,Adrien Fisher,Jesse Smith,Cannon Rogers,Dane Ryan,Seth Thomason,Ty Greenlee,D.J. MacLain,Sean McCullough,JayJay Lawson,Shaq Bryant,Austin Huegel,Greg Johnson,Sterling Watkins,Carlos Cervenka,Gage Batson,Michael Dodd,Kevin Ferrell,Clelin


Ht. 6-2 6-2 6-0 6-1 6-3 6-0 6-3 6-3 6-2 6-5 6-0 6-2 6-2 6-5 6-2 6-3 6-3 6-3 6-1 6-0 6-4 6-6 6-1 6-4 6-6 6-3 6-5 6-4 6-5 6-3 6-5 6-2 6-6 6-5 6-4 6-5 6-5 6-4 6-2 6-5 5-7 6-4 6-5 6-3 6-0 5-10 6-2 6-4 6-3 6-3 6-4 5-11 6-4 6-3 6-3 5-10 6-5 6-5

Wt. 235 245 215 190 325 195 255 305 280 330 220 195 225 275 330 295 325 285 240 225 260 270 200 255 280 260 285 295 300 320 285 290 300 295 235 295 315 325 250 235 175 215 260 275 175 210 245 210 255 270 265 185 295 300 305 200 275 255

Yr. Fr. RFr. RFr. So. Sr. RSr. RFr. RFr. RFr. RFr. RSo. Fr. RJr. RSo. RSo. RSo. RJr. RGr. RGr. RSo. RSo. Sr. RJr. RSo. Fr. Fr. Sr. Fr. RSo. Fr. Fr. Fr. RGr. Fr. RGr. Fr. RGr. RSr. RFr. RGr. RSo. Fr. RFr. RSo. RSo. Fr. RSo. Jr. RJr. Jr. Fr. RFr. Fr. RJr. Fr. Fr. RJr. Fr.

Hometown (Previous School) Orlando,Fla.(TheFirstAcademy) BrownsSummit,N.C.(DudleyHS) Greenville,S.C.(JamesF.ByrnesHS) Florence,S.C.(WestFlorenceHS) Greensboro,N.C.(GrimsleyHS) Beaufort,S.C.(BeaufortHS) LauderdaleLakes,Fla.(UniversitySchoolofNovaSoutheastern) Middletown,Md.(MiddletownHS) Leland,N.C.(NorthBrunswickHS) Williston,S.C.(Williston-ElkoHS) Raleigh,N.C.(CardinalGibbonsHS) Florence,S.C.(WestFlorenceHS) Smoaks,S.C.(Bamberg-EhrhardtHS) Greer,S.C.(J.L.MannHS) Marston,N.C.(RichmondSeniorHS) Honolulu,Hawaii(MoanaluaHS) Maryville,Tenn.(MaryvilleHS) Simpsonville,S.C.(MauldinHS) RockHill,S.C.(NorthwesternHS) Greenwood,S.C.(GreenwoodHS) Apopka,Fla.(ApopkaHS) Sumter,S.C.(SumterHS) Mauldin,S.C.(St.Joseph’sCatholicSchool) Apopka,Fla.(ApopkaHS) Tampa,Fla.(PlantHS) Greenlawn,N.Y.(HarborfieldsHS) Simpsonville,S.C.(SouthsideChristianSchool) Orangeburg,S.C.(Orangeburg-WilkinsonHS) Broxton,Ga.(CoffeeHS) Naples,Fla.(FirstBaptistAcademy) BoilingSprings,S.C.(BoilingSpringsHS) ChapelHill,N.C.(ChapelHillHS) LakeWaccamaw,N.C.(EastColumbusHS) Suwanee,Ga.(NorthGwinnettHS) Walterboro,S.C.(PinewoodPrepSchool) Lincolnton,Ga.(AugustaChristianSchools) HopeMills,NC(JackBrittHS) NinetySix,S.C.(NinetySixHS) Savannah,Ga.(CalvaryDaySchool) IsleofPalms,S.C.(Porter-GaudSchool) Clemson,S.C.(DanielHS) TravelersRest,S.C. Columbia,S.C.(HammondSchoolHS) Shelby,N.C.(CrestHS) Summit,N.J.(SummitHS) Greenville,S.C.(EastsideHS) Clemson,S.C.(DanielHS) HopeMills,S.C.(JackBrittHS) FortMill,S.C.(NationFordHS) Central,S.C.(DanielHS) Pavo,Ga.(ThomasCountyCentralHS) Blythewood,S.C.(BlythewoodHS) Clayton,N.C.(ClevelandHS) Mooresboro,N.C.(ChaseHS) Greenwood,S.C.(EmeraldHS) Central,S.C.(ChristChurchEpiscopalSchool) Taylors,S.C.(RiversideHS) Richmond,Va.(BenedictineHS)

18 • Spurs & Feathers

November 25, 2015

Goodman helping Gamecocks with new sense of purpose by brad muller South Carolina Director of Content For much of his life, former South Carolina defensive back Andre Goodman had a purpose to blanket wide receivers and make tackles and interceptions. Now the 10-year NFL veteran, who will be introduced as part of the 2015 SEC Football Legends Class in December, has a different purpose as the Gamecocks’ Director of Football StudentAthlete Development. “My job has a lot to do with grooming players for life after football and helping them transition from high school to college, and then from college to the real world,” Goodman said. “We talk a lot about career development, job placement, time management and balancing your personal life with school, academics and your profession. We want the (student-athletes) to maintain that sense of balance once they leave the playing arena and enter into the real world.” Goodman played cornerback for South Carolina from 1998-2001. He earned second-team All-SEC honors by the league’s coaches as a senior and was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll during his career. He was selected in the third round of the 2002 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions, and also played with the Miami Dolphins

and Denver Broncos during his decade in the NFL. Now in his fourth year on the job with his alma mater, Goodman knows that a professional playing career is short, and that most student-athletes won’t be playing professional football. “Managing expectations and helping student-athletes remain realistic is key,” Goodman said. “It is tough, even if they do make it to the pros. They have to be realistic because it’s a violent sport, and it doesn’t take much to go from playing to not playing in the matter of just one play. Helping them become realistic is the toughest challenge, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m not here to kill their dreams. I’m here to give them tools and resources to help them transition.” As he focuses on off-the-field activities of the student-athletes and serving as an important resource in balancing the demands of academics, athletics, community outreach, and their personal lives in their transition in and out of college athletics, Goodman noted that one of the most important factors for being successful in his role is trust. “When they can actually sit down and have a conversation outside the game of football that they normally wouldn’t have with someone else, it means a lot,” Goodman said. “It can be tough for some of them to talk about

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personal issues, so anytime they can trust you enough to open up, that trust is probably the most gratifying thing. If they can see my sincerity so that they can open up to me and trust the reason why I am here, which is solely to help them, then I feel like I’m doing what I should be doing.” Goodman understands the difficulty in making transitions from personal experience, and he wants the student-athletes to know that he’s been there. “You want to be great at everything you do, but you don’t realize how tough it is,” Goodman said. “Staying centered and keeping a mental balance is always the toughest part. Since I retired (from the NFL), it’s a daily challenge because my intensity and my energy are still at the NFL level, but the world doesn’t move as fast. The NFL is daily evaluations and competition. We can use that in the real world, but we don’t get up with that same intensity every day. It’s hard because if I ever feel like I can’t be great today, then I feel like I’m wasting my day.” Goodman saw highs and lows during his Gamecock career, which included a 1-21 record during his first two seasons, followed by back-to back Outback Bowl victories in his last two years. “It’s so easy and natural for athletes to overcome adversity,” Goodman said. “But handling prosperity can be a lot tougher because when you feel like you have ‘arrived,’ what keeps that fire burning inside of you? Not becoming apathetic is tough. I try to relate it in football terms to the guys because it is all about life after football. “Whatever your goals may be, once you get there, if you don’t set another goal then you’re really just going through the motions. That’s not what the journey is about. The

journey is where the energy should be; not the destination. The journey is endless.” Among the 37-year-old’s best memories of his playing days at South Carolina are beating top-ten ranked Georgia in 2000 and a victory over rival Clemson as a senior in 2001. Goodman will represent South Carolina as part of the 2015 SEC Football Legends class, which includes 14 former stars who excelled on the gridiron and helped write the rich history of the sport at their respective institutions. “It takes a lot to get me excited, but I am very excited,” Goodman said about being named to the Legends class. “I’ve never been big on accolades, but any time someone appreciates your efforts, it’s always rewarding. I don’t need a lot of fanfare, but this feels like a nice ribbon on my career. I’m very humbled and appreciative. It means a lot.” Always thinking ahead, Goodman looks to apply this honor to his work with current student-athletes. “Any bit of credibility you can get with these kids, so I can gain trust with them and have conversations with them, gives me purpose,” Goodman said. “My life now is all about purpose” The Legends class will be honored at the 2015 SEC Football “Weekend of Champions” December 4-5 in Atlanta, Ga. The annual SEC Legends Dinner presented by AT&T will be held December 4 at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, and the group will also be recognized prior to the SEC Football Championship Game, which will be held at the Georgia Dome on Saturday, December 5. Goodman and his wife, Shana, have four children, Fabian, Andre, Kennedy and Mason.

Spurs & Feathers • 19

November 25, 2015

Depth Charts for November 28, 12 p.m. South Carolina OFFENSE WR: -OR- WR: WR: -OR- LT: LG: OC: RG:

15 Matrick Belton 8 Shamier Jeffery 3 D.J. Neal 11 Pharoh Cooper 9 Carlton Heard 81 Hayden Hurst 5 Terry Googer 71 Brandon Shell 55 Christian Pellage 76 Mike Matulis 69 D.J. Park 70 Alan Knott 78 Zack Bailey 75 Will Sport 72 Donell Stanley RT: 63 Blake Camper 76 Mike Matulis TE: 89 Jerell Adams 84 Kyle Markway 86 Kevin Crosby QB: 10 Perry Orth 19 Lorenzo Nuñez 6 Connor Mitch 12 Michael Scarnecchia FB: 39 Rivers Bedenbaugh TB: 22 Brandon Wilds

6-4, 209, Jr. 6-1, 198, Jr. 6-3, 193, Fr. 5-11, 207, Jr. 6-0, 182, Sr. 6-5, 252, Fr. 6-4, 226, RFr. 6-6, 328, Sr. 6-6, 314, Fr. 6-5, 293, Sr. 6-4, 325, So. 6-4, 270, So. 6-6, 320, Fr. 6-5, 295, Sr. 6-4, 320, RFr. 6-8, 295, Fr. 6-5, 293, Sr. 6-6, 231, Sr. 6-4, 243, Fr. 6-1, 238, RFr. 6-1, 203, Jr. 6-3, 210, Fr. 6-3, 211, So. 6-4, 210, RFr. 6-2, 245, So. 6-2, 220, Sr.

Columbia, S.C. St. Matthews, S.C. Stone Mountain, Ga. Havelock, N.C. Athens, Ga. Jacksonville, Fla. Atlanta, Ga. Goose Creek, S.C. Brooksville, Fla. Boynton Beach, Fla. Dillon, S.C. Tyrone, Ga. Summerville, S.C. Milton, Fla. Floydale, S.C. Virginia Beach, Va. Boynton Beach, Fla. Pinewood, S.C. St. Louis, Mo. Bamberg, S.C. Ponte Vedra, Fla. Kennesaw, Ga. Raleigh, N.C. Fleming Island, Fla. Leesville, S.C. Blythewood, S.C.


-OR- RB: -OR- -OR-

75 Mitch Hyatt 6-5, 295, Fr. Suwanee, Ga. 63 Jake Fruhmorgen 6-6, 280, Fr. Tampa, Fla. 78 Eric Mac Lain 6-5, 315, Gr. Hope Mills, N.C. 58 Ryan Norton 6-3, 285, Gr. Simpsonville, S.C. 51 Taylor Hearn 6-5, 330, RFr. Williston, S.C. 57 Jay Guillermo 6-3, 325, Jr. Maryville, Tenn. 58 Ryan Norton 6-3, 285, Gr. Simpsonville, S.C. 69 Maverick Morris 6-5, 300, So. Broxton, Ga. 50 Justin Falcinelli 6-3, 305, RFr. Middletown, Md. 73 Joe Gore 6-6, 300, Gr. Lake Waccamaw, N.C. 63 Jake Fruhmorgen 6-6, 280, Fr. Tampa, Fla. 16 Jordan Leggett 6-5, 255, Jr. Navarre, Fla. 81 Stanton Seckinger 6-5, 235, Gr. Isle of Palms, S.C. 80 Milan Richard 6-2, 250, RFr. Savannah, Ga. 44 Garrett Williams 6-2, 235, Fr. Orlando, Fla. 89 Jay Jay McCullough 6-3, 255, Jr. Fort Mill, S.C. 84 Cannon Smith 6-5, 260, RFr. Columbia, S.C. 13 Hunter Renfrow 5-10, 175, RFr. Myrtle Beach, S.C. 5 Germone Hopper 6-0, 180, Jr. Charlotte, N.C. 4 Deshaun Watson 6-2, 210, So. Gainesville, Ga. 2 Kelly Bryant 6-3, 215, Fr. Calhoun Falls, S.C. 12 Nick Schuessler 6-3, 200, Jr. Grayson, Ga. 9 Wayne Gallman 6-1, 215, So. Loganville, Ga. 24 Zac Brooks 6-1, 200, Sr. Jonesboro, Ark. 21 C.J. Davidson 5-10, 200, Gr. Clemson, S.C. 22 Tyshon Dye 6-0, 215, So. Elberton, Ga. 27 C.J. Fuller 5-10, 210, RFr. Easley, S.C.

33 David Williams 7 Shon Carson

6-1, 222, So. 5-8, 206, Sr.

Philadelphia, Pa. Scranton, S.C.

6 Chris Moody SS: 42 Jordan Diggs 24 D.J. Smith RCB: 1 Rico McWilliams 16 Rashad Fenton 22 Jamari Smith


49 Boosie Whitlow 5 Darius English 55 David Johnson 95 Dante Sawyer 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 20 T.J. Gurley 26 Jasper Sasser 3 Chris Lammons 7 Al Harris Jr. 21 Isaiah Johnson

6-3, 240, Fr. 6-6, 225, Jr. 6-1, 240, So. 6-3, 291, 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. 5-10, 183, So. 5-11, 163, So. 6-0, 206, Sr.

Opelika, Ala. Powder Springs, Ga. Lithonia, Ga. Suwanee, Ga. 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. Lauderhill, Fla. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Cary, N.C.

6-1, 215, Jr. 6-0, 209, Jr. 5-11, 195, So. 5-11, 186, Jr. 5-10, 180, Fr. 5-10, 200, So.

McDonough, Ga. Fort Myers, Fla. Marietta, Ga. Hampton, Ga. Miami, Fla. Jacksonville, Fla.


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.

Clemson WR: WR:

3 Artavis Scott 1 Trevion Thompson 19 Charone Peake 8 Deon Cain

5-11, 190, So. 6-2 200, RFr. 6-3, 215, Gr. 6-2, 200, Fr.

-OR- CB:

Clearwater, Fla. Durham, N.C. Moore, S.C. Tampa, Fla.


98 Kevin Dodd 6-5, 275, Jr. Taylors, S.C. 91 Austin Bryant 6-4, 265, Fr. Pavo, Ga. 85 Dane Rogers 6-3, 275, So. Shelby, N.C. 94 Carlos Watkins 6-3, 300, Jr. Mooresboro, N.C. 42 Christian Wilkins 6-4, 315, Fr. Springfield, Mass. 40 Roderick Byers 6-4, 295, Sr. Rock Hill, S.C. 48 D.J. Reader 6-3, 325, Sr. Greensboro, N.C. 56 Scott Pagano 6-3, 295, So. Honolulu, Hawaii 90 Shaq Lawson 6-3, 270, Jr. Central, S.C. 49 Richard Yeargin 6-3, 255, RFr. Lauderdale Lakes, Fla. 11 Travis Blanks 6-1, 210, Jr. Tallahassee, Fla. 6 Dorian O’Daniel 6-1, 215, So. Olney, Md. 44 B.J. Goodson 6-1, 250, Sr. Lamar, S.C. 34 Kendall Joseph 6-0, 230, RFr. Belton, S.C. 10 Ben Boulware 5-11, 240, Jr. Anderson, S.C. 30 Jalen Williams 5-9, 225, Fr. Columbia, S.C. 2 Mackensie Alexander 5-11, 195, So. Immokalee, Fla. 21 Adrian Baker 6-0, 180, So. Hallandale, Fla. 1 Jayron Kearse 6-5, 220, Jr. Fort Myers, Fla. 18 Jadar Johnson 6-1, 205, Jr. Orangeburg, S.C. 15 T.J. Green 6-3, 205, Jr. Sylacauga, Ala.

17 Jefferie Gibson 23 Van Smith 25 Cordrea Tankersley 31 Ryan Carter

6-4, 200, RFr. 6-0, 190, Fr. 6-1, 195, Jr. 5-9, 175, So.

Hope Mills, N.C. Charlotte, N.C. Beech Island, S.C. Grayson, Ga.


92 Greg Huegel 36 Ammon Lakip 32 Andy Teasdall 13 Hunter Renfrow 36 Ammon Lakip 92 Greg Huegel 76 Jim Brown 61 David Estes 85 Seth Ryan 5 Germone Hopper 3 Artavis Scott 21 C.J. Davidson 27 C.J. Fuller

5-11, 185, RFr. 5-10, 200, Sr. 5-11, 190, Jr. 5-10, 175, RFr. 5-10, 200, Sr. 5-11, 185, RFr. 6-4, 235, Gr. 6-1, 200, Jr. 6-0, 175, So. 6-0, 180, Jr. 5-11, 190, So. 5-10, 200, Gr. 5-10, 210, RFr.

*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 over the course of the week for updated depth charts.

Blythewood, S.C. Johns Creek, Ga. Winston-Salem, N.C. Myrtle Beach, S.C. Johns Creek, Ga. Blythewood, S.C. Walterboro, S.C. Mauldin, S.C. Summit, N.J. Charlotte, N.C. Clearwater, Fla. Clemson, S.C. Easley, S.C.

20 • Spurs & Feathers

November 25, 2015

photo by kyle heck

Brittons partnering with several companies to help out community by kyle heck Reporter

offering limited edition bracelets and t-shirts for sale with 100 percent of the profit going to the recovery effort. The recent devastating floods in Columbia Brittons, located on Devine St., is partnerand in other parts of South Carolina didn’t ing with Southern Tide and Vineyard Vines have an impact physically on Brittons, but it for the tees and Chavez for Charity for the still hit close to home for the locally-owned bracelets. and operated business. “We’re just giving back to the community,” Part of the community for 66 years, it was said Perry Lancaster, co-owner of Brittons. tough to see so many familiar faces affected “It’s just a great way to help with the flood by the tragedy. Because of that, Brittons relief and going from there.” wanted to do everything it could to help out Lancaster is happy to have partners that are those affected during the time of need. willing to help out the community. The three On November 1, the company announced companies mentioned above donated the that they were joining with some of their items to Brittons to be sold for a good cause. partners to raise money for the United Way of “It’s so terrific,” Lancaster said. “It’s just rethe Midlands in their efforts helping people ally great that I called upon these companies recover from the floods. and they’re stepping forward. From customOver the next two months, Brittons will be ers, the response has been overwhelming.”

Lancaster said that Brittons will be receiving 72 tees each from Southern Tide and Vineyard Vines and they are already generating a lot of interest. He is also calling on the store’s other vendors and manufacturers to donate money to the cause. As another incentive to try and get people to pitch in and help out, Lancaster said Brittons will be offering coupons for 20 percent off a regularly-priced item at Brittons to everyone who buys a tee and/or bracelet. This is all part of a #BrittonsUnited campaign with the company planning several events benefitting United Way throughout the end of the year. “United Way is honored to be a part of this benefit that Brittons of Columbia so generously made available to our community,” United Way of the Midlands President and

CEO Mac Bennett said in a release. “Local businesses like Brittons make up the fabric of the community we serve and it’s through partnerships like this that we can work together to make the midlands a better place to live for everyone.” For Lancaster, he’s not only happy that he got several business partners to join him in his company’s efforts to help the community, he has been impressed overall with how the state has come together after the floods, using an example of a recent conversation with one of his customers as an example. “She had a death in the family, but she came and helped and just rode down subdivisions over in the Forest Acres area and just helped people clean out their houses and tear out sheetrock and everything,” Lancaster said. “It’s just been great.”

Spurs & Feathers • 21

November 25, 2015

Gamecocks hoping to improve consistency over winter break by kyle heck Reporter

South Carolina women’s golf head coach Kalen Anderson will be the first to admit that her team didn’t have quite the fall that they wanted to, but there is a lot of positives she can take into the winter break. For one thing, the Gamecocks have one of the best duos in the country at the top of the lineup in junior Katelyn Dambaugh and senior Sarah Schmelzel. Over the four fall tournaments, Dambaugh recorded a 71.92 scoring average, which led the team. Schmelzel wasn’t too far behind with a scoring average of 73. “They kind of carried the team through the entire fall and thank God for that,” Anderson said. “But they did an exceptional job of showing leadership on the golf course and coming back ready to go and doing what they needed to do. I think both of them are starting to come into their own to an extent.” Anderson was happy with some of the other younger players on the team, but will definitely be looking for more consistency come the spring season. One player that has started to step up is sophomore Ainhoa Olarra, who finished the fall strong and is fighting for the No. 3 spot behind Dambaugh and Schmelzel. Freshman Isidora Nilsson has had to go through the normal challenges of adjusting to college, but Anderson is hoping her ample experience over the fall will prepare her for the future. Another freshman, Gaby Amos, has also impressed Anderson because she came into South Carolina with a lot less experience than some of the other players and has performed admirably. However, with so many younger players on the team, the Gamecocks have went through their up and downs this fall. In two of the four events, South Carolina finished in the top three. But in the other two events, the Gamecocks finished 24th or worse. “I think we’re getting a little inconsistency at the bottom of our lineup and that’s something we need to address this offseason which will be very key and significant moving forward into the success of our spring,” Anderson said. “There’s some really good signs of things moving forward, but things we definitely need to address in the offseason and they need to address to get that consistency week in and week out and not have some really high numbers and some really low num-

photo by allen sharpe

bers.” If the Gamecocks can find that desired consistency at the three, four and five spots, Anderson is confident South Carolina can continue to be one of the better teams in the nation. The Gamecocks signed another player in Marion Veysseyre from France that will join the team for the spring season and Anderson is confident she’ll be able to help provide more depth and competition as she was ranked No.

1 in the European Girls’ U18 Rankings in 2014. The coaching staff only gets a limited amount of time with their players over the winter break, so a lot of the work will be left up to the players. If the Gamecocks are to get that consistency, Anderson needs her players to step up and work hard over the offseason and come back in the spring ready to go. “It comes down to sitting down with them, having meetings with them, having evalua-

tions, challenging them,” Anderson said. “A lot of it is going to be on their shoulders because of the hours we’re able to have. I’ll have my time with them, but a lot of it is going to rely on their self-motivation and themselves being proactive and deciding to take it by the horn and deciding they want to get after it and they want to change what happened in the fall a little bit and be better and step up and certainly that’s something that I’m expecting will happen.”

22 • Spurs & Feathers

November 25, 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 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 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-Clemson Television The South Carolina-Clemson game will be on either ESPN or ESPN2. Please check local listings.



Call Letters



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


WIBZ-FM 95.5 Union WBCU-AM 1460 * Men’s basketball and baseball affiliates will be updated at a later time.




Spurs & Feathers • 23

November 25, 2015

Equestrian joins forces with Curing Kids Cancer for great cause by kyle heck Reporter

Around four or five years ago, South Carolina equestrian coach Boo Major went with Jerri Spurrier, the wife of former Head Ball Coach Steve Spurrier, to a luncheon where Grainne Owen and her husband, Clay, were talking about her group, Curing Kids Cancer. There, Major heard Owen’s story about losing her young son to cancer and it made Major want to do something. Because of that, Curing Kids Cancer and the South Carolina equestrian team joined forces to create a day where children affected by cancer could come out to One Wood Farm in Blythewood and have a fun-filled day of interacting with the horses. On Sunday, Nov. 15, Major and Curing Kids Cancer joined forces again to treat the children in attendance with several games and activities at One Wood Farm. “We wanted to find a way that we could help the kids and because of (Owen’s) love of horses, she thought this was a great idea,” Major said. “We just have a great time doing it.” The day started with an introduction and question and answer session before Major and members from Curing Kids Cancer let the children and their families know all the things they were going to do that afternoon. In addition to petting the horses, children could groom them and ride them, but that wasn’t it. They also had “races” with the horses where the children had to try and keep an egg on a spoon while riding the horses. There was also an arts and craft table and ice cream and hot chocolate were served afterward, giving everyone in attendance something to do. “It’s a fun way to get to know the families (and) I’ve really met some great families,” said Gina Janurin, a pivotal member of Curing Kids Cancer and its Director of Development and Events for South Carolina. “In the hospital setting, you can’t really get to know them and the kids don’t necessarily want to be there, although Palmetto Health does a great job of making them comfortable and giving them fun things to do, but this just takes them out of the hospital environment and brings them out here and who doesn’t love a farm?” After doing this for several years now, Major looks forward to it every time it comes around. “The players love it and the families enjoy

photo by kyle heck

it, but the satisfaction and the gratification our team gets is beyond anything,” Major said. “They love having these kids come out and being able to share their experience with young kids who in the future could be future equestrians with us.” For Janurin and Curing Kids Cancer, it is a blessing to be able to work with the University of South Carolina. “It’s really great,” Janurin said. “People don’t realize what the equestrian team does,

so it’s really good for everybody to see that we do have an equestrian team (and) they do outreach. It really is nice.” At Sunday’s event, the children also decorated horseshoes donated by the equestrian team that will go on a Christmas tree that will be up for bid at the Palmetto Health Foundation’s “Festival of Trees” Nov. 20-22. The festival will take place at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. With everything that the children and their

families have to worry about when it comes to fighting cancer, both parties involved in the “Fun Day with the Horses” event are glad that they can give those families something that will allow them to escape for a few hours. “It’s such a great opportunity for them to come out here and not have to worry about it and be able to be a normal kid and a normal family that can come out and have a good time riding the horses,” Major said.

24 • Spurs & Feathers

November 25, 2015

Football + Microsoft Excel? Kelly charting his way to great season by kyle heck Reporter

South Carolina punter Sean Kelly gets recognized on campus, but usually not for being the Gamecocks’ punter. The junior has been mistaken for a member of the baseball team, the cross country team and the golf team, who has a senior by the same name. None of that bothers Kelly, however. He has just continued to be one of the team’s best players this year. Whenever the Gamecocks need an opponent pinned inside the 20-yard line, Kelly is the man to go to. If South Carolina itself is pinned deep inside its own territory, Kelly has the ability to launch a 50-yard bomb that reverses field position. Entering The Citadel game, Kelly had punted 47 times this season for an average of 43.3 yards per punt, which ranks fifth in the SEC. More impressive is the fact that 21 of Kelly’s 47 punts have dropped inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. Only three times has the transfer from Florida Atlantic recorded a touchback. One of those touchbacks came in the game against Florida when Kelly “accidentally” hit a 69-yard bomb that bounced into the end zone. One unusual and interesting thing about Kelly is that all 47 punts this year, and every punt he’s ever attempted in college for that matter, goes onto an Excel spreadsheet. It’s something he got from his dad, who is an estimator for multi-million dollar water plants, in high school. “Numbers for him, everything is about numbers,” Kelly said of his dad. “Growing up, what our budget would be, he wanted it written down like this is going to be it, turn it in and I want to see it. He does a lot with Excel and he started showing me how to do it. He keeps a good track of (my punting) too. He’s already telling me exactly what it is before anyone else after the game. He’s been a big part of saying, ‘if you can get rid of this one, if you can hit this one here, you’ll definitely be going up and get more consistent.’” Kelly tracks pretty much everything about the punt, including the trajectory of the ball through the air and where it lands on the field. It’s something that he said has helped him to have the success he’s having at South Carolina. “It definitely helps,” Kelly said. “When I look at it, if I’ve hit a certain punt from 30-35 yards a certain spot on the field, (it’s

photo by jenny dilworth

good) to know what was I thinking at that point on the field, like am I trying to put this down to the five or just trying to get it in a better spot? If you can eliminate those and move those 30-35 yard punts to 40-45 punts will your average go from 42 to 45 and are you getting those inside the 20? Just being able to see where I’m struggling on the field, like right hash on the 50-yard line, I’ve been struggling a lot (from there) this year.” Interim head coach Shawn Elliott didn’t know about Kelly’s spreadsheets for his

punts, but wasn’t all that surprised by it because that attention to detail is what great players are known for. “All great players have that,” Elliott said. “All great players have the attention to detail, whether it’s charting punts, charting throws, it could be a center and his snaps based on what the particular play is. I think everybody that plays at a really high level has that type of mentality.” There is no doubt that Kelly has been one of the most consistent players on the team.

With the offense and defense periodically struggling, the Gamecocks have always been able to rely on their punter to put them in opportune positions every time he gets the ball. “It’s definitely been a big goal for me, putting us in the best field position that I can,” Kelly said. “The field position is a big part of the game and us as a special teams unit, me and (Elliott) Fry, just winning the field position and winning those three points when we get the opportunity is a big deal for us.”

Spurs & Feathers • 25

November 25, 2015

photo by allen sharpe

McDonald on fall season: ‘Top-tobottom I felt like whole team got better’ by brian hand Executive Editor

The South Carolina men’s golf program has obviously advanced to a position where a great deal is expected of the Gamecocks every time that they hit the course. Due to this, South Carolina men’s golf head coach Bill McDonald has heard from some that they thought that despite the Gamecocks winning one tournament and finishing in the top-6 in four of their five tournaments this fall that it was not a great fall campaign. McDonald disagrees. “I tell them I feel completely opposite of

that honestly,” McDonald said. “I feel like we had maybe one of the most productive fall seasons we’ve ever had. I feel like we just had some great development and really set ourselves up to have a great spring. Top-to-bottom I felt like the whole team got better in some big ways and some small ways. I don’t think it looks that great on paper overall - I think we were inconsistent somewhat as a team in our tournament play - but our young guys really improved I feel like. (Sophomore) Keenan Huskey has come a long way.” Senior All-Americans Matt NeSmith and Will Starke did not have the type of fall that they normally have, but McDonald has no

doubt they will close strong in the spring of 2016. “I think what I am excited about is knowing how badly they want to finish on a good note in the spring and I’m expecting them to come out and be ready to go,” McDonald said. In late October the Gamecocks captured their second-straight Camden Collegiate Invitational at the Camden Country Club. McDonald thinks more tournament wins are a great possibility for the Gamecocks in the spring as they will start transitioning their approach somewhat. “We’re going to transition from getting some guys some experience this fall to be-

ing a little bit more tournament-focused (this spring),” McDonald said. “The goal is always to win the SEC and then get through regionals and make match play (at the NCAA championship). Those goals are still the same for this team, but I’d say with the way that we played in the fall if we just get a little bit sharper we should be capable to win some tournaments in the spring.” Currently ranked 20th in the latest GCAA Coaches’ Poll, South Carolina opens the spring portion of its 2015-16 schedule in Humble, Texas in the Bayou City Collegiate Championship at the Golf Club of Houston. The tournament will be contested Feb. 1921.

26 • Spurs & Feathers

Alternate history: An inside look at the Gamecocks’ stealth helmet change vs. Florida

November 25, 2015

play good,” said senior safety Isaiah Johnson. Almost as impressive as the Gamecocks’ new lids: the fact that no one knew about them beforehand. In the social media age, stopping leaks is an almost impossible task. Yet even the Gamecock players didn’t knew about the helmets until right before game time. “I was really impressed that everybody was able to keep the secret,” said assistant director of equipment operations Ryan Fischer. So how did the top-secret design process come about? What kinds of obstacles did they face along the way? And how did the South Carolina equipment staff -- a collection of 17 paid and student managers -- keep the project so cloak-and-dagger, even from the very players they serve? Now that the secret was out, it was time to find out.

them more texture and “pop” (it also didn’t hurt that the Gamecocks won with them). Aside from that, team had no designs (pun intended) on unveiling another look. That all ay this about the Gamecocks: they changed when the Gamecocks beat the Comknow how to keep a secret. modores 19-10, and Elliott headed into the bye Moments before taking the field week with an even grander idea. for 2001 against Florida, the South Carolina “He wanted to give the guys something football equipment staff, using its Twitter acto look forward to, something to be excited count @GamecockEquip, broke the news. For about,” Fischer recalls. “He said, ‘Let’s do the first time in four decades, the Gamecocks something a little bit different.’” would be wearing a helmet that didn’t feature The equipment staff has always toyed with their iconic Block C. different helmet concepts, though mainly just They instead debuted a bold new alternate for fun. Now, with Elliott’s directive, they took design, with an outline of a large rooster tail on to the computer with the help of some Phoeach side. The garnet and black feathers – an toshop-savvy staffers from the USC football enlarged version of the ones found on the traoffice. The tail feather design was the only one ditional Gamecock – curled up from the facethey seriously pursued. mask to the top of the helmet. Gone was the “(USC President Dr.) Harris Pastides has the stripe across the crown. Black numerals were tail feather on his car. It’s on billboards and added to the back. Decision, then design on some of the buses that ride around campus. Love ‘em or leave ‘em, the Gamecocks beForget facilities. College football has entered It looks good. So we decided to slap it on came birds of a different feather. into a fashion arms race. the side of a helmet to see what it looked like Since taking over in mid-October, interim For the last several years, teams – and let’s be on the computer,” Fischer explained, noting head coach Shawn Elliott has honest, brands -- have tried to that it mimicked the “winged” look of other talked often about pumping new one-up each other with flashier bird-themed helmets like the kind worn by the energy into the program, both on helmets and bolder uniform de- Philadelphia Eagles. and off the field. The helmets, signs. On Twitter and message Fischer showed Elliott a mock-up in his ofhe explained, were an extension boards, alternate jerseys are a fice. of that. popular topic during the slow“He loved it and said, ‘Let’s go with it,’” “I thought it may be a good drip news days of summer. Fischer said. idea to get the guys excited, “All the time,” replied USC Going from idea to decal was a different (bring) a little bit more energy,” director of equipment operastory. Elliott revealed afterwards. tions Chris Matlock when asked Reaction to the new helmets how often his staff gets suggesA problem en-tails was mixed (and largely depentions on new uniform or helmet According to Fischer, it normally takes four dent on whom you follow on designs. to six weeks to develop a new helmet decal. social media). But the most South Carolina actually That’s why most helmet projects happen in the important critics – the ones who debuted a new helmet earlier offseason: so equipment staffs have time to tinwore them - overwhelmingly this year, in its Homecoming ker and test out their looks. liked them. win over Vanderbilt October The Gamecocks had no such luxury. AfAndy Demetra “It’s more about your swag. 17. Instead of a flat finish, the ter receiving approval from Elliott, Fischer Contributing You always want to look good helmets had chrome accents on reached out to John Carter of Carter Sports Writer on the field. You look good, you the Block C and stripes, giving Group, a New Jersey-based decal manufacturer


that makes all of the Gamecocks’ helmet stickers. Carter overnighted them a sample decal. The equipment staff quickly realized that their initial logo, which contained only the tail feathers, had some flaws. Too many of the snaps and air holes interrupted the feathers, making them hard to see and even harder to wrap (Fischer points out that fan-generated helmet designs rarely take those snaps and contours into account). They also realized that the feathers needed to tilt up instead of fan straight out; if they didn’t, they’d have problems with symmetry and too much negative space. Fischer explained the adjustments to Carter, who made a new decal the week of the Tennessee game. He added more of the rooster’s body so the tail feathers could clear the ear holes, chin straps and other accoutrements, giving the logo a cleaner look. Fischer and his staff applied the decal to a blank helmet and presented it to Elliott. Elliott loved it. He shared his plans with athletic director Ray Tanner, who promptly signed off on it (these projects, as you might guess, cost money). Fischer ordered 84 decals for the three different types of helmets and three different helmet sizes the Gamecocks use. By 10 a.m. on the Monday of the Florida game, a package from Carter Sports Group, known only to a handful of people, arrived at Williams-Brice Stadium. Ramping up Now came the hard part: putting the helmets together while still keeping them from the prying eyes of the players. Matlock, Fischer, assistant equipment manager Joe Sumter, and a pair of student managers bunkered down in the “ramp room,” an auxiliary equipment room beneath the southwest ramp of Williams-Brice Stadium. For most of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the managers worked behind closed doors, meticulously applying the new decals.

Spurs & Feathers • 27

November 25, 2015

It’s not as simple as it sounds. For each helmet, a manager must remove the facemask, line up the decals, wrap them, and cut out the air holes with a scalpel. Having long, intricately laced feathers only adds to the difficulty. “’Decal-ing’ a helmet usually takes anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes, max. You’re talking 35, 40 minutes per helmet with the tail feathers on there,” Fischer said. He estimates he spent an extra 20 hours preparing the helmets on top of the other work he normally does during a game week. By Wednesday, the rest of the student managers started to notice all the time they were spending in the ramp room. Fischer and Matlock came clean, but swore them to secrecy. The helmets were stored in two giant plastic bins that they covered with towels. They also needed to throw a misdirection at the players. Some rumblings had already begun within the Gamecocks’ locker room after the staff tweeted on Wednesday that the team would wear all-black uniforms against Florida. Several players started needling the managers, asking if they would complete the look with black helmets. Normally, the team hands in its practice helmets on Thursdays (the Gamecocks don’t wear helmets for their Friday walk-throughs). After rounding them up, the equipment staff applied the chrome decals – the same ones they wore for the Vanderbilt game – to make them look like game-day helmets. To further the swerve, they tweeted a picture of student manager Matt Norris working on a helmet stripe Thursday night, with the hashtag #BeatUF. They hung the practice helmets in the locker room on Friday. When the players entered the locker room Saturday morning, a few of them thought something was amiss. Some poked their heads into the window connecting the locker room to the equipment room, saying they had put out their practice helmets. Philip Dukes was among the suspicious. “My practice helmet, it’s got a bunch of scars on it,” the Gamecocks’ senior defensive tackle said. “We had told them that we left their game helmets in the rain, and that we had to get them cleaned out. We were scratching and clawing for any kind of story we could come up with,” Fischer said. When the Gamecocks took the field for pregame warmups, they were still wearing their ginned-up practice helmets. As they got loose, the equipment managers fanned out through the locker room, hanging the new lids. When the players finished warmups, “we started telling them, ‘Let’s get your practice helmets. Go ahead and grab your new game helmets. They started freaking out,” Fischer said. “Everybody just lit up. The whole locker room went wild,” Dukes added. “We were all shocked. It was a huge boost for us,” said Johnson. A few minutes before 2001, the equipment staff sent out its final tweet, a “Mission Accomplished” to a three-week covert operation that took speed, coordination, problemsolving – and just the right amount of subterfuge. Looking ahead On Facebook last week, South Carolina Athletics posted a picture of spur linebacker T.J. Gurley from the Florida game, along with the question: “What did y’all think of trying an alternate look?” In the first four hours, the post drew 500 responses. If South Carolina had beaten the 11th-ranked Gators,

south carolina athletics media relations

or if the switch happened during a 6-3 season instead of a 3-6 season, who knows? Some fans may have had a different opinion of the helmets’ aesthetics. As it stands, they may go down as a little-remembered footnote in an otherwise difficult year. Fischer said he didn’t realize until game day that South Carolina wouldn’t be wearing a Block C on its helmet for the first time since 1974. He understands the need to respect and honor tradition. But he also had no qualms about trying something different. “This is where college football is going. It’s all about

the student-athletes. It’s about the players. Everybody likes to see new designs, new looks. It brings excitement. It helps with recruiting. It helps in every phase of college football,” he explained. Alas, at his press conference last week, Elliott assured fans that the Gamecocks would return to their traditional Block C look against The Citadel. “The usual helmets will be back this week,” Elliott said. Then again, we know the Gamecocks can keep a secret.

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November 25, 2015

View from The Citadel locker room by kyle heck Reporter

over the Gamecocks in the first quarter and still held a 14-9 lead at halftime. However, on South Carolina’s first drive of the secBack in 1990, The Citadel came into ond half, the Gamecocks went 80 yards in Williams-Brice Stadium and upset South 11 plays and got a one-yard touchdown run Carolina and 25 years later, the Bulldogs from Brandon Wilds to take a 16-14 lead were able to pull off another stunning upset over The Citadel. against the Gamecocks in Columbia on A career-long 48-yard field goal by Eric Saturday, Nov. 21. Goins put the Bulldogs back on top, 17-16, Led by Columbia native Tyler Renew, the in the fourth quarter. In fact, the field goal triple-option Bulldog offense racked up 350 was the longest against a FBS team in Bullrushing yards en route to a 23-22 victory dog history. over South Carolina. That was a particularly proud moment for “I think this is a testament to what kind Houston because, like many of those playof kids I have the opportunity to coach,” ing for The Citadel, Goins will be joining The Citadel head coach Mike Houston said. the military after graduation this year. “They’ve been phenomenal all year. They “He’s getting ready to get deployed after buy into our staff and believe in what we’re graduation and be (in the) Army Infantry,” doing not only on the field, but probably Houston said. “He’s excited about going more importantly the way we work off the and fighting for his country. Those are the field and the way we care about each other. kind of young men I get the opportunity to There’s no quit in that team. They are a coach.” very tough, hard-nosed, physical football After South Carolina had retaken the lead team that I would take against anybody.” at 22-17, Renew put the Bulldogs on top for The Bulldogs jumped out to a 14-3 lead good with a 56-yard touchdown run. Just a

photo by jenny dilworth

few years ago, Renew was selling peanuts at Williams-Brice Stadium during football games. The junior finished with 174 rushing yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns. “This is awesome,” Renew said. “Like

I said earlier, I really don’t know what to feel. This is just a surplus of emotions. I definitely didn’t imagine having the day that I had, but that’s just a credit to the coaching staff and a great game plan coming in.” Houston said he was proud of his team for hanging in there for the whole game. He also said the atmosphere at Williams-Brice got to his team a little bit, particularly in the second half, but the Bulldogs were able to hang on and sneak away with the victory. Aside from possibly making a deep run in the FCS playoffs, this will obviously be one of the major highlights for Houston in his coaching career. “You just beat a SEC East team at home so I don’t know that they get any bigger than this for a FCS school,” Houston said. “This is probably the biggest moment of my coaching career. I’m proud of my coaching staff and I’m proud of my players because I feel we are the way it’s supposed to be. We care about each other.”

South Carolina/The Citadel postgame notes and quotes

south carolina athletics media relations

GENERAL NOTES • South Carolina (3-8) fell to The Citadel (8-3), 23-22. • The loss snapped a 22-game home winning streak against non-conference foes. Carolina is 24-6 in its last 30 home games. • Captains for South Carolina for the game: junior linebacker T.J. Holloman, senior safety Isaiah Johnson, junior wide receiverPharoh Cooper and senior offensive lineman Brandon Shell. • The game marked the fifty-first gridiron meeting between South Carolina and The Citadel. With the loss, the Gamecocks now hold a 40-8-3 lead in the all-time series, including wins in seven-straight contests. OFFENSIVE NOTES • Junior quarterback Perry Orth set career highs in completions (28) and yards (367), finishing 28-of-43 for 367 yards and a touchdown. • Senior tight end Jerell Adams set career highs in receptions (six) and yards (105). This marks his first 100-yard game. • Junior wide receiver Pharoh Cooper tied his career high in receptions with 11 and recorded his ninth 100-yard receiving game, finishing with 11 receptions for a season-high 191 yards. • South Carolina had two players with 100+ yards receiving for the first time since Bruce Ellington (140) and Shaq Roland (112) did so against Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1, 2014. DEFENSIVE NOTES • Senior defensive end Gerald Dixon led the team in tackles with 13, a career high. He also recorded 1.5 tackles for loss. • Junior linebacker Jonathan Walton notched his first career sack on a key third down in the fourth quarter. He finished the afternoon with eight tackles, two tackles for loss, and the sack. SPECIAL TEAM NOTES • Junior placekicker Elliott Fry (269) jumped Ryan Succop for

second place on the all-time scoring list. Fry moved into sole possession of second place in field goals made in program history (52) with his make in the first quarter. Collin Mackie (1987-90) is on top of the list with 72 field goals made. His 19 field goals made in 2015 is tied for third on the single season field goals made list, surpassing his mark in 2014. • Junior punter Sean Kelly downed his 22nd punt inside the 20 this season in the third quarter. He has 64 in his career. South Carolina interim head football coach Shawn Elliott Opening statement “First off, Mike Houston and The Citadel Bulldogs are a heck of a team. They outcoached us, they outplayed us and they outclassed us, everything from the penalties, to the rushing to the playing. They played with great effort and great hearts. I told him (Mike Houston) to go get in the locker room and celebrate with your football team because they certainly deserved everything you did today, and they did it extremely well. I’m certainly disappointed in our effort all the way around, from our penalties to the offense to the defense to the entire game. It was a total disappointment. It is my responsibility to have our football team ready to play. I just spoke with our football team really briefly after that game and there were a lot of disappointed faces out there. But, when we started this contest in the pregame you have to look at a player and team and see if they’re ready to play. I don’t know if it was all there in the beginning. We tried to make plays and come back and gain momentum. We got a fourth down stop there, and then we gave up a long touchdown run with the full back. Then of course you saw how the game ended with an illegal procedure play; not having all 11 players set on the potential touchdown throw to Pharoh Cooper. It was a tough day. It was a tough day on all of us, and it will be a tough night. We have to do something because we have a heck of a Clemson team coming in here ready to play.” On the called back play

“I saw a throw. I saw a catch. I saw a run for the touchdown. I didn’t even know they threw a flag until somebody grabbed my shoulder.” 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 28 Citadel COM Allen 2 Rushing Leaders South Carolina CAR Wilds 16 Carson 2 Citadel CAR Renew 23 Jackson 12 Receiving Leaders South Carolina REC Cooper 11 Adams 6 Citadel REC Glover 1 Eakins 1

SC CIT 18 17 439 387 367 37 72 350 7-51 7-55 6-16 6-14 2-4 1-2 0 0 27:28 32:32 ATT 43 ATT 3

YDS 367 YDS 37

TD 1 TD 0


YDS 40 27 YDS 174 106

AVG 2.5 13.5 AVG 7.6 8.8

TD 1 0 TD 2 1

LG 11 18 LG 56 59

YDS 191 105 YDS 34 3

AVG 17.4 17.5 AVG 34.0 3.0

TD 1 0 TD 0 0

LG 47 30 LG 34 3

Spurs & Feathers • 29

November 25, 2015

There are plenty of things to be thankful for this year Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which on a personal note is my favorite holiday of the year. There are always plenty of things for me to be thankful for such as my children, my wife and my family. Of course, real life struggles and what is taking place in the sports world are two entirely different things. There are still families in our state that are dealing with the repercussions of the recent flooding and trying to get their life in order. Still, sports can be an important release from life and even when things look their darkest there are reasons to be thankful for the program you pull for and Gamecock fans have plenty of reasons to be thankful for what is taking place at the University. Let’s start with football for just a minute and let me offer my thoughts as we move to the final game of the season. I have already defined this year as “weird” and now it just seems like the “lost” season. Between the losses, the tragic flooding that cost the team a home game and then the resigning of Steve Spurrier, it was been a season that most fans are more than willing to forget ever happened. However, I believe the right man is in place to get the program back on track. Ray Tanner has shown he knows how to manage an athletic program and more importantly he understands the necessary requirements a head coach must engage in for the program to succeed. As we come to the end of the Gamecocks first true coaching search in over 17 seasons, I think fans of the program can be thankful they have the right man making the big dollar decisions and that he will deliver a head coach more than capable of taking the team and program back to being competitive and winning ball games. While football may not bring much joy team as I have seen her following a game right now, there is no doubt Gamecock and it had nothing to do with a loss. Infollowers should be thankful for what is stead she was felt she did not get proper taking place over at Colonial Life Arena effort and preparation for the team’s game between the men’s and women’s basketball against Clemson. program. The result of that game was a 20-point As of this writing, both basketball teams plus victory over rival Clemson yet due are a combined 6-0 with the to the manner in which the women’s team showing signs team played, Staley was not of being a National Title Conpleased. That shows the ditender and the men’s team rection of the program and having shown they are going should give Gamecock fans a to be an improved unit over big reason to be pleased with the previous teams and one the woman leading the procapable of challenging for a gram. potential NCAA Tournament Despite being only three berth. games into the season, the talJust regarding the women’s ent upgrade on the men’s team team for a moment, sometimes is easy to recognize. There the progress of a team can be will most likely be a speed Bill Gunter measured in the feelings after bump or two along the season Contributing a victory. Last week, Dawn as the team goes forward but Writer Staley was as upset with her Frank Martin has the program

photo by allen sharpe

going in the right direction. Both of the basketball programs will be very competitive this coming season and my personal opinion is that both are going to be ranked inside the top-25 at some point (obviously the women’s team is already there). As strange as it may sound in late November, Chad Holbrook and the baseball team are not far off from getting things going over at Founders Park. Holbrook is in a lot of ways still learning on the job and last year was maybe the biggest learning experience as the team missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in over 15 seasons. However, in the last several months, listening to Holbrook I think he has taken the proper steps to correct the issues and re-energize the baseball team. Fall camp recently wrapped up and the reviews have been good despite some injuries to key players.

The level of success that was set for the baseball program by Tanner makes it extremely difficult to live up to. That created expectations for Holbrook that can be difficult to follow through on but I believe this is going to be a season that gets the program back on track and gives Gamecock fans more reason to be thankful for the athletic program they have in place. Again, I understand that real life is different that the diversion that sports creates but I also understand how important that diversion can be. Being happy and thankful for your athletic program can help get through the week and of course give you reason to remind your orange-clad friend why the University of South Carolina is better than Clemson University. There are plenty of things to be at South Carolina to be thankful for as we hit the holiday season. From the Gunter family to yours, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

30 • Spurs & Feathers

November 25, 2015

We have to pick ourselves up and get ready for the next play I can’t lie. I fall into that group of people who played football who hate cut blocks. I’m not going to rant and rave about how it’s a “cowardly act” or it’s a dirty play on the football field, I just don’t like it. Much like someone who dislikes doing their taxes or having dental work done, it’s something you deal with in life, and in football that goes the same. I won’t go as far as to say that I haven’t seen a cut block used to be a retaliation tactic, but I’ve also seen Langston Moore well coached Contributing teams use it efWriter fectively. At one point in my life I wasn’t just a defensive lineman, I was just a “lineman,” period. No distinction between offense or defense, and there couldn’t be any while playing at a smaller high school with limited big bodies. Most of us had to play both ways all the time and

our coaches demanded we be good on both sides of the ball. This would help me later on, after being recruited to play defense, I had to play offense my freshman season here at Carolina. Basically I wasn’t effective on defense my freshman year and wound up being moved over midseason due to injury and how bad we were on the offensive line. Dave DeGuglielmo was the offensive line coach, he was in charge of getting this MASH group of players to resemble an SEC offensive line. One of the first things I couldn’t wait to do was to “cut” & “roll” on a defensive player. For me this was one of the bright spots of playing OL (and not having to chase the ball carrier around the field), being able to dish out “cuts” to all those defensive players. I saw this as some form of karma working in my favor, allowing me to even the score after years of attempted cuts from opposing linemen. I know you have to ask yourself how can a defensive lineman not far removed from the position “throw” himself at the legs of a fellow “lineman?” Why? Because it’s legal! It’s part of the game!!! I understand the logic that comes when you bring this topic up: “How can a person equal in size and stature be allowed to dive at a man’s knees? How is this even fair?”

Much like a pitcher in baseball can’t rely on just a fastball over the plate, there has to be a change up. I imagine the first time someone saw a curveball hurled at them only to have it break back into the strike zone seemed against the rules. Tim Wakefield made a living off a knuckleball pitch and was effective. There are plenty of offensive linemen who have made careers being great cut blockers. Don’t look any further than Mike Shanahan’s teams who won back-­to-­back Super Bowls. Most of the blocking that opened the way for Terrell Davis was made possible by cut blocks. Alex Gibbs the offensive line coach at the time became the guru of these techniques and showed it was more than guys falling on the ground. Angles, spacing of the linemen, and lateral speed became weapons for this team unlike the power blocking, double team schemes that won championships before. Gibbs and Shanahan used the threat of a “cut” block to slow defenders down, much like a pitcher uses an off speed pitch to get a hitter to hesitate. Before you know it the running back has found the crease and the damage is done. The cut block when taught properly and used within the right scheme can be very effective and “softening” a defender. Com-

The word “sad” I used to describe this South Carolina football season in last week’s column turned to “sadder” this past Saturday, and my already pessimistic hopes for the season finale dipped a couple of notches lower. Let it be said upfront, The Citadel is a good football team, with an offense that negates an opponent’s size and speed advantages, and the Bulldogs ended a 25-year drought to the Gamecocks with the 23-22 victory. Make no mistake about it, this was no fluke, just another explanation mark on a season to forget for Carolina fans. The hope is, that the returning players won’t forget, indeed that the disappointments of 2015 will be motivation for them to work harder than ever to prepare physically and mentally for next season, and for a new coach. I don’t believe Shawn Elliott will have interim removed from his title. He and his staff had to pull at least a couple of rabbits out of the hat to have a chance, and while the gameplans were good and the effort by the players was there, the wins eluded them. Sometimes the pieces of a coaching staff puzzle never quite mesh, and one of the consequences is that players don’t develop to their full potential, and as a team, they

don’t win. I could make a considerable contribution to my retirement fund if I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked who the new coach will be. I have no “inside” information. I have my suspicion, and I believe it’s a done deal, and that he will meet these three criteria - be young, successful and charismatic. I was struck by comments and a reference Tommy Suggs made about a program that has slipped so far, so fast. “Everybody from Dr. Harris Pastides, Athletics Director Ray Tanner, on down should not only be embarrassed, they should be mad,” the former Gamecock quarterback great Glenn Snyder and color analyst Inside for the radio Look network said. “When we beat Clemson 56-20 in 1975, they got together and vowed it would never happen again and six years later they won a National Championship.”

While I will not talk about the means the Tigers used to uh, obtain the title, suffice to say they were placed on NCAA probation the next year, not just for recruiting, but for a host of violations. Tommy nor I are suggesting anything outside the rules to get things turned around, but that if it hasn’t already been sounded, the embarrassment of this past Saturday should be a call to action. What Clemson’s people did was put their money where their mouths were, and in the end, that will be one of the puzzle pieces to USC’s turnaround – mo’ money. I believe with all my heart that the pieces and the people are in place to turn things around, but obviously there are some weaknesses that need to be identified and addressed. I don’t think hiring a new coach is the end-all to the problems the program faces, but getting the right guy is a giant first step, and I’m confident that’s going to happen. That’s going to happen because he will look at South Carolina’s facilities and see that the Gamecocks have all he toys. He finds a university so well respected and supported that it recently completed a 1 billion dollar fund raising campaign. The new coach and his staff will find a wonderfully-supportive administration,

pletely nullifying the one thing that all defensive players need “aggressiveness.” Players start to play the “shuffle” game where they are no longer coming off the ball, but two­ stepping along the line of scrimmage trying to not get “cut.” You look at team like The Citadel that exudes discipline and the ability to carry out orders in difficult times. Cutting a defender for 60 minutes can become tough to do, you can’t forget the technique involved to make sure it’s effective. It’s more than just falling to the ground and looking like a speed bump. Now that The Citadel has come in and “cut” our hopes for an easy victory, many of our jaws were on the ground Saturday after the game. It seemed most of our hopes laid on the turf scrambling to get up, just like our defenders during the game. The difference between experiencing a cut block in live action versus safe practice simulation proved to be vastly different. A difference that put the Gamecocks on equal talent level as The Citadel when we didn’t execute our gameplan and utilize proper technique against something so basic. And so much like any defender who gets “cut,” we have to pick ourselves up and get ready for the “next play.” Beat Clemson!

The pieces are in place to turn things around

photo by jenny dilworth

an over-the-top supportive fan base and a wonderful city in which to work. Nothing about this process denotes starting over, this is a bump in the road, and the Cocks will fly again soon. If you have Clemson friends or family you know you will be subjected to a lot of abuse this week, and much to my chagrin, they will have tickets all over WilliamsBrice. Just remember the Gamecocks had their run, and now the Tigers are having theirs, but don’t forget, “on any given day.” It’s a great time to be a Gamecock!

Spurs & Feathers • 31

November 25, 2015

Clemson will have all the pressure on them

Just when you think it just couldn’t get worse, it got worse. There is no other way to describe losing to The Citadel on Saturday. That’s not taking anything away from The Citadel. They came ready to play and took it to the Gamecocks and deserved the win. That being said, South Carolina should never have lost, but a combination of dropped passes, missed tackles, and poor play calls, added up to a loss to an FCS team. The same inconsistencies throughout the season played a part against the smaller opponent. It’s not like it’s never happened before. In 1975 Carolina lost to Appalachian State. I was 15 and got my first speeding ticket on the way to the game. That was a miserable day. In 1982, USC lost to Furman. Richard Bell would not be invited back as head coach the next year and the loss played a part in that. I was on the sideline with the team and it was an unhappy bunch. And in 1990, The Citadel beat the Gamecocks. The feeling after Saturday’s game is pretty much the same as those previous ones. Losing is never fun, but losing these types are worse. It’s been that kind of year. There is no need to dwell on it. As Coach Spurrier would say, “It is what is.” It’s almost over and there’s one more to go. It is a big one. Clemson will come into Williams-Brice ranked #1 in the country. It is a heck of an opportunity. I am not going to insult anybody’s intelligence and suggest South Carolina will rise above it all and suddenly play the game of the year and beat the top-ranked Tigers. I would say that it is rather doubtful. There is no reason to believe that the Gameas has been the case in almost every Carolinacocks will not play with the same inconsistencies Clemson matchup, there is always something that we have seen all season. After all, we have memorable: win or lose. been waiting all year for that. In 1961, the USC chapter of Sigma Nu pulled In 1981 Clemson came into Williams-Brice off the prank of all-time borrowing Orangeburg10-0 ranked #2 in the country. The distinctive Wilkinson High School’s uniforms and coming memory that I have from that game was in the out pregame in them for warm-ups. The calisfirst quarter, Clemson blocked a punt that rolled thenics included the good ole milking the cow into the north end zone where the Tigers recovexercise among others. Carolina went on to win, ered it for the touchdown. 21-14. In those days, Clemson took up the entire north In 1977, Clemson led 24-0 in the third quarter end zone seating (Carolina got the north end zone before South Carolina charged and took the lead in Clemson). The fans rained oranges down onto 27-24 on a fourth and ten play from Ron Bass to the field. One of the guys on the Philip Logan for 40 yards with bench said, “Look at Phil!” less than two minutes left. Alas, Phil Ellis was a pretty good Clemson led by Steve Fuller and defensive end for the Gamecocks. Dwight Clark, along with an He was picking up the oranges improbable catch by Jerry Butler and throwing them into the stands for a touchdown, broke our hearts, where they came from as if he was 31-27. Nolan Ryan, throwing 100 mph In 1979, Jay Feltz who had a oranges right back to the orangetough game punting up to that clad fans. point hit an 80 yarder to down I’d love to tell you that South Clemson inside the five. We would Carolina was inspired by his need all of those yards. Clemson Ed Girardeau antics, but that touchdown led to drove the field in the final minutes Contributing a fairly resounding win for the only to come up short on fourth Editor Tigers on that day. Despite the loss, down inside the opposite five and

photo by allen sharpe

Carolina won, 13-9. Jim Carlen was fired after the 1981 season, but three years later South Carolina went 9-0 to open the season (the only time that has ever happened) and beat Clemson, 22-21, in Memorial Stadium after trailing 21-3 in one of the greatest comebacks of all time. There have been wins, losses, and ties. There have been missed and made field goals that were the difference in the game. There have been push offs, and brawls, and blowouts. One thing is for sure, the game is always memorable and it’s a lot better in person than watching it on television. The last time a number one ranked team came into Williams-Brice, it was Alabama. The stadium was electric and South Carolina won going away, 35-21. The fans played a huge part in helping Carolina pull away in the fourth quarter. Carolina’s fans have an opportunity to play a part in spoiling Clemson’s season. Clemson has played a soft schedule. They have beaten two good teams, handing Notre Dame their only loss in the floods of October by two points, and Florida State by 10 earlier this month, both games at home. The games on the road were against Louisville, Miami, NC State, and Syracuse. None of which can be considered juggernauts. The Syracuse

(3-8) game, the most recent, was a seven-point difference in the fourth quarter, before ultimately losing by 10. The Gamecocks lost to on the road to Texas A&M by 7 and Tennessee by 3, and to Florida by 10 at home, all three ranked at times during the season. Forget The Citadel. I promise the football team will have forgotten after Thanksgiving Day and will be ready to go on Saturday. The fans should have the same approach. Clemson will have all the pressure on them. A prefect season will be on the line, while USC plays for respect in the last game of the season. Don’t get me wrong. Clemson is a pretty good football team and has a great quarterback, however, they are not that much better than the teams that South Carolina has played extremely tough. My expectation is that the Gamecocks will play Clemson very tough and will have a chance to win in the fourth quarter. Will they be able to pull off the win? I sincerely hope so, and I know the more Gamecocks that are in the house will make that more of a possibility. So forget the whole season, have a great Thanksgiving, and get ready for a new season, albeit short, on Friday, and show up and make some noise on Saturday. If nothing else, we’re due!

32 • Spurs & Feathers

November 25, 2015


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