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August 27, 2014 • Volume 36 • Issue 10 • $1.50

Steve Spurrier

Standing

TALL

HBC gets BIG new tribute as he and his team look to extend Carolina’s most successful streak ever


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photo by allen sharpe

Gamecocks ready for season-opening opportunity by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

good chance,” Spurrier explained. Spurrier noted the Gamecocks and the Aggies have some similarities on their rosSouth Carolina head football coach Steve ters with talented young players but no real Spurrier said at the first weekly press consuperstars. ference he and his team are excited to kick “They’re going to play a lot of young guys off the college football season with Texas it appears, but they have a lot of experience A&M. with guys coming back that were sort of “The opportunity to open college football freshmen last year,” Spurrier said. “Obvireally gets our players juiced up through the ously they lost their quarterback, wide preseason practices. They know it’s going to receiver and offensive lineman as three No. be a national TV game, so they want to look 1 draft picks last year, but they’re probably good, want to play well. I think it’s a good a little bit like us in that they haven’t had a opportunity for us,” Spurrier said. bunch of superstars to talk about in the preWith the Gamecocks selected to win the season. SEC East at SEC Media Days, Spurrier said “Their players are anxious to earn their there is not a big difference coming into the way just like our team. Our guys are anxious year as favorites instead of underdogs. to show the country that we can play ball “It’s just talking season. Talking season is and we’ve got a lot of good players also,” about over now and we’re preparing the best Spurrier added. we can one game at a time … it’s nice to be Spurrier said that the team has been mainpicked a little bit. People think that we’ve got ly healthy throughout the preseason with the a chance to be pretty good, so maybe that exception of the injuries to Mike Matulis tells our players ‘hey we’ve got a chance to and Jamari Smith. He said that the team is be pretty good,’ but we also know that we hopeful Matulis could return by midseason. can get beat … so we’ve got to go coach and Spurrier noted Mike Davis should be full play well if we’re going to give ourselves a speed by Thursday, but he has confidence in

all four tailbacks no matter who carries the ball. He also made a special note of the Dixon brothers, Gerald Dixon and Gerald Dixon, Jr., both of whom will start on the defensive line for the opener saying, “I don’t know if that’s ever happened here before. I don’t think that we’ve ever had two brothers starting the defensive line the way we do now … but they’re both good players, they both have earned their way to be starters there.” Focusing back on the opening the season, the Head Ball Coach could not say why they have had success in openers and continued to say that it is hard to predict what could happen in the game. “I don’t know what’s going to happen in the game. We try to be ready to run and throw according to the situation as most teams do,” Spurrier commented. “They could stack the line and give us fits running or they could play loose. Most of the time you come to the ball park trying to get an idea of what the other team is trying to do … everybody has a game plan, then you start adjusting as you go. “I don’t know if we can stay out there and

control the clock. I don’t know if we can run up and down the field and make a whole bunch of third downs and fourth downs. We like to try to do that, but on the other side we throw the ball around too. You never know how the game is going to go, so if we’re fortunate to get a lead we try to consume clock the best we can. I don’t know if we’re going to get a lead, so we may be firing all over the place or running all over the place. Who knows,” Spurrier expounded. One area in which Spurrier has confidence is in playing in front of the Garnet & Blackclad supporters in Williams-Brice Stadium. “We’re certainly glad the game is at our place at Williams-Brice. Obviously we’ve had a good run here the past two and a half years and hopefully we can continue,” Spurrier stated. “I know our fans will be fired up and ready to do their part. “We certainly encourage them and we’re going to need them to do their part if we’re going to have a good chance to beat Texas A&M … it’s a big game for us; could be one of the biggest of the year. It’s our first one and we’ve got to be ready to play our best,” Spurrier added.


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Spurs & Feathers Published by Aiken Communications, Inc.

Contact Us: 301 Greystone Blvd. Columbia, SC 29210 (803) 335-1399 To subscribe: Please call 800-559-2311; annual subscription price is $50 Ellen Priest Publisher Aiken Communications, Inc. Tim O’Briant General Manager tobriant@spursandfeathers.com (803) 335-1400 Ext. 500

What’s Inside? - Table of Contents Steve Spurrier’s top-11 games .............................. 4-5 Welcome back student-athletes ...............................6 Gamecock Club announces brick program at Williams-Brice ................................8 Gamecock Club continuing to show why it’s great to be a Gamecock ...............................9 Recruiting Roundup....................................................10 Burnett happy to promote Gamecocks ...............12 2014-15 men’s basketball schedule ......................14 Pharoh Cooper works for success ..........................15 South Carolina/Texas A&M rosters ................. 16-17 Gamecocks’ Four Horsemen ....................................19

Brian Hand Executive Editor bhand@spursandfeathers.com (803) 335-1399 Ext. 506

Depth charts .................................................................20

Mike Kucharski Reporter mike@spursandfeathers.com (803) 335-1399 Ext. 507

Inside the Chart ............................................................22

Ed Girardeau Contributing Editor/Sales Account Executive ed@spursandfeathers.com (803) 646-9807 Dee Taylor Advertising Director (803) 644-2371 Kathy Boyette Advertising Sales Manager (803) 295-3654 kboyette@spursandfeathers.com Matt Socha Graphic Designer

Postal Information: SPURS & FEATHERS (USPS 12779) (ISSN 7454368X) is published 26 times annually. The frequency is monthly from December to July and weekly from the third Wednesday in August to the fourth Wednesday in November. SPURS & FEATHERS also publishes three slick-paper magazine issues — one in January, one in July 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.

Something to crow about!

Thornwell working to play more minutes ..........21

What a great time to be born a Gamecock ........23 Inside Look with Glenn Snyder ...............................24 Columbia football rentals .........................................25 New sign for Williams-Brice made in the Palmetto State .................................................26 Experts’ views on the Gamecocks..........................28 Unique views from Ed Girardeau............................29 Upcoming Events: Gamecock Club........................30

Women’s basketball launches 2014-15 theme of “One” South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley announced that her team will play its 2014-15 season under the theme “one.” In her seventh season at the helm, the Naismith Hall of Famer annually develops a theme for both her team and its fans to rally around for the season. Fans will see the Gamecocks define the broader theme in different ways throughout the season to highlight the various aspects of the program that impact its success. “We come into this season in a different position than we’re used to, with high expectations - ours and others’,” Staley said. “We want that, but to thrive in that environment, we’re going to have to come together and focus on the collective more than on any individual person. Every person in our program is going to have to be committed to the whole, the `one,’ if we want to reach our goal of being the one team standing at the end of this season.” South Carolina enters the 2014-15 season with 10 returning letterwinners from last season’s SEC Champion squad, and Staley added the nation’s second-best recruiting class, according to ESPN, to the group. The Gamecocks have won at least 25 games in each of the last three seasons, advancing to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 twice in that stretch. The returning group includes all five starters, including SEC Player of the Year and All-American Tiffany Mitchell, SEC Freshman and Co-Sixth Player of the Year Alaina Coates, two-time All-SEC selection Aleighsa Welch and the program’s top single-season shot blocker Elem Ibiam. The five-member freshman class includes three McDonald’s AllAmericans with a pair of top-10 signees in A’ja Wilson (No. 1) and Jatarie White (No. 7) highlighting the group. Two other top-35 signees are in the class with Kaydra Duckett coming in at No. 32 and Bianca Cuevas ranked No. 35 in the nation. For the 2014-15 season, reserved seat season tickets are $50 each. General Admission tickets start at $100 for a Family Four Pack. The South Carolina Ticket Office is currently accepting deposits on 2014-15 season tickets via the website, www.GamecocksOnline.com/tickets, or by calling 1-800-4SC-FANS. (Story courtesy of South Carolina Athletics Media Relations)


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2014 CAPITAL ONE BOWL by Glenn Snyder Contributing Writer A local sportswriter recently wrote what he thought were the Top 10 wins of the Steve Spurrier era. The HBC has a much different list. “I thought the fans would be curious as to what I thought was our best 11 wins,” he said. “We’ve been winning 11 the last three years, so I thought why not go for 11. I’ll let the fans say which win was number one, two, three or four. I did it by year.”

2005 Tennessee 16-15

“That was our first win ever in Knoxville in Neyland Stadium. Josh Brown had the kick of his life, a 49-yard field goal. Sidney Rice had two touchdown passes from Blake Mitchell. Kenny McKinley had some big catches and our defense played very well. (OL) Na’Shon Goddard picked up a fumble and dove out to the 1-yard line to prevent a safety.”

2005 Florida 30-22

MAYOR’S Cup

“We beat Florida for the first time since 1939, and it was the first win since joining the SEC. If Florida wins that game they win the division, but I don’t think they were that fired up for us. Our guys really played great. Mike Davis and Daccus Turman scored two touchdowns each and the defense played well.”

2006 Clemson 31-28

“A lot of people might not put this one on the list, but it was my first win against them. We lost the next two years, so if we hadn’t won, we would have been 0-4 in my first four years, and the talk would have been, ‘You can’t beat Clemson.’ Fortunately Blake Mitchell had a really good game, and the offense stayed on the field at least 40 minutes, and their guy missed a field goal.”

2010 Alabama 35-21

“It was our first-ever win over the No. 1 team in the nation. It was just a good game all-around. Stephen Garcia had three touchdown passes, two to Alshon Jeffery and one to Marcus Lattimore. Our defense made plays when they needed to.”

2010 Florida 36-14

“It was the first-ever win over Florida in The Swamp, the first-ever Eastern Division Championship. Alshon had some key thirddown catches, Garcia didn’t turn the ball over and our defense was outstanding. It was a pretty special win for our program.”

2011 Nebraska 30-13 (1/2/12)

“It was our first-ever 11-win season, our first-ever Top 10 finish (8th). It was a huge, huge win for us. Connor Shaw and Kenny Miles led the offense and after the first drive our defense played well. It was first game as D-coordinator for Lorenzo Ward.


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2013 Outback BOWL 2012 Michigan 33-28 (1/1/13)

“The game tied the record for most wins (11) in a season and our highest-ever Top-10 finish (7th) in school history. Connor and Dylan Thomson both played a big part in the win. Connor threw two TD passes, one to Damiere Byrd (56 yards) and Ace Sanders (31 yards) and Dylan threw one to Ace and the game winner to Bruce Ellington with 11 seconds left. Of course the momentum changer was Jadeveon Clowney’s big hit in the fourth quarter.”

2013 Missouri 27-24 (2OT)

“That was our first-ever overtime victory, one of the best comebacks I’ve ever been involved in. Connor came off the bench to play one of his best games ever. Bruce Ellington and Mike Davis each caught 10 passes. Our defense shut them down in the second half and somehow we came out of there with a victory.”

2013 Florida 19-14

“That game was special because it set the school record with 16-straight home wins. We were one down going into the fourth quarter and if we don’t win that one, we don’t finish in the Top-10. Elliott Fry made four field goals (25, 45, 22, 43 yards). Bruce

had a big touchdown catch (32 yards) from Connor that got us back into the game.”

2013 Clemson 31-17

“We set the record of five in a row over the Upstate team and upped our home-field record to 18 in a row. Connor proved he’s the best quarterback in South Carolina history, with a touchdown pass to Shaq Roland (9 yards) and a TD run (3 yards). Our defense played well and they had six turnovers. They’re a good team that continues to not play well against us.”

2013 Wisconsin 34-24 (1/1/14)

“Again we tied the record for most wins ever (11) in a season and gave us our highest finish ever in the polls (4th). Connor threw two touchdown passes to Bruce Ellington, one to Jerell Adams, rushed for one and scored another on a 9-yard pass from Ellington.” “All 77 wins have been very special for all us Gamecocks, but these games stand out because most are first-ever accomplishments,” Coach Spurrier said in closing. “They all have been extremely important to building Carolina football into a Top-10 program. The big thing is that there are still a lot of first-evers that can be done.”

5 in a row


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South Carolina welcomes back student-athletes by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

Summer is officially over, school is back at the University of South Carolina and the Athletics Department provided some food and fun after the first day of class for the student-athletes. Gamecock student-athletes got a chance to unwind as a community at the Welcome Back Picnic at the Athletics Village on Thursday, Aug. 21 following the first day of classes. “This is our second year doing this and it’s just a ‘welcome back’ picnic bringing all the teams together after being away for the summer to get the semester started off on a good note,” Associate AD/Academics and Student Development Maria Hickman said at the picnic. “It’s a good day to do this because we know everyone is back, they’re not competing yet and it’s an easy way to have them all out - come eat dinner, have a couple games, have a DJ and have some fun.” Student-athletes from across the Athletics Department came together and mingled while eating, playing ping-pong or cornhole and there were even some interesting karaoke song renditions. Sophomore men’s basketball player Sindarius Thornwell noted it was a nice way to get back on campus.

South Carolina freshman men’s basketball student-athlete TeMarcus Blanton entertains the crowd with his lyrical stylings at the Welcome Back picnic. “It’s a lot of fun to come out here, get some with Thornwell and said she was thankful food and see everybody. It’s good to be with for the chance for all student-athletes to some players from other teams and make come together as Gamecocks. those relationships, so it’s a lot of fun. We’re “It’s a great thing that they put on for us all one big team out here and we can all hang and we’re fortunate as athletes to get all out together and celebrate being back for an- these perks. This is just one of them and other year,” Thornwell commented. helps us to start school the right way,” SarSenior softball pitcher Julie Sarratt agreed ratt said. “It’s great to see all athletes. We’re

a big family here at South Carolina and this just validates it with us all eating together as one big team.” The USC Association of Lettermen also assisted while letting the current Gamecocks know about some of the opportunities to continue supporting South Carolina after graduation. Director of Life Skills and Community Outreach Erica Nelson said that they “get great attendance because it’s free food” and that the Welcome Back Picnic is a chance “to build camaraderie and allow studentathletes to engage with each other in a fun way … it’s a good way for us to show our appreciation for them.” Senior women’s basketball player Aleighsa Welch echoed the others in their appreciation for the event as well. “This is a fun event. It’s just a chance or all of us to finally be with one another, see each other, sit together and have a little bit of fun to start the school year off right because once it gets going it can get a little bit stressful at times,” Welch remarked. “It’s exciting. It puts us one step closer to the season and it’s also exciting to finally have everybody back on campus and get back into the swing of things. It’s an adjustment going from summer to now, but especially with this being my last year I’m just trying to take it all in right now.”

While there was plenty of food and fun, Comer noted that the chapter was also able to raise some money for the Gamecock Club as well. “We had a wonderful silent auction that made some money and we had another woman there selling Gamecock memorabilia. She always donates to us too,” Comer noted. “We were able to write a check for several thousand dollars for a donation. Patrick wanted to use that for Dawn Staley’s project that she’s got going on. We were happy to help, so we put that toward her goal. Then we donated to help out with the Block C project for the sign on the facade of Williams-Brice Stadium as well.” Comer said that many Gamecock fans in the area are counting down until the kickoff with Texas A&M, but said there are also plans to travel to some of the road SEC games as well. He said there will be some heading to Nashville for the game at Vanderbilt and a full contingent heading down for the game at Florida late in the season. “We have a bus trip going down for the Florida game. It’s already full and filled up really quick. We’ll go down and meet up with the Jacksonville Gamecock Club there. They

“We’re all just anticipating what the season will be like right now and there is a lot of excitement from our area leading up to kickoff. We like what they’re doing up in Charlotte too and together we try to make sure that the area shows plenty of Gamecock pride here near the border,” Comer remarked. To find out more about the York County you can like them on Facebook.

photo by brian hand

York County Gamecock Club kicks off fall

by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

The York County Gamecock Club’s annual Pre-Football and Freshman Send Off event was a fun time with some special guests to get ready for Gamecock football. Not only was there a featured speaker for the football team, but Gamecock Club Executive Director Patrick McFarland and South Carolina Deputy Athletics Director Charles Waddell also attended. “It was a good day. We had a great turnout, a full room at the Palmetto Room in Rock Hill,” chapter president Chip Comer said. “We had Patrick come up and Charles Waddell to give us updates on facilities and projects. We also had Chris Clark from Gamecock Central and he did a great job with the presentation. He’s really knowledgeable, particularly with recruiting. “Since that day was actually freshman send-off for the University we didn’t have any freshmen there unfortunately. Then we had to scurry off after the meeting to get down to Columbia for our son to move in too … we had a great time and really enjoyed the day,” Comer added.

always do a great job for the Friday night party before the game, then we can head out to the stadium for the game usually in a convoy of eight or nine buses of Gamecock fans,” Comer said. He added that even with those trips on the horizon, all the local South Carolina fans are looking forward to the season getting underway.

submitted photo


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Gamecock Club announces commemorative brick program at Williams-Brice Stadium south carolina athletics media relations

The University of South Carolina Gamecock Club has announced a Commemorative Brick Program, which features a limited number of customizable brick pavers available for purchase at the soon-to-be constructed Springs Brooks Plaza at Williams-Brice Stadium. The engraved bricks will be displayed beginning with the 2015 football season. “The Commemorative Brick Program will give Gamecock fans an opportunity to leave their legacy on the Springs Brooks Plaza,” senior associate athletics director Jeff Crane said. “This program gives Gamecocks a place to come view their engraved brick with friends and family for

years to come.” The bricks, which are four inches by eight inches and can hold one to three lines of text (15 characters per line), will be available for $200 for Gamecock Club members (for promo code, call 803-777-4276), and $255 for non-members. The price for nonmembers, however, does include a 2015 Gamecock Club Roost Membership. Those who purchase a brick will receive two priority points for each purchased. Keepsake replica bricks and display cases are also available, for $100 and $50, respectively. Once installed, a locator map will be available for donors to find their bricks on the Springs Brooks Plaza. To order by phone, fans should call 1-844-GC-BRIKS, or to order online, visit GamecocksOnline.com/Bricks.

photo by travis bell/sideline carolina


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Gamecock Club continuing to show why it’s great to be a Gamecock by brian hand bhand@spursandfeathers.com

(Dr. Mike) McGee … the impression that Eric Hyman made on all of our facilities and now we’re getting ready to go in a new direction Right now is seen as unprecedented times with some new facilities to give us a chance to for the University of South Carolina Athletics compete at the highest level. Department. “At the University, I’ve always said we need The same can be said for the Gamecock an opportunity for our student-athletes to Club as every year they are adding more and compete at the highest level and that includes more members to the organization founded facilities. We’re working hard to stay in that in 1940 to provide financial support to the position and it is truly great to be a Gamestudent-athletes at the University. cock,” Tanner continued. Presently the Gamecock Club has members The membership numbers is not the only in 48 of the 50 states as Rhode Island and thing that has the Gamecock Club excited as North Dakota are the only states not represo many great things are happening with all sented. of the chapters. This past summer, McFarland Gamecock Club executive director Patrick and the Gamecock Club challenged the chapMcFarland is not shy about wanting to have ters to raise over $50,000 to help with the cost a member in all 50 states, noting numerous of the new sign on the outside of the concrete times this past summer to whoever would column of the elevator shaft at Williamslisten “if you know anyone in those two states Brice Stadium. The Gamecock Club chapters tell them to join the Gamecock Club.” responded by going above and beyond. The Gamecock Club may not have checked “We had over $54,000 raised by our chapoff every state in the United States just yet, ters,” McFarland commented. “We’re thrilled but they have continued to set record numabout that because that really assisted in makbers. In fact, as the athletic year commences ing that project happen.” for the third straight athletic year the organiOverall, the 2014-15 athletic year is shaping zation has broken their membership number up to be a great one for the Gamecock Club. record. “One thing we’re really excited about is our “We’re over 17,000 members,” McFarland student Gamecock Club,” McFarland said. noted. “This is the third straight year we’ve “We’re over 1,000 members and that’s only in broken our membership numbers. We broke a very short period of time of the chapter ex15,000 two years ago, 16,000 last year and isting. (Gamecock Club Membership Services 17,000 this year.” Coordinator) Jordan Gardner and (Assistant The fact that the Gamecock Club continues Director of the Gamecock Club) Wayne Hiott to reach new heights each and every year is have really headed that effort and they’ve not lost on McFarland. done a fantastic job of being on campus and “Interest in the Gamecocks has never been getting the kids to sign up. higher,” McFarland stated. “People want to “The Student Gamecock Club really put us support the Gamecocks. What they’ve seen is to that 17,000 member mark, so I cannot say not only winning on the field, but all you have enough about Wayne and Jordan and some of to do is to step on to campus and you see all our students going up there and getting people the buildings, the facilities being upgraded signed up. It’s going to be a really cool student and there are even future plans to upgrade fa- program and I think it’s going to teach people cilities. I think people are excited and they see about the Gamecock Club and hopefully their investment is going to student-athletes.” that means when they graduate they become South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanregular Gamecock Club members. It’s good to ner believes what the Gamecock Club is see the Student Gamecock Club back. I think doing to help Gamecock athletics “is very there was a hole missing there that we didn’t special.” have any source of involvement for our stu“I’m going into my 19th year here (16 as dent body in the Gamecock Club. It’s fantastic head baseball coach) at the University,” to have it back,” McFarland elaborated. Tanner remarked. “I had a chance to be a To celebrate the start of the athletic year the coach for a long time, but I ‘ve watched the season opener against Texas A&M will also evolution of athletics and where we were and serve as Gamecock Club Appreciation Day the level we competed at, our facilities and and the organization will honor its chapters improvements we’ve made and we continue during halftime. to make great strides. It’s very special. The “It’s exciting to be able to recognize our athletic directors before me, going back to chapters that go above and beyond and our

photo by brian hand

McFarland (left) talks with Gamecock Club members at Greenville meeting at Fluor Field. chapter presidents that go above and beyond,” McFarland relayed. “So, we’re excited to have them out on the field and announce our director’s cup, chapter of the year, most improved and most valuable president so all of

Williams-Brice Stadium can see what a great job they’re doing.” To learn more about the Gamecock Club, please visit http://www.gamecocksonline. com/gamecockclub.


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South Carolina Gamecocks

Recruiting Round-up Junior linebacker JaCorey Morris (6-2 215) of Grove Hill, Ala. visited USC in June after being contacted by Gamecock linebackers coach Kirk Botkin and last Tuesday decided he’d seen enough and committed to the Gamecocks. He’s USC’s second commitment for the 2016 class. Botkin learned about Morris from a friend who lives not far from Clarke County High School. Morris’ coach, Keith Kelley, contacted Botkin and sent him film. Kelley and Morris then went in for a visit in June after first attending a camp at Clemson. “Coach Botkin did a really good job coming in and was laid back and did a really good job of making him feel at home,” Kelley said. “He likes to hunt and play ball. Coach Botkin did a really good job of making him feel at home and he really liked the atmosphere there. And of course, the program. They are a heck of a program. Coach Spurrier, I told him man, you’ll be playing for a coach who will going into the hall of fame and one of the best coaches Phil Kornblut ever.” Of course, the Contributing question is will this Writer commitment hold up over time if Alabama and Auburn make a big push? “It will really, really surprise me if he changed his mind,” Kelley said. “He definitely loves South Carolina. He likes the place and he likes the school. Coach Botkin has made a really, really big impression on him. It would really, really be tough to get him to sway away from South Carolina.” Morris plays outside linebacker and is just a playmaker according to his coach. “He has a knack for the football, he’s always around the football,” Kelley said. “He does a lot of stuff you can’t teach. He just has a knack for the ball. He likes to hit. I’ll just be straight up with you. He does a great job covering guys in the flats and running down the field with them.” Kelley said Morris also had offers from Clemson, Southern Miss, UAB, West Florida and some other Division-2 schools. Auburn and Mississippi State also were recruiting him. For over a year and a half, Dillon FB/LB Joe Blue remained committed to USC. But earlier this month his attempts to enroll were twice rebuffed by the school. After visiting Coastal Carolina and considering SC State, Blue has opted to enroll at Georgia Prep in Atlanta. He has already reported for practice and will play linebacker. Blue will have the chance to play in the Columbia area when the Lions take on Gray College Prep in Lexington on Sept. 7. Blue said his plan is to attend Georgia Prep for one

By Phil Kornblut

semester and then re-sign with a Division One program. And it won’t necessarily be USC. “I don’t know yet,” Blue said. “I’m looking around.” Blue said he hasn’t talked with any USC coaches lately. And he doesn’t have his eyes set on specific teams at this point. “I’m just waiting to see what comes through,” he said. So far, Blue said, no other major schools have reached out to him. Juniors: USC made the cut last week to the final six with 2016 QB Brandon McIlwain (6-1 210) of Newtown, Pa. Joining the Gamecocks on the short list are Penn State, Auburn, Virginia Tech, Duke and Florida. ‘I’ve been talking to the coaches at South Carolina since my freshman year so I have a great relationship with the coaches there,” McIlwain said. “My dad went there and my grandmother lives ten minutes away (in Irmo). It’s a place that really feels like home for me. I’ve visited there multiple times and it’s a really great place. Great facilities. Great stadium. The game atmosphere was amazing. All that put together just made it feel like a place where I can really see myself being.” McIlwain is a threat as a passer and runner and feels is similar in playing style to former Gamecock star Connor Shaw. “We also run the spread in my school so I can see myself fitting in with that offense,” McIlwain said. “(Coach Mangus) has made it clear that I’m his top guy.” McIlwain has visited all six of his schools and he said it’s even between them. He plans to visit all six again during the season and is looking at USC’s game against Georgia as his possible visit date to Columbia. After these visits he will get down to making his decision and wants to get that down between December and early spring. “I want to make my decision as soon as I can because I do want to help whatever school I commit to help them recruit,” McIlwain said. “Then, I don’t want to rush it and make a decision that I could possible regret. I’m going to make sure the time is right but do it as soon as I can after my season.” Last season McIlwain passed for 1446 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed for 600 yards and 10 touchdowns. USC is among the early leaders for DB John Broussard (6-0 170) of Phenix City, Ala. He named USC, Auburn, FSU, LSU, Georgia, Kentucky and Penn State as his top six in no order. Broussard holds 18 offers right now and has given USC an edge on many of the schools showing interest. “I visited a couple of weeks ago and I loved their facilities,” he said. “I really liked the coaches and they told me I’m a top priority.” Broussard has only visited a handful of schools and does not plan to take any future visits until after the season. His offers include

USC, Clemson, LSU, Georgia, Kentucky, Penn State, Louisville, Mississippi State, Florida State, Southern Miss and Nebraska. Broussard attended camps at Florida State and Alabama this summer and visited USC and Auburn. DL Derrick Brown (6-3 293) of Lanier, Ga. is one of his state’s top-ranked player for the 2016 class and has compiled an impressive offer list including USC. The Gamecocks join Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin as some of the programs that have offered the rising junior. Brown has taken several visits this summer including Clemson, Auburn, Alabama, Miami, Mississippi State, Georgia and Wake Forest. He has no early favorites and wants to be patient with the process. “I’m looking for the school that fits me best,” Brown said. “The one that feels right.” Brown has not visited USC but plans to get to a game this season. The earliest a commitment could be expected would be sometime next summer but could come as late as National Signing Day. He does not have any favorites. USC is the only offer on the board right now for DE Javon Kinlaw (6-7 260) of Goose Creek and that has the Gamecocks in the lead position for him. But he also likes Clemson, Florida State and Tennessee. “It’s a close school and it feels like home,” Kinlaw said of USC. Kinlaw didn’t make any camps this summer and hopes to be at USC for the season opener. But he’s not thinking about making an early commitment. Last season Kinlaw had 50 tackles and 4 sacks. He also plays offensive tackle and tight end but wants to play defensive end in college. Basketball News: 6-5 Tevin Mack of Dreher, his mother and his brother made a visit to USC last Thursday afternoon and sat down with Gamecock basketball coach Frank Martin, and during that meeting Martin made Mack an official offer. Martin had indicated to Mack for some time that an offer would be made but he was nonetheless relieved when it was made official. “I was a little excited,” Mack said. “It was a long time coming so I was pretty excited about it. They told me before I was going to get it they just didn’t say when so I was kind of expecting it.” Mack has cut his list to Clemson, USC, Georgia, VCU, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Mississippi State and Oklahoma State. He has not yet set dates for official visits but he plans to take trips to Clemson, USC, VCU and Georgia. If he hasn’t made a decision by the time he visits those four, he’ll take a fifth visit. Mack said all the schools on his list are staying in regular contact and he doesn’t have an order

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to the schools nor a leader. “I’m trying to figure out where I can go and play right away,” Mack said. “I’ve got portfolios on every school and I know their players and who they’ve offered and who they are recruiting because I did a lot of research on that and I know where I can come in and fit in right away.” USC has the hometown advantage over the others but that can be a double-edge sword for the Gamecocks because Mack can see everything up close that goes on in the program, both good and bad. “I always have to consider the hometown school but it’s not an advantage for them,” Mack said. “I grew up in Columbia and that’s always important but I wouldn’t say it’s an advantage.” Perhaps the most important part of the visit for the Gamecocks was that Mack’s mother had the chance to meet Martin for the first time. “I think she changed her outlook on him,” Mack said. “The media makes him out to be a bad guy but he’s actually a real good guy. She likes him actually.” Mack plans to sign in November. 6-8 Chris Silva of Gabon, Africa, who attends prep school in New Jersey, Sunday announced his final five schools of USC, Kansas State, Villanova, Rhode Island and Seton Hall. He will take official visits to those five and then make his decision. Baseball News: USC gained a commitment for the 2017 class from LHP Chase Williamson (6-1 190) of Lexington last week. As a freshman last season Williamson was 0-1 but had 10 strikeouts in 8 innings of work. He’s USC’s second commitment for the 2017 class. Catch Kornblut every night on SportsTalk and get more of his statewide recruiting news at SportsTalkSC.com and on Twitter @SportsTalkSC.


Spurs & Feathers • 11

August 27, 2014

South Carolina Gamecocks

2014

football Schedule 08/28/14 ..........vs. Texas A&M # ................... Columbia, S.C. .............6:00 p.m. ET 09/06/14 ..........vs. East Carolina .................. Columbia, S.C. .............7:00 p.m. ET

Standings SEC East

W-L PF

PA W-L PF PA

STRK

South Carolina

0-0 0

0 0-0 0 0

-

Florida

0-0 0

0 0-0 0 0

-

09/13/14 ..........vs. Georgia # ......................... Columbia, S.C. .............3:30 p.m. ET

Georgia

0-0 0

0 0-0 0 0

-

Kentucky

0-0 0

0 0-0 0 0

-

09/20/14 ..........at Vanderbilt # ...................... Nashville, Tenn. ...........................TBA

Missouri

0-0 0

0 0-0 0 0

-

Vanderbilt

0-0 0

0 0-0 0 0

-

Tennessee

0-0 0

0 0-0 0 0

-

SEC West

W-L PF

Auburn

0-0 0

09/27/14 ..........vs. Missouri # ......................... Columbia, S.C. .............................TBA 10/04/14 ..........at Kentucky # ........................ Lexington, Ky. ..............................TBA 10/18/14 ..........vs. Furman ............................. Columbia, S.C. .............................TBA 10/25/14 ..........at Auburn # ........................... Auburn, Ala. .................................TBA

PA W-L PF PA

STRK

0 0-0 0 0

-

11/01/14 ..........vs. Tennessee # ..................... Columbia, S.C. .............................TBA

Arkansas

0-0 0

0 0-0 0 0

-

LSU

0-0 0

0 0-0 0 0

-

11/15/14 ..........at Florida # ............................. Gainesville, Fla. ...........................TBA

Ole Miss

0-0 0

0 0-0 0 0

-

Texas A&M

0-0 0

0 0-0 0 0

-

11/22/14 ..........vs. South Alabama .............. Columbia, S.C. .............................TBA 11/29/14 ..........at Clemson ............................ Clemson, S.C. ...............................TBA

Alabama

0-0 0

0 0-0 0 0

-

Mississippi State

0-0 0

0 0-0 0 0

-


12 • Spurs & Feathers

August 27, 2014

Burnett happy to promote Gamecocks all over the world by brian hand bhand@spursandfeathers.com

great for Gamecock athletics, women’s athletics in general. I texted coach (Harris) prior to the 2014 national championship and said ‘2014 Katie Burnett hopes people think of her as an National Champs sounds good to me.’ They’d ambassador for women’s golf at the University been playing good all year, you never know.” of South Carolina. The Gamecocks just missed on returning To this end, despite a rigorous playing home with the 2014 national championship, schedule in the professional golf ranks, the but Burnett believes all things are possible for Brunswick, Ga. native whenever she is in the Gamecock women’s golf. Columbia, S.C. area makes herself available for She feels a great deal of the Gamecocks’ rise the local media. has to do with the increased talent attending the “It’s nice to have GamecocksOnline, Spurs & University – “the more success they’ve had and Feathers, 107.5 The Game who are interested have been having the (better) recruits they’re south carolina athletics media relations going to get” – and the overall improvement of in speaking to me because of the fact I was a Gamecock,” Burnett noted. “It’s just really general because we do not have contracts and J Golf. facilities. nice. It’s not like I have these things going on the women’s tour travels all over the world. The Burnett notes that she is feeling “pretty good” “They have so many available options now at home. Being able to go back to Columbia amount of money it takes to play and be able to about her game presently. In fact, it is the same that necessarily I didn’t have was when I was a and be around and have all these memories and stay out there is almost unbelievable. To be able way she feels about the state of Gamecock ath- freshman that I got to see when I was a senior,” have also these people that want to talk to me to have a partner who not only believes in me letics as Burnett (2008-12) relays that now “a lot Burnett elaborated. “The short game area at it’s really nice.” and supports, but I can also help and get their of people know who the Gamecocks are.” ‘The Coop,’ I was standing there when I was Given that she has the unique opportunity to name out there because I’m traveling the world, The two-time All-American is obviously senior thinking ‘man, why didn’t I come two travel the world to play golf, Burnett even has I think is beneficial for both parties.” particularly pleased with the upward trajectory years from now because this place is going to been working to align herself with sponsors The all-time leading scorer in South Carolina of Gamecock women’s golf of late under Kalen be amazing.’ Amazing place to practice and who she can help promote the Gamecock cause women’s golf history, Burnett is playing some Harris as the Gamecocks have competed in five place to work on certain shots and wedges and all over the world. great golf as of late as she just recorded a tie for straight NCAA Championships. Last year the all the things you really need to be good at. It “For me in particular it would be great to have 12th place finish at the Meijer LPGA Classic Gamecocks concluded the year ranked sixth in was good then, but it was brand new. It was a partner, a sponsor, somebody that I can suppresented by Kraft. Burnett earlier in the LPGA the final Golfstat rankings. only going to get better. The fact that they have port that’s also helping me,” Burnett remarked. season ended her efforts in a tie for ninth place “We’ve just been steadily improving since all these things is just going to keep improving “Stuff like that is so beneficial for our sport in at the LPGA Lotte Championship presented by I was a freshman,” Burnett commented. “It’s the program even more.”

photo by allen sharpe

The Texas A&M game Texas A&M (0-0, 0-0 SEC)

No. 9 South Carolina will begin the 2014 college football season with a huge conferSite: Columbia, S.C. in Williams-Brice ence matchup against a nationally-ranked Stadium (No. 21 AP/No. 21 USA Today) Texas A&M, who will bring a high-powered offense into Time: 6 p.m. Williams-Brice Stadium to try and outscore the Gamecocks. South Carolina’s young TV: SEC Network (check local listings) secondary will be tested early, but defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward should have a Radio: Gamecock IMG Sports Network gameplan to slow down the Aggie attack. Dylan Thompson and the Gamecock offense Series: First meeting should be able to score on Texas A&M’s defense and look for the powerful Gamecock In what should be one of the top matchups offensive line and running game to close it of the entire first weekend of college football, out if they can get a lead.


August 27, 2014

Spurs & Feathers • 13

Andrew Adams fights through adversity to earn All-America honors by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com South Carolina men’s tennis player Andrew Adams fought through adversity and earned All-American status in the NCAA men’s tennis singles tournament. Adams said that one of the most gratifying feelings he ever had was learning that he had made the tournament after having to battle back from hip surgery during his Gamecock career. “It definitely wasn’t easy to come back from my surgery. There were a lot of ups and downs and I wasn’t able to play early on in the season. I was still going through some pain and some rehab and I had to get that out of the way,” Adams explained. “When I came back I was playing far from my best tennis because I hadn’t played in awhile, but I slowly built up, kept doing my rehab and started training twice as hard as I was before to get back to where I was. I finally started feeling a little more comfortable and a little more confident and that definitely helped going into the tournament. “I remember when (Gamecock head coach) Josh (Goffi) texted me and told me that I got into the tournament, it was literally one of the most exciting moments of my life. For me that was one of my goals and I was definitely going to be disappointed if I didn’t meet it, but when I got that text message, it was definitely a memorable moment. For the rest of my life I’ll definitely remember that,” Adams added. Goffi noted that he is extremely proud of Adams’ dedication and journey he has made during his time on campus culminating in last season’s singles tournament. “Number one it’s amazing for him as a person, as an individual. That’s a goal that every kid has when they start playing … AllAmerican puts you in the top, top percentile of the entire world of tennis and he’s proven it, he’s earned it, every bit of it. So I’m extremely proud of him and the journey that he’s had since he’s gotten here. You know the guy had hip surgery that could have completely derailed his career and he’s come back from that even stronger. He’s got a clear idea of who he is as a player now,” Goffi said. Adams was able to win in the first two rounds of the tournament despite having one of the toughest draws of opponents possible. He defeated third-ranked Julian Lenz of Baylor in the first round and downed familiar opponent No. 26 Daniil Proskura of Alabama. “To go in there and have that draw, that tough draw, was almost fitting for him. If he wanted to become an All-American, he was going to have to get through that tough draw,” Goffi commented. “Arguably the best player in the draw was Lenz from what he had proven all year and Adams took

teammate Tsvetan Mihov - an All-American in 2013 - in an “older brother, younger brother situation.” “The whole deal with him getting the AllAmerican status and some of the pitfalls that you can fall into with that ‘sophomore slump’ supposedly. That second year you’ve got to back up what you did,” Goffi said. “A lot of situations athletes will put on a lot of self-imposed pressure and really the only way to get through that and lock in the greatness you’ve accomplished is to push harder so when those tough moments do come, you’ve got something to fall back on. “I think that he had a good example last year of what those pitfalls can be and now he understands that it is imperative to go to work and get things done. He sees the other side of it too where it’s scary. You can either become great or you can fall flat on your face. I think he’s well aware of that and he can move forward and be ready to lead the team next year,” Goffi expounded. Adams has backed up Goffi’s confidence with his work ethic, saying that he took a week off after the tournament and quickly returned to training for next season. He said that he is looking forward to working for an even more successful year with his senior him down in pretty routine style in the first “It was full-on trust. It was the most he season in 2014-15. round. In the second round he had to play had trusted in the gameplan. What I mean “I didn’t win it, so that means I’ve still got kind of his nemesis from Alabama; great kid, by that is he generally more than anybody some work to do. I’ve been training hard for great player, Daniil Proskura, great competi- trusts coaches’ opinions. There’s a lot of next season … so I definitely want to do tor and we knew we had a handful at the end. times where we give a lot of information on better this year than last year. My goal last “He went down there and executed the the sidelines. What he did phenomenally ev- year was to make the tournament and I did gameplan with absolute perfection. Overall, ery single day is he put himself in a position that and won a couple of rounds. I got a little it was an extremely tough draw and he made mentally to accept coaching and be able to more than I was planning for, but I think this it through. That’s a tall task and to achieve it make adjustments and adapt to anything that year I’m going to set the bar a little higher. was great,” Goffi continued. came his way throughout the match,” Goffi Anything can happen; I can go in and lose Adams said that he and Goffi discussed said. first round or not even make the tournament, treating these matches like any other time he Goffi is confident that Adams can build off but as of now my bars are set a little higher has played out of the No. 1 slot in team com- last year’s experience to continue improving … I know what I’m capable of and if I work petitions. Adams said that was the approach and lead the team next season. He said that hard enough, then I can definitely reach my he took into the first match, but he saw his Adams had a great opportunity to learn from goals,” Adams concluded. second-round matchup as the more challenging opponent due to familiarity. “It was a tougher match than the match of the previous day. The guy I played in the first round was ranked higher, but I think the second round mentally was a tougher match to approach because I had played this guy a few times. I won once and lost once and the previous match we played we didn’t get to finish ... we came up with a different game plan this time. We figured out some things that we weren’t able to figure out the first few times around and I just stuck to that game plan. Similar to the first round, it was just like playing another No. 1 player from another university and I was able to execute well,” Adams said. Goffi complimented Adams’ coachability and execution and said that was the difference in his being able to best higher-ranked players.


14 • Spurs & Feathers

August 27, 2014

South Carolina Gamecocks

Date

2014 - 2015 Men’s Basketball Schedule Opponent / Event

Location Time

11/14/14............ vs. North Florida ................... Columbia, S.C. .......................TBA 11/18/14 ........... vs. Baylor................................ Columbia, S.C. ........12:00 p.m. ET 11/20/14 ............. vs. Cornell...................................Charleston, S.C. ........... 7:30 p.m. ET 11/21/14 ............. Penn State/Charlotte . ...............Charleston, S.C. ......................... TBA 11/23/14 ............. TBD ............................................Charleston, S.C. ......................... TBA 11/26/14 ........... vs. UNC Asheville .................. Columbia, S.C. .......................TBA 12/01/14 ............. at Marshall .................................Huntington, W.Va. .................... TBA 12/06/14 ........... vs. Oklahoma State................. Columbia, S.C. ........12:00 p.m. ET 12/19/14 ........... vs. Clemson ........................... Columbia, S.C. .......................TBA 12/21/14 ........... vs. Coker ................................ Columbia, S.C. .......................TBA 12/30/14 ........... vs. North Carolina A&T ........ Columbia, S.C. .......................TBA 01/03/15 ............. vs. Iowa State .............................Brooklyn, N.Y. ........................... TBA * 01/07/15 ......... vs. Florida............................... Columbia, S.C. ..........7:00 p.m. ET * 01/10/15 .......... at Ole Miss..................................Oxford, Miss. ............................. TBA * 01/13/15 ......... vs. Alabama............................ Columbia, S.C. ..........7:00 p.m. ET * 01/17/15 .......... at Auburn....................................Auburn, Ala. .............................. TBA * 01/20/15 ......... vs. Tennessee.......................... Columbia, S.C. ..........9:00 p.m. ET * 01/24/15 ......... vs. Kentucky........................... Columbia, S.C. ........12:00 p.m. ET * 01/28/15 .......... at LSU..........................................Baton Rouge, La. ......... 7:00 p.m. ET * 01/31/15 ......... vs. Georgia.............................. Columbia, S.C. ..........4:00 p.m. ET * 02/03/15 .......... at Arkansas ................................Fayetteville, Ark. ......... 9:00 p.m. ET * 02/07/15 .......... at Vanderbilt...............................Nashville, Tenn. ......................... TBA * 02/10/15 ......... vs. Missouri............................ Columbia, S.C. ..........7:00 p.m. ET * 02/14/15 .......... at Kentucky.................................Lexington, Ky. .............. 2:00 p.m. ET * 02/17/15 .......... at Georgia....................................Athens, Ga. . ................. 7:00 p.m. ET * 02/21/15 ......... vs. Texas A&M........................ Columbia, S.C. .......................TBA * 02/24/15 .......... at Alabama..................................Tuscaloosa, Ala. . ......... 7:00 p.m. ET * 02/28/15 ......... vs. Mississippi State................ Columbia, S.C. .......................TBA * 03/05/15 ......... vs. Arkansas............................ Columbia, S.C. ..........7:00 p.m. ET * 03/07/15 .......... at Tennessee................................Knoxville, Tenn. ........................ TBA Bold.................. Home games * ....................... SEC games

photo by allen sharpe


Spurs & Feathers • 15

August 27, 2014

Multi-talented Cooper working for continued success by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

After making some electrifying plays for the Gamecocks as a true freshman last season, Gamecock receiver and all-purpose threat Pharoh Cooper hopes to continue to make an impact in 2014. “Here and there it was a surprise,” Cooper said of his success in 2013. “Once I got started playing I was like, ‘OK, I’ve been playing football all my life, so I should be doing this.’ I was just really blessed to get out there as a true freshman. “I’m just going out there in practice and going 100 percent every day. My role changed from last year to this year. I was occasionally on the field in wildcat, punt return and kick return, but this year I’m playing a full role as receiver. I’ve got to buckle up more, get my head straight and be ready to play,” Cooper commented. Cooper saw limited action early last season, but truly made his impact felt in the game against Coastal Carolina when he made a diving touchdown catch and broke a 71-yard touchdown run. As the wildcat quarterback against Clemson, Cooper completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Wilds with just under four minutes remaining for the final score of the 31-17 victory. Cooper said that he works with the receivers, but gets special tips from coaches G.A. Mangus (quarterbacks) and Shawn Elliott (offensive line) when running the wildcat. Cooper said that he does not have a favorite position, but stated, “I hope to see a lot back there. I can’t really say how much I’m going to play in the wildcat. If I get in, then I’m going to give my all … I really just want to play ball. “Just being able to help the team out any way I can, any possible way whether it’s wildcat, receiver or being a specialist. I just want to be on the field giving my all, helping my teammates, blocking and doing my part. I feel like I’ll go out there and do my best,” Cooper said of his expectations for the season. So far Cooper has been the starter as the

inside or “Z” receiver for the offense, but he knows the work cannot stop there. “As far as through the spring I’ve been working hard every day giving my 100 percent, so I feel like I’ve earned the spot. You know earning it and keeping it are two different things. We’ve got a lot of great receivers that made some good plays today, so I’m just going to keep working hard to keep a starting spot,” Cooper commented after the first scrimmage of the fall on Saturday, Aug. 9. Cooper noted that as one of the bigger receivers in the group he has been able to block linebackers and safeties from that position. He added that his knowledge of the position has improved over the offseason as well. “I’ve grasped the whole playbook, learned a lot more coverages. My freshman year I was still learning the coverages, who is going to be where. Now that I’ve progressed through the spring and with the help of Bruce (Ellington) and coaches, I know where to be and where the DB is going to be, so that helps me a lot,” Cooper said. While Cooper hopes to be all over the field this season, he recognized the versatility of the “Z” receiver position allows for flexibility. “At ‘Z’ you can go in motion, you can get in the backfield. I can line up in the backfield and run a run play from the backfield. You can do a lot of stuff from the Z. We’re always off the ball, so I can move anywhere really,” Cooper said. Cooper also readily recognizes the assistance Ellington provided him and knows that there may be higher expectations in playing the position vacated by the great Gamecock receiver and current San Francisco 49er. “I wouldn’t really say pressure. With Bruce leaving, somebody has got to fill the role, but we’ve got a lot of great receivers,” Cooper commented. “I was picked to take that spot that Bruce left, so I’m just going to keep working hard to keep that spot. “Every day just out here working on my routes, timing with the QB, blocking, just all the little things. I’m working on the little things to be a great player,” Cooper added.

photo by allen sharpe


16 • Spurs & Feathers

August 27, 2014

South Carolina Gamecocks Football Roster # Name Pos. 1 Damiere Byrd WR 1 Rico McWilliams CB 3 Nick Jones WR 3 Chris Lammons CB 4 Bryson Allen-Williams LB 4 Shaq Roland WR 5 Darius English DE 5 Brendan Nosovitch QB 6 Connor Mitch QB 6 Chris Moody SS 7 Shon Carson TB 7 Wesley Green CB 8 Shamier Jeffery WR 8 Kaiwan Lewis LB 9 Deebo Samuel WR 9 Sharrod Golightly SPR 10 Skai Moore LB 10 Perry Orth QB 11 T.J. Holloman LB 11 Pharoh Cooper WR 12 Michael Scarnecchia QB 12 Brison Williams SS 13 Tyler Hull P 13 Grant Davitte QB 14 Shaq Davidson WR 14 Ali Groves CB 15 Austin Hails QB 16 Zack Cimaglia K/P 17 Chaz Elder FS 17 Dylan Thompson QB 18 Cedrick Cooper DE 18 Patrick Fish P 19 Terry Googer WR 19 Landon Ard PK 20 T.J. Gurley SS 21 Marcquis Roberts LB 21 Andrew Bunch WR 22 Brandon Wilds TB 22 Jamari Smith CB 23 Larenz Bryant SPR 24 D.J. Smith DB 25 Kadetrix Marcus FS 26 Jasper Sasser FS 28 Mike Davis TB 28 Jonathan Walton LB 29 Elliott Fry PK 29 Matrick Belton WR 30 Darius Paulk FB 30 Sidney Rhodes CB 31 Al Harris Jr. CB 31 Jordan Diaz FB 32 Rod Talley TB 33 David Williams TB 34 Jonas Price K/P 34 Mason Harris DE

Hgt. 5-9 5-11 5-7 5-10 6-1 6-1 6-6 6-1 6-3 6-1 5-8 5-10 6-1 6-0 6-0 5-10 6-2 6-1 6-2 5-11 6-4 5-11 6-2 6-3 5-11 5-10 6-2 6-1 6-2 6-3 6-2 6-0 6-4 5-9 5-10 6-1 5-11 6-2 5-10 6-0 5-11 6-1 6-0 5-9 6-0 6-0 6-4 5-8 5-10 5-11 6-1 5-10 6-1 6-2 6-3

Wgt. 170 184 168 172 231 176 241 221 211 210 201 176 198 228 192 187 213 204 234 201 189 208 207 180 170 187 220 170 195 218 225 194 210 178 194 216 173 222 197 220 189 194 203 223 228 165 215 199 182 162 236 201 214 165 235

Cl. SR RS SO RS SR FR FR JR RS SO RS SO RS FR RS SO RS JR FR RS JR JR FR RS SR SO RS SO RS SO SO FR SR RS SR RS FR FR RS FR RS JR RS SO RS SO RS SR RS JR RS SR FR RS JR JR RS SO RS SO RS JR SO SO FR SR RS FR JR SO SO RS SO RS SO RS SR FR RS SR RS SO RS FR RS FR RS JR

Hometown/High School/Last College Sicklerville, N.J./Timber Creek Hampton, Ga./Lovejoy Moore, S.C./Byrnes Sunrise, Fla./Plantation Ellenwood, Ga./Ceder Grove Lexington, S.C./Lexington Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern Allentown, Pa./Central Catholic Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield McDonough, Ga./Henry County Scranton, S.C./Lake City Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King St. Matthews, S.C./Calhoun County Pleasantville, N.J./St. Joseph Inman, S.C./Chapman Decatur, Ga./Southwest DeKalb Cooper City, Fla./University Ponde Verda, Fla./Ponte Verda/Florida State College Stone Mountain, Ga./St. Pius X Havelock, NC./Havelock Fleming Island, Fla./Fleming Island Warner Robins, Ga./Northside/Fork Union Military Mount Airy, N.C./Mount Airy/Guilford College Columbia, S.C./Irmo Gaffney, S.C./Gaffney Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson Collinsville, Ill./Collinsville Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park/North Carolina A&T Union City, Ga./Banneker Boiling Springs, S.C./Boiling Springs Lithonia, Ga./Lithonia Shelby, N.C./Burns Atlanta, Ga./Woodward Academy Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe Cairo, Ga./Cairo Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Bishop England/Presbyterian Blythewood, S.C./Blythewood Jacksonville, Fla./Fletcher Charlotte, NC./Vance Marietta, Ga./Walton Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson Jacksonville, Fla./Wolfson Atlanta, Ga./Stephenson Daphne, Ala./Bayside Academy Frisco, Tx./Prince of Peace Christian Columbia, S.C./Keenan/Hampton Columbia, S.C./Richland Northeast/North Greenville Easley, S.C./Wren/Western Carolina Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas Hamilton, N.J./Hamilton West Laurens, S.C./Laurens/Gardner-Webb Philadelphia, Pa./Imhotep Charter Cockeysville, Md./St. Paul’s Fort Oglethorpe, Ga./Ridgeland

Coaches Steve Spurrier - Head Coach Deke Adams - Defensive Line Kirk Botkin - Linebackers/Spurs Grady Brown - Secondary/Assistant Special Teams Coordinator Shawn Elliott - Co-Offensive Coordinator/Offensive LIne G.A. Mangus - Quarterbacks/Tight Ends Joe Robinson - Special Teams Coordinator Everette Sands - Running Backs Jamie Speronis - Associate AD/Football Operations Steve Spurrier Jr. - Co-Offensive Coord/Wide Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator Lorenzo Ward - Defensive Coordinator Joey Blake - Director of Football Nutrition Robbie Liles - Director - Recruiting Operations Patrick Shine - Administrative Coordinator - Recruiting Scott Spurrier - Quality Control Coordinator (Offense) Shaq Wilson - Quality Control Coordinator (Defense)

# Name Pos. 35 Shannon James DB 39 Demetrius Smalls DB 40 Jacob August TE 41 Kyle Morini LB 41 Connor McLaurin FB 42 Jordan Diggs SPR 43 Benjamin Russell DB 43 Garrison Gist FB 44 Gerald Turner FB 44 Gerald Dixon DE 45 Brandon Sturdivant FB 46 Cedrick Malone SPR 47 Drew Williams LS 48 Nick McGriff TE 49 Garrett Shank SS 49 Devin Potter TB 50 A.J. Cann OG 51 Cody Waldrop OC 51 Devin Washington DE 52 Phillip Dukes DT 53 Corey Robinson OT 54 Clayton Stadnik OC 55 David Johnson DE 55 Na’Ty Rodgers OT 58 Ryland Culbertson LS 59 Coleman Harley LS 65 Brock Stadnik OG 69 D.J. Park OT 70 Alan Knott OC 71 Brandon Shell OT 72 Donell Stanley OL 74 Mason Zandi OT 75 Will Sport OG 76 Mike Matulis OT 77 Malik Young OL 80 K.J. Brent WR 81 Rory Anderson TE 82 Caleb Hines WR 83 Carlton Heard WR 84 Matthew Harvey WR 85 Kane Whitehurst WR 86 Kevin Crosby TE 87 Sean Odom WR 88 Drew Owens TE 89 Jerell Adams TE 90 Cody Gibson TE 90 Taylor Stallworth DT 91 Blake McClain DE 92 Gerald Dixon, Jr. DT 93 Deon Green DT 94 Kelsey Griffin DT 95 Michael Washington DE 97 J.T. Surratt DT 99 Abu Lamin DT

Hgt. 5-7 5-11 6-6 5-10 6-0 6-0 6-0 5-10 6-2 6-2 6-2 6-0 6-2 6-0 6-0 5-10 6-4 6-2 6-3 6-3 6-8 6-3 6-1 6-5 6-4 6-1 6-5 6-4 6-4 6-6 6-4 6-9 6-5 6-5 6-3 6-4 6-5 5-11 6-0 6-8 5-11 6-1 6-0 6-6 6-6 6-7 6-2 6-3 6-3 6-4 6-2 6-3 6-2 6-4

Wgt. 153 170 247 221 243 217 175 260 250 274 218 201 201 220 203 203 311 309 221 323 344 273 275 280 267 246 287 328 280 333 346 301 291 307 318 192 227 160 188 22 8 169 230 190 238 242 278 293 265 323 289 310 237 310 302

Cl. RS SO RS FR FR RS SR RS SR RS SO RS FR RS JR RS FR RS SO RS SO RS SO SO FR RS SO RS SO RS SR RS SO RS FR RS JR RS SR RS SO RS FR RS FR RS SR RS JR RS SO RS FR RS FR RS JR FR RS SO RS JR RS JR FR RS JR SR FR RS JR RS JR RS JR FR SO RS JR JR RS SR FR FR RS JR RS SO SO RS JR RS SR RS SO

Hometown/High School/Last College Florence, S.C./South Florence Bluffton, S.C./Bluffton Columbia, S.C./Cardinal Newman/Fork Union Warner Robins, Ga./White Knoll/Gray Military Raleigh, N.C./Garner Fort Myers, Fla./Island Coast Atlanta, Ga./Woodward Academy Rock Hill, S.C./Northwesterm Goose Creek, S.C./Goose Creek Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe Fort Mill, S.C./Nation Ford/York Tech Camden, S.C./Camden/Coastal Carolina Irmo, S.C/Dutch Fork Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville Marietta, Ga./Lassiter Granite Falls, N.C./South Caldwell Bamberg, S.C./Bamberg-Ehrhardt Seffner, Fla./Armwood Orlando, Fla./Jones Manning, S.C./Manning Havelock, N.C./Havelock Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford Lithonia, Ga./Lithonia Waldorf, Md./McDonough Laurens, S.C./Laurens Academy Aiken, S.C./South Aiken Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford Dillon, S.C./Dillon Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek Goose Creek, S.C./Goose Creek Floydale, S.C./Latta Irmo, S.C./Chapin Milton, Fla./Pace Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista Pelzer, S.C./Woodmont Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern Cornelius, N.C./Hough Athens, Ga./Clarke Central/Gardner-Webb Rock Hill, S.C./Rock Hill Duluth, Ga./Chattahoochee/Arkansas Bamberg, S.C./Bamberg-Ehrhardt Orangeburg, S.C./Orangeburg Prep Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell Pinewood, S.C./Scott’s Branch Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln Mobile, Ala./Murphy Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood Rock Hill, S.C./Northwestern Windermere, Fla./Olympia Buford, Ga./Mill Creek Allendale, S.C./Allendale-Fairfax/S.C. State Winston-Salem, N.C./Parkland Fayetteville, N.C./Trinity Christian/Fort Scott C.C.


Spurs & Feathers • 17

August 27, 2014

Texas A&M Football Roster # Name Pos. 1 De’Vante Harris DB 1 Brandon Williams RB 2 Speedy Noil WR 3 Tommy Sanders LB 3 Trey Williams RB 4 Noel Ellis DB 5 Floyd Raven Sr. DB 6 LaQuvionte Gonzalez WR 7 Kenny Hill QB 7 Jordan Mastrogiovanni LB 8 Nick Harvey DB 9 Qualen Cunningham DL 9 Ricky Seals-Jones WR 10 Kyle Allen QB 10 Daeshon Hall DL 11 Josh Reynolds WR 12 Sam Moeller DB 13 Reggie Chevis LB 13 Jamal Jeffery WR 14 Conner McQueen QB 14 Josh Walker LB 15 Myles Garrett DL 15 Frank Iheanacho WR 16 Donnie Baggs LB 16 Kobe Miller QB 17 Alex Sezer Jr. DB 17 Jordan Traylor QB 18 Edward Pope WR 18 Donovan Wilson DB 19 Jeremy Tabuyo WR 20 James White RB 21 Tra Carson RB 22 Tavares Garner DB 23 Sabian Holmes WR 23 Armani Watts DB 24 Taylor Bertolet PLK 25 Clay Honeycutt DB 26 Devonta Burns DB 26 Chance Gray RB 27 Brice Dolezal RB 28 Victor Davis DB 29 Deshazor Everett DB 30 Dillon Moore PLK 31 Howard Matthews DB 32 Kevin Wilson LB 33 Shaan Washington LB 34 Blaine Townsend RB 35 Tyrell Taylor DL 36 Jonathan Wiggins DB 37 Jordan Frese DS 37 Kameron Yellin RB 38 Drew Kaser P 39 Daniel Havens DS 40 Jarrett Johnson DL 41 Brandon Alexander TE 42 Otaro Alaka LB

Hgt. 5-11 6-0 5-11 6-2 5-8 5-10 6-2 5-10 6-1 6-3 5-10 6-3 6-5 6-3 6-6 6-4 5-11 6-1 5-9 5-10 6-1 6-5 6-6 6-1 6-2 5-9 6-1 6-4 6-1 5-11 6-0 6-0 6-0 5-11 5-11 5-9 6-2 6-0 5-7 5-9 6-0 6-0 6-2 6-2 6-1 6-3 6-0 6-4 6-3 6-1 6-0 6-3 6-1 6-3 6-6 6-3

Wgt. 175 200 185 220 195 180 200 165 215 244 180 247 235 205 260 190 186 255 175 175 233 255 220 230 210 180 200 180 192 180 218 235 183 175 190 185 200 214 170 180 191 193 175 210 205 235 234 235 218 210 250 210 220 260 266 225

Cl. Jr. Jr. Fr. Sr. Jr. So. Sr. So. So. So. Fr. Fr. Fr. Fr. So. So. Jr. Fr. Fr. So. Fr. Fr. Fr. Sr. Fr. So. Fr. So. Fr. So. Fr. Jr. So. Jr. Fr. Jr. Sr. Jr. So. Jr. Fr. Sr. Fr. Sr. Jr. So. Jr. Sr. So. Fr. So. Jr. Fr. Fr. Jr. Fr.

Hometown/Previous School Mesquite, Texas (Horn) Brookshire, Texas (Oklahoma) (Royal) New Orleans, La. (Edna Karr) Cordele, Ga. (Butler [KS] CC) Spring, Texas (Dekaney) New Orleans, La. (Karr) Kenner, La. (East St. John) Cedar Hill, Texas (Cedar Hill) Southlake, Texas (Carroll) Dallas, Texas (Jesuit) Lancaster, Texas (Richmond Travis) Chandler, Ariz. (Hamilton) Sealy, Texas (Sealy) Scottsdale, Ariz. (Desert Mountain) Lancaster, Texas (Lancaster) San Antonio, Texas (Tyler JC) (Jay) San Antonio, Texas (Antonian Prep) Houston, Texas (Sharpstown) Lufkin, Texas (Lufkin) Klein, Texas (Klein Oak) Gilmer, Texas (Gilmer) Arlington, Texas (Martin) Houston, Texas (Westside) League City, Texas (Clear Springs) College Station, Texas (A&M Consolidated) Orange, Texas (Little Cypress-Mauriceville) Gilmer, Texas (Gilmer) Carthage, Texas (Carthage) Shreveport, La. (Woodlawn) Honolulu, Hawai’i (St. Louis) Pearland, Texas (Dawson) Texarkana, Texas (Oregon) (Liberty Eylau) Missouri City, Texas (Manvel) Southlake, Texas (Carroll) Forney, Texas (Forney) Reading, Pa. (Exeter Township) Dickinson, Texas (Dickinson) Arlington, Texas (Martin) Tomball, Texas (Concordia Lutheran) Austin, Texas (Westlake) Rosenberg, Texas (Terry) DeRidder, La. (DeRidder) College Station, Texas (Georgia Tech) League City, Texas (Clear Springs) Daphne, Ala. (Daphne) Alexandria, La. (Alexandria Senior) Wichita Falls, Texas (Rider) Houston, Texas (Galena Park) Houston, Texas (Alief Taylor) Keller, Texas (Keller) Prosper, Texas (Marine Military Academy) Strongsville, Ohio (Walsh Jesuit) College Station, Texas (A&M Consolidated) Katy, Texas (Seven Lakes) Brenham, Texas (Brenham) Houston, Texas (Cypress Falls)

Coaches Head Coach - Kevin Sumlin Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks - Jake Spavital Defensive Coordinator - Mark Snyder Offensive Line - B.J. Anderson Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends - Jeff Banks Wide Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator - David Beaty Linebackers - Mark Hagen Secondary - Terry Joseph Director of Football Sports Performance - Larry Jackson Associate Athletics Director for Football - Justin Moore Director of Football Operations - Gary Reynolds Director of Recruiting - Scott Johnston Director of Player Development - Mikado Hinson

# Name Pos. 42 Josch Motley WR 43 Justin Bass LB 45 Austin Frey DS 45 Cullen Gillaspia LB 46 A.J. Hilliard LB 46 Shane Tripucka P 47 Caden Smith OL 48 Dreagan Patterson WR 49 Josh Lambo PLK 49 Taylor Martinez LB 50 Tank Davis OL 50 Tyrone Taylor DL 51 Jarvis Harrison OL 52 Brett Wade LB 54 Jake Blount DL 54 Alex Freeman DS 55 Justin Manning DL 56 Mike Matthews OL 57 Alvin Munrose LB 58 Cameron Smith LB 59 Isaac Flores DL 61 Braden Meador OL 62 Chad Loitz OL 63 Ryan Lindblade OL 64 Trey Parker OL 65 Avery Gennesy OL 67 Tyler Godwin DL 68 Ben Compton OL 70 Cedric Ogbuehi OL 71 Kimo Tipoti OL 72 Jermaine Eluemunor OL 73 Jeremiah Stuckey OL 74 Germain Ifedi OL 75 Koda Martin OL 76 Zach Ledwik OL 77 J.J. Gustafson OL 78 Garrett Gramling OL 79 Joseph Cheek OL 80 Kyrion Parker WR 81 Jalyn Judkins WR 82 Boone Niederhofer WR 83 Kyle Whitley WR 83 Alonzo Williams DL 84 Malcome Kennedy WR 85 Cameron Clear TE 86 David Darley TE 88 Bryce Reeves WR 89 Ivan Robinson DL 90 Deshawn Washington DL 92 Zaycoven Henderson DL 94 Tanner Schorp DL 95 Julien Obioha DL 96 Jay Arnold DL 97 Darrell Jackson DL 97 Cody Wicker PLK 98 Hardreck Walker DL

Hgt. 5-11 6-2 6-1 6-2 6-2 6-3 6-3 6-0 6-0 6-0 6-4 6-3 6-4 6-1 6-4 6-1 6-1 6-2 6-1 6-2 6-3 6-6 6-1 6-7 6-3 6-5 6-3 6-4 6-5 6-3 6-4 6-4 6-5 6-6 6-5 6-5 6-6 6-7 6-2 6-2 6-0 6-2 6-4 6-0 6-6 6-4 6-2 6-3 6-3 6-1 6-3 6-4 6-4 6-5 6-1 6-2

Wgt. 175 231 230 215 230 215 260 190 220 219 280 257 330 230 225 235 300 290 228 222 300 290 325 305 285 305 280 300 305 320 315 290 325 275 282 295 310 310 200 220 197 212 296 205 277 240 185 290 290 315 240 265 284 235 200 300

Cl. Fr. Sr. Fr. Fr. So. Fr. Jr. So. Jr. So. Fr. So. Sr. Fr. So. Sr. Fr. Jr. So. Jr. So. So. Fr. So. Fr. Jr. So. Sr. Sr. So. Jr. So. So. Fr. Fr. Fr. Sr. Jr. Fr. Fr. So. Fr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Fr. Fr. Sr. Fr. Fr. Fr. Jr. So. Fr. Fr. So.

Hometown/Previous School College Station, Texas (A&M Consolidated) Plano, Texas (West) Tomball, Texas Katy, Texas (Taylor) Klein, Texas (TCU) (Klein Oak) Allen, Texas (Allen) Roscoe, Texas (Roscoe) Amarillo, Texas (Bushland) Middleton, Wis. (Collin County) Fort Bend, Texas (Travis) Garland, Texas (Lakeview Centennial) Houston, Texas (Galena Park) Navasota, Texas (Navasota) Kennedale, Texas (Kennedale) Flower Mound, Texas (Marcus) Austin, Texas (Westwood) Dallas, Texas (Kimball) Missouri City, Texas (Elkins) Baytown, Texas (Goose Creek Memorial) Arlington, Texas (Lamar) Santa Rosa, Texas (Santa Rosa) Montgomery, Texas (Montgomery) Austin, Texas (McNeil) Richmond, Texas (Foster) Katy, Texas (Cinco Ranch) Southaven, Miss. (East Mississippi CC) Clear Springs, Texas (Clear Springs) Friendswood, Texas (Friendswood) Allen, Texas (Allen) Hurst, Texas (L.D. Bell) Denville, N.J. (Lackawanna [Pa.] College) Pacifica, Calif. (City College of San Francisco) Houston, Texas (Westside) Manvel, Texas (Manvel) LaGrange, Texas (LaGrange) Dallas, Texas (Jesuit) Denton, Texas (Ryan) Seguin, Texas (Seguin) Manvel, Texas (Manvel) Angleton, Texas (Angleton) San Antonio, Texas (Churchill) Troy, Texas (Troy) Long Beach, Calif. (Polytechnic) Cayuga, Texas (Cayuga) Memphis, Tenn. (Arizona Western) Westlake Village, Calif. (Oaks Christian) Graham, Texas (Graham) Longville, La. (South Beauregard) Nederland, Texas (Nederland) Longview, Texas (Longview) San Antonio, Texas (Reagan) New Orleans, La. (Brother Martin) Rockwall, Texas (Heath) Houston, Texas (Madison) Dallas, Texas (Jesuit) Spring, Texas (Westfield)


18 • Spurs & Feathers

August 27, 2014

Greenwood County Gamecock Club holds Annual Kickoff Cookout by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

The Greenwood County Gamecock Club held a fun and informative Annual Kickoff Cookout at the CPW Building for local Gamecock fans on Aug. 9. “We tried to do our Annual Kickoff Cookout a little earlier this year. We do it right before football season because when football season starts, Carolina Gamecock fans are busy until the end of football season,” board member Ray Lewis, Jr. said. “During football season you’ve got fall baseball practice, basketball kicks off and plenty of other sports that are going on in the fall as well. It’s a time for us to really get together before school starts back and refocus everyone with what is going on at the University. We do that event to talk about all our fall sports and if you mention kickoff, you perk people’s ears up around the South.” The turnout for the event produced Gamecock fans from all around the Greenwood area, not just limited to the city and county. “We really had a lot of information to give out,” Lewis, Jr. explained. “We didn’t have the biggest turnout we’ve ever had, but the people we had there are really from a grassroots effort spreading the Gamecock Club into some of the other areas around here: Abbeville, Belton, Ho-

nea Path, Clinton, Laurens and the Saluda area. We had people really from all of those counties coming because we are a very active chapter … so we went over a lot of the resources available from GamecocksOnline to Spurs & Feathers and our social media. “It was a very informative meeting where we went over the use of GamecocksOnline, the goals of our chapter, the importance of giving to the Gamecock Club in any increments and we did a lot on the SEC Network and what it will mean going forward to our Athletics Department,” Lewis, Jr. added. There was also plenty of fun and food to go around as well as the excitement level for the fall sports and pride for the University continued to rise in this part of Gamecock Nation. “There are a lot of changes going on with Gamecock Athletics and the SEC Network should make a big difference with a lot to the Olympic sports … it’s amazing how well they are coordinated and athletics have a major impact on the University as a whole. I’m glad that we have a President that embraces that and says ‘this is part of what is great about South Carolina,’” Lewis, Jr. commented. Greenwood has some big plans on the horizon, including the launch of a new website for the chapter. “One big thing that we’re doing is launch-

ing our website. It’s going to be huge for us,” Lewis, Jr. said. “We’re going to have social media of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and we’re going to have all of that linked to our chapter website which will link to the Gamecock Club website. “Our communication with all of the resources that we work with is going to increase with us launching our website and all the other outlets. The biggest job we have is making sure that we communicate to everybody for every event that we do,” Lewis, Jr. continued. As far as the next big event, Lewis, Jr. said there will be a bus trip to the Clemson game to end the football season this year. “The next big thing we have other than doing watch parties for the games at local restaurants is that we’re planning a bus trip to the Clemson game at the end of the year. It’s a great opportunity to get up there, go with 50 local Gamecock fans, ride a bus to the game, parking is right outside the stadium and you get fed. You really don’t do anything but ride, watch us beat Clemson again and then get back on the bus and ride home with a full stomach,” Lewis, Jr. explained. For more information about the Greenwood County Gamecock Club, like them on Facebook and keep tuned in for more information about the new chapter website launching soon.

submitted photo


Spurs & Feathers • 19

August 27, 2014

When you see the four horsemen together it’s special

Like most kids, Saturday mornings remain near and dear to my heart. Spending endless hours watching cartoons trying to not wake up my parents in hopes of avoiding those dreaded chore lists. Many of those Saturday morning cartoon sessions would be followed up with epic wrestling battles. Most of those battles would be highlighted with the appearance of the four horsemen. The original four horsemen was comprised of Ric Flair, Arn & Ole Anderson and Tully Blanchard. This gang of boisterous wrestling talent would change the game when they stepped in the arena, spending years wrecking havoc on the profesLangston Moore sional wrestling Contributing Writer circuits. The Gamecock four horsemen also look to wreak havoc on the 2014 SEC schedule. After the four horsemen did their thing in the ring, the Garnet and Black would don the tube for the rest of the afternoon most Saturdays. Williams-Brice has seen its share of great running backs slam, drop, bounce off or just plain run by opposing defenses. From George

Rogers perpetrating a running back in a defensive lineman’s body, flying down the field to Harold Green breaking 20 tackles (or so it seemed) in one play to score 60-plus yarder against Duke (Todd Ellis blocked somebody!) to Brandon Bennett going “over the top” against UGA as the time ticked away to Derek Watson’s 60-yard run against Clemson in the “pushoff game.” These former Gamecock horsemen all showed up and wrecked opposing teams just like the other four horsemen mentioned. The only thing, this talent wasn’t all assembled on to one squad. Coach Steve “The Brain” Spurrier continues to pool together talent that would rival any team in the nation and that’s especially true for this year’s running backs group. Lead by their leader Mike “Nature Boy” Davis, this group has all the makings of a championship running back core. Mike has all the makings of a great back individually, but must overcome injury and constant barrage of hits that opposing SEC defenses try and give out. Much like most of Flair’s opponents, Mike understands that everyone is “gunning” for him and wants a shot at the “champion.” Brandon “Spine Buster” Wilds is next in line for the quartet. Coming in for Marcus Lattimore in 2011 after his first season-ending knee injury, Wilds filled in admirably as a true

freshmen. He continues to shine in his “individual” belt matches when filling in for the “Nature Boy.” Wilds would battle injuries in the 2013 season, but when healthy combined with Davis the duo would wail on opposing defenses as a “tag team.” Wilds running back brother Shon “Knee Drop” Carson is the utility man of the group with his explosive talent. “Knee Drop” did just that, knocking the wind out of a Will Muschamp Florida Defense last fall. Tagging in for “Nature Boy,” Carson broke off a 58-yard run right through the teeth of the traditionally tough defense in the third quarter of a close game. Carson’s versatility complements this stable, catching passes out of the backfield and providing some yards on special teams when called upon. Gamecock nation can look for more “tough” yards from “Knee Drop” after putting on 10-15 pounds in the offseason in hopes of making him a “stronger” runner. His dedication to becoming one of the premier runners out of this group was acknowledged by his coaches with his being named “Most Improved” running back in the spring. Rounding out the group is the young “Piledriver” David Williams who redshirted last season. “Piledriver” is the next running back clawing for reps with this group that continues to get deeper and more dynamic with talent. Williams looks to be the face of the position if

he continues to improve and remain healthy. Being redshirted last season gave Williams the opportunity to see the other horsemen work day in and day out, seeing firsthand what it takes to make it on the SEC circuit. The horsemen will be paramount to the success of the Gamecocks this season. With so many “spread offenses” being implemented on teams, those that contend for a “ship” must still run the ball effectively (remember Auburn going from the basement to contenders last season?). As a former defensive linemen nothing wears a defense down (mentally or physically) more than “running back” by committee. Especially a committee that is equal in talent/ability and pushes each other to be better daily. The obvious unknown is always injury. Having many players that can or have filled in gives manager aka position coach Everette “Bulldog” Sands a sense of confidence. “Bulldog” continues to demand excellence and toughness out of his stable knowing very well the position is a major key to the Gamecocks’ championship hopes. Be it running the ball to control the clock or blocking a blitzing linebacker, Gamecock Nation will need all four of the horsemen “Piledriver, Knee Drop, Spine Buster and the Nature Boy” if we intend to hold the belt up in the ring at the end of the season.


20 • Spurs & Feathers

August 27, 2014

Depth Charts for August 28, 6 p.m. South Carolina OFFENSE: WR: 4 Shaq Roland 1 Damiere Byrd 8 Shamier Jeffery 14 Shaq Davidson WR: 11 Pharoh Cooper 80 K.J. Brent 9 Deebo Samuel WR: 3 Nick Jones 83 Carlton Heard 85 Kane Whitehurst 19 Terry Googer LT: 53 Corey Robinson 74 Mason Zandi LG: 50 A.J. Cann 75 Will Sport C: 54 Clayton Stadnik -OR- 75 Will Sport RG: 51 Cody Waldrop 70 Alan Knott RT: 71 Brandon Shell 55 Na’Ty Rodgers TE: 81 Rory Anderson 89 Jerell Adams 90 Cody Gibson 88 Drew Owens QB: 17 Dylan Thompson 10 Perry Orth

6-1, 176, Jr. Lexington, S.C. 5-9, 170, Sr. Sicklerville, N.J. 6-1, 198, Jr. St. Matthews, S.C. 5-11, 170, Fr. Gaffney, S.C. 5-11, 201, So. Havelock, N.C. 6-4, 192, Jr. Waxhaw, N.C. 6-0, 192, Fr. Inman, S.C. 5-7, 168, Sr. Moore, S.C. 6-0, 188, Jr. Athens, Ga. 5-11, 169, Jr. Duluth, Ga. 6-4, 210, Fr. Atlanta, Ga. 6-8, 344, Sr. Havelock, N.C. 6-9, 301, So. Irmo, S.C. 6-4, 311, Sr. Bamberg, S.C. 6-5, 291, Jr. Milton, Fla. 6-3, 273, So. Greensboro, N.C. 6-5, 291, Jr. Milton, Fla. 6-2, 309, So. Seffner, Fla. 6-4, 280, RFr. Tyrone, Ga. 6-6, 333, Jr. Goose Creek, S.C. 6-5, 280, RFr. Waldorf, Md. 6-5, 227, Sr, Powder Springs, Ga. 6-6, 242, Jr. Pinewood, S.C. 6-7, 278, Sr. Tallahassee, Fla. 6-6, 238, Jr. Charlotte, N.C. 6-3, 218, Sr. Boiling Springs, S.C. 6-1, 204, So. Ponte Verda, Fla.

-OR- FB: TB:

6 Connor Mitch 41 Connor McLaurin 31 Jordan Diaz 28 Mike Davis 22 Brandon Wilds 7 Shon Carson 33 David Williams

6-3, 211, RFr. 6-0, 243, Sr. 6-1, 236, Sr. 5-9, 223, Jr. 6-2, 222, Jr. 5-8, 201, Jr. 6-1, 214, RFr.

Raleigh, N.C. Raleigh, N.C. Hamilton, N.J. Atlanta, Ga. Blythewood, S.C. Scranton, S.C. Philadelphia, Pa.

DEFENSE: DE: 44 Gerald Dixon 34 Mason Harris DT: 97 J.T. Surratt 52 Phillip Dukes 93 Deon Green DT: 92 Gerald Dixon, Jr. 99 Abu Lamin 94 Kelsey Griffin DE: 5 Darius English 55 David Johnson 18 Cedrick Cooper MLB: 11 T.J. Holloman 8 Kaiwan Lewis 21 Marcquis Roberts WLB: 10 Skai Moore 28 Jonathan Walton 4 Bryson Allen-Williams SPUR: 9 Sharrod Golightly

6-2, 274, So. Rock Hill, S.C. 6-3, 235, Jr. Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. 6-2, 310, Sr. Winston-Salem, N.C. 6-3, 323, Jr. Manning, S.C. 6-4, 289, So. Windermere, Fla. 6-3, 323, Jr. Rock Hill, S.C. 6-4, 302, So. Fayetteville, N.C. 6-2, 310, So. Buford, Ga. 6-6, 241, So. Powder Springs, Ga. 6-1, 275, RFr. Lithonia, Ga. 6-2, 225, Jr. Lithonia, Ga. 6-2, 234, So. Stone Mountain, Ga. 6-0, 228, Jr. Mays Landing, N.J. 6-1, 216, So. Powder Springs, Ga. 6-2, 213, So. Cooper City, Fla. 6-0, 228, So. Daphne, Ala. 6-1, 231, Fr. Ellenwood, Ga. 5-10, 187, Sr. Decatur, Ga.

42 Jordan Diggs 32 Larenz Bryant CB: 12 Brison Williams 3 Chris Lammons 30 Sidney Rhodes SS: 6 Chris Moody 25 Kadetrix Marcus FS: 17 Chaz Elder 20 T.J. Gurley 26 Jasper Sasser CB: 31 Al Harris, Jr. 1 Rico McWilliams 7 Wesley Green SPECIALISTS:

6-0, 217, So. Fort Myers, Fla. 6-0, 220, So. Charlotte, N.C. 5-11, 208, Sr. Warner Robbins, Ga. 5-10, 172, Fr. Sunrise, Fla. 5-10, 182, Sr. Easley, S.C. 6-1, 210, So. McDonough, Ga. 6-1, 194, Sr. Stone Mountain, Ga. 6-2, 195, So. Union City, Ga. 5-10, 194, Jr. Cairo, Ga. 6-0, 203, RFr. Jacksonville, Fla. 5-11, 162, Fr. Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 5-11, 184, So. Hampton, Ga. 5-10, 176, Fr. Lithonia, Ga.

KO: PK: P: KR: PR: SSN: LSN: H:

5-9, 178, Jr. 6-0, 165, So. 6-0, 165, So. 5-9, 178, Jr. 6-2, 207, Sr. 6-0, 194, Sr. 5-11, 201, So. 5-11, 201, So. 6-4, 267, Sr. 6-2, 201, So. 6-0, 194, Sr. 6-2, 207, Sr.

19 Landon Ard 29 Elliott Fry 29 Elliott Fry 19 Landon Ard 13 Tyler Hull 18 Patrick Fish 11 Pharoh Cooper 11 Pharoh Cooper 58 Ryland Culbertson 47 Drew Williams 18 Patrick Fish 13 Tyler Hull

Rock Hill, S.C. Frisco, Texas Frisco, Texas Rock Hill, S.C. Mount Airy, N.C. Shelby, N.C. Havelock, N.C. Havelock, N.C. Laurens, S.C. Irmo, S.C. Shelby, N.C. Mount Airy, N.C.

Texas A&M OFFENSE WR: 2 Speedy Noil 5-11, 185, Fr. New Orleans, La. 18 Edward Pope 6-4, 18-, So. Carthage, Texas LT: 70 Cedric Ogbuehi 6-5, 305, Sr. Allen, Texas 65 Avery Gennesy 6-5, 305, Jr. Southaven, Miss. LG: 51 Jarvis Harrison 6-4, 330, Sr. Navasota, Texas 78 Garrett Gramling 6-6, 310, Sr. Denton, Texas C: 56 Mike Matthews 6-2, 290, Jr. Missouri City, Texas 68 Ben Compton 6-4, 300, Sr. Friendswood, Texas RG: 79 Joseph Cheek 6-7, 310, Jr. Seguin, Texas 72 Jermaine Eluemunor 6-4, 315, Jr. Denville, N.J. RT: 74 Germain Ifedi 6-5, 325, So. Houston, Texas 63 Ryan Lindblade 6-7, 305, So. Richmond, Texas TE: 85 Cameron Clear 6-6, 277, Sr. Memphis, Tenn. 41 Brandon Alexander 6-6, 266, Jr. Brenham, Texas WR: 9 Ricky Seals-Jones 6-5, 235, RFr. Sealy, Texas 23 Sabian Holmes 5-11, 175, Jr. Southlake, Texas 6 LaQuvionte Gonazlez 5-10, 165, So. Cedar Hill, Texas WR: 11 Josh Reynolds 6-4, 190, So. San Antonio, Texas Frank Iheanacho, 6-6, 220, Fr. Houston, Texas WR: 84 Malcome Kennedy 6-0, 205, Sr. Cayuga, Texas 19 Jeremy Tabuyo 5-11, 180, So. Honolulu, Hawaii QB: 7 Kenny Hill 6-1, 215, So. Southlake, Texas 10 Kyle Allen 6-3, 205, Fr. Scottsdale, Ariz. TB: 21 Tra Carson 6-0, 235, Jr. Texarkana, Texas -OR- 5 Brandon Williams 6-0, 200, Jr. Brookshire, Texas -OR- 3 Trey Williams 5-8, 195, Jr. Spring, Texas

DEFENSE DE: -OR- NG: -OR- DT: RUSH: SLB: MLB: WLB: CB: CB: BS: -OR- FS:

95 Julien Obioha 9 Qualen Cunningham 40 Jarrett Johnson 98 Hardreck Walker 92 Zaycoven Henderson 83 Alonzo Williams 89 Ivan Robinson 96 Jay Arnold 10 Daeshon Hall 15 Myles Garrett 16 Donnie Baggs 42 Otaro Alaka 7 Jordan Mastrogiovanni 43 Jusstin Bass 14 Josh Walker 46 A.J. Hilliard 3 Tommy Sanders 28 Victor Davis 8 Nick Harvey 29 Deshazor Everett 22 Tavares Garner 31 Howard Matthews 18 Donovan Wilson 25 Clay Honeycutt 23 Armani Watts

6-4, 265, Jr. New Orleans, La. 6-3, 247, Fr. Chandler, Ariz. 6-3, 260, Fr. Katy, Texas 6-2, 300, So. Spring, Texas 6-1, 315, Fr. Longview, Texas 6-4, 296, Jr. Long Beach, Calif. 6-3, 290, Sr. Longville, La. 6-4, 284, So. Rockwell, Texas 6-6, 260, So. Lancaster, Texas 6-5, 255, Fr. Arlington, Texas 6-1, 230, Sr. League City, Texas 6-3, 225, Fr. Houston, Texas 6-3, 244, So. Dallas, Texas 6-2, 231, Sr. Plano, Texas 6-1, 233, Fr. Gilmer, Texas 6-2, 230, So. Klein, Texas 6-2, 220, Sr. Cordele, Ga. 6-0, 191, RFr. Rosenberg, Texas 5-10, 180, Fr. Lancaster, Texas 6-0, 193, Sr. DeRidder, La. 6-0, 183, So. Missouri City, Texas 6-2, 210, Sr. League City, Texas 6-1, 192, Fr. Shreveport, La. 6-2, 200, Sr. Dickinson, Texas 5-11, 190, Fr. Forney, Texas

-OR- NICK:

5 Floyd Raven, Sr. 25 Clay Honeycutt 26 Devonta Burns 12 Sam Moeller

6-2, 200, Sr. Kenner, La. 6-2, 200, Sr. Dickinson, Texas 6-0, 214, Jr. Arlington, Texas 5-11, 186, Fr. San Antonio, Texas

SPECIALISTS PLK: -OR- P: SNP: HOLD: PR: KR:

49 Josh Lambo 24 Taylor Bertolet 38 Drew Kaser 46 Shane Tripucka 54 Alex Freeman 14 Conner McQueen 2 Speedy Noil 1 De’Vante Harris 3 Trey Williams 2 Speedy Noil

6-0, 220, Sr. Middleton, Wisc. 5-9, 185, Jr. Reading, Pa. 6-3, 210, Jr. Strongville, Ohio 6-3, 215, RFr. Allen, Texas 6-1, 235, Sr. Round Rock, Texas 5-10, 175, So. Klein, Texas 5-11, 185, Fr. New Orleans, La. 5-11, 175, Jr. Mesquite, Texas 5-8, 195, Jr. Spring, Texas 5-11, 185, Fr. New Orleans, La.

*These depth charts are taken from the listings from each team’s preseason listings. Please visit www.spursandfeathers. com over the course of the week for updated depth charts.


Spurs & Feathers • 21

August 27, 2014

Thornwell working hard to be able to play longer minutes by brian hand bhand@spursandfeathers.com

him to usurp Gamecock all-time leading scorer BJ McKie for the freshman program record. Thornwell was named SEC Freshman of the The argument could have been made last year Week three times last season and he was chosen that nobody meant more to their team in SEC as the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of play than Sindarius Thornwell. the Week for the week of Feb. 18. This reasoning was why many politicked for Despite all the accolades, Thornwell himself Thornwell to obtain SEC Freshman of the Year recognizes he could have done more last year, honors over Kentucky’s Julius Randle last seaparticularly down the stretch where he feels he son after a league campaign that saw him lead all tired. He worked hard this summer to change freshmen in the conference with 15.6 points and that, noting this summer he focused on “more 4.0 assists per game in conference play. getting stronger, conditioning and my jump shot, In a season where he had to take over a great getting it more consistent … and ball handling.” deal of the point guard responsibilities due to “Last year, I played a ton of minutes and I was sidelined point guard Tyrone Johnson, Thorntired so hopefully this year I can be in better well accounted for 36.8 percent of the Gamecock shape and be able to play those longer minutes,” offense in the final 15 games of the league seaThornwell commented. “Conference, towards son (16 points and 4.2 assists per game). the end of conference play and the conference Thornwell procured a freshman programtournament, I could feel it starting to wear on best six 20 or me. That wasn’t an excuse. Hopefully by this more point time next year, I’ll be good.” SEC games. Thornwell fully understands now after going His sixth 20 through a full SEC season the toughness and or more point grind of high-major Division I basketball. game in league “Every night you’re playing a good team,” play in the Thornwell noted. “Every night guys are comregular-season ing at you, so you don’t get no break. There’s no finale win over All Gamecock basketball plays off. I was a freshman so I had to learn that coverage sponsored by Mississippi the hard way.” Yesterdays State allowed This summer just like all of his teammates one

way that he focused on getting better was by competing in the SC Pro-Am. During the SC Pro-Am Thornwell was “absorbing everything, playing against all the pros overseas and other college players. It’s good getting ... to play against pros like (former Gamecock great) Carlos Powell and (former Troy star) Vernon Taylor. It gets me kind of to another level and shows me what I need to work on because they’re more physical. It just helps my game overall because they come at me and they don’t let me rest, anything like that. They make me play my best.” The sophomore 6-foot-5 guard from Lancaster, S.C. was asked numerous times this offseason

whether he will be taking on more of a leadership role in the upcoming year. To him though it isn’t about that. “We want to win more games so we all got to get better,” Thornwell remarked. “So, I just try to help some of the young guys. Some of the guys that have been here we all try to help each other. It’s not just me taking a leadership role. I’m not really a vocal leader. I try to lead by example.” A consummate team player, Thornwell knows he may see time at the 1, 2 or 3 in the upcoming 2014-15 Gamecock men’s basketball campaign and he is fine with that. “I’ll just play whatever coach (Frank Martin) needs me to play,” Thornwell concluded.


22 • Spurs & Feathers

When he has time to unwind in his hometown of Cooper City, Fla., Gamecocks linebacker Skai Moore likes to deep-sea fish. “I love going out and going fishing as often as I can with my grandfather,” Moore said. “It’s a good time to get away from everything. Dolphin, that’s the main fish we’re reeling in. Maybe some snook every now and then.” It should come as no surprise that Moore excelled when tossed into the deep end of the South Carolina defense. As a true freshman, the 6’2,” 213-pound Moore led the Gamecocks in tackles and interceptions en route to earning Andy Demetra freshman All-SEC Contributing honors. Writer How impressive was that feat? Since 1967, only five Gamecocks have led the team in tackles and interceptions in the same season. Three of them – Brad Edwards, Arturo Freeman, and Stephon Gilmore – made the NFL. Moore did it as a true freshman. That production has also raised the bar for his second season at USC. The expectations grew higher when head coach Steve Spurrier, normally a tsk-tsker of preseason lists, decried Moore’s omission from the preseason All-SEC teams. But defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward isn’t buying into the hype. At least not yet.

August 27, 2014

“Skai has a lot of natural ability,” Ward said this summer, adding, “Skai can give us a lot more. He has not arrived, which is what I’m trying to tell you. He has several steps he can make.” Moore isn’t offended by Ward’s comments - namely, because he isn’t satisfied either. As he begins his sophomore year, Moore says he wants to make himself a more complete linebacker. “I’m just working on the little things – my pre-snap reads, bulking up a little bit more, and getting in my playbook and diagnosing teams before games a little bit better,” he said. Had everything gone as planned, USC likely wouldn’t have landed Moore. He grew up a diehard Miami fan, and idolized former Hurricanes safety Sean Taylor. As a four-star prospect at nearby (Ft. Lauderdale) University School, Moore led his team to an undefeated season and a state title his senior year. Yet the Hurricanes didn’t offer him a scholarship until the night before National Signing Day. Miami’s sandbagging turned into an opportunity for the Gamecocks, who pulled Moore from a commitment to Rutgers. He made an immediate impact in a linebacking corps that had to replace its top six tacklers. In the season opener against North Carolina, while everyone was hyperventilating about Jadeveon Clowney’s conditioning, Moore quietly rolled up seven tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and a half-sack. By Week 10, he took over the starting weakside linebacker spot. Moore saved his best games for last, grabbing an interception and a fumble recovery against Clemson and picking off two passes in the Gamecocks’ Capital One Bowl win

photo by allen sharpe

over Wisconsin. But a breakout freshman season still hasn’t guaranteed Moore a featured role as a sophomore. “There’s not a big difference between our ones and our twos,” USC linebackers coach Kirk Botkin said. “We’ve got a good, solid foundation with the two-deep, and it brings competition.” Still, he could figure prominently into the Gamecocks’ 3-4 defense, a scheme they may play more often in 2014. With more SEC teams switching to uptempo, spread offenses, there’s a bull market for athletic, sideline-tosideline linebackers. At 213 pounds, Moore doesn’t have the bulk of other leading SEC linebackers. “Fast metabolism,” he answered when asked whether he struggles to put on

weight. But his ability to drop into coverage and chase down mobile quarterbacks will make him a valuable piece of the Gamecocks’ defense. “I’ll be lining up in the box a little bit more in the 3-4 scheme. I’ll be trying to be going from tackle to tackle and making as many plays as possible,” he said. If he succeeds, expect his headline-friendly first name to be called more often. Moore confirms that his mother named him Skai for the “infinite possibilities” one sees when looking up at the sky. The possibilities for his sophomore year may not be infinite, but if he continues building off a promising freshman season, they’ll certainly be high.


Spurs & Feathers • 23

August 27, 2014

What a great time to be born a Gamecock by brian hand bhand@spursandfeathers.com

Across the board the Gamecocks have the ability to compete for championships in every sport. I woke up recently to phone calls, emails and Yes, some programs may not be where they texts letting me know that my sister was in labor need to be at this point in time, but they have the with her second child. resources and for the most part facilities in place Shortly after 10 a.m. on July 20, 2014 we all to compete at an elite level. learned that my sister had delivered the child That an elite level is possible is perfectly and that Edie Louise Richards had become proven by the South Carolina football program a part of Gamecock country by entering the among a host of others. world. This past year was as strong of a year as had The daughter of two University of South ever been seen in the history of the athletic deCarolina graduates, Edie’s birth got me thinkpartment and things are shaping up quite nicely ing about a lot of things, but the one prevailing for the prospects of a stellar year in the 2014-15 thought after receiving so many congratulatory athletic year. tweets from Gamecock fans was “what a great Even those programs in the aforementioned time to enter the world as a Gamecock.” rebuilding mode have made noise over the past I wanted to write this column four months year with for example Frank Martin’s South ago when my second child, Brynlee Denise Carolina men’s basketball team besting eventual Hand, was born, but along with her birth, getnational runner-up Kentucky in their lone meetting through the rest of the 2013-14 athletic year ing last year. They also won two SEC Tournaand moving to say my life has been a whirlwind ment games for the first time since 2006. would be a vast understatement. Incredibly in a five-year stretch that has inBrynlee’s birth on April 4, 2014 may have cluded two baseball national championships started this thought process, but Edie’s birth fur- it can be assumed that is only the beginning ther emphasized how great it is to be a Gameand even greater things are on the horizon for cock at this point in time. Gamecock athletics. These are unprecedented times for the UniverEven the man in charge of those two baseball sity of South Carolina athletics department. national championships in then baseball head

coach and now athletics director Ray Tanner believes big things are coming. “Being a coach for so many years I understand how difficult it is to win, especially competing in the Southeastern Conference,” Tanner told me in an interview in his office in early June. “The success that you have is very difficult to achieve. We all strive to win another game or continue to advance. I think that we’re competing at such a high level in the SEC, which equates to national competitiveness. I think that we’re on the verge in the next few years of winning a national championship in more than one sport.” Tanner’s thoughts further emphasize how everyone feels in the South Carolina athletics department. It is a special place and all the coaches, administrators and staff work hard daily to make sure the programs compete at a level across the board that might not have been believable 10-15 years ago. This drive to compete to be great as Tanner would say is not just confined to wins and losses too as the South Carolina athletics department

has truly bought into the holistic approach towards its student-athletes. This past year the Gamecock student-athletes also took the same approach to winning on the field and courts into the classroom once again as an SEC-best 336 student-athletes were on the combined academic honor rolls for the 2013-14 school year. South Carolina’s student-athletes have produced a departmental GPA above 3.0 for 15 consecutive semesters. As an athletics department, South Carolina also excelled in making a difference in the community this past year. Gamecock student-athletes across the athletics department completed a total of 7,739 hours of community service in the 2013-14 athletic year. That breaks down to an average of 15 hours of community service per student-athlete. When thinking about all of this it just makes me proud to be one of those that has the opportunity to pass along the message of how great it is to be a Gamecock. The future is incredibly bright for all Gamecocks. My 6-year-old son, Alexander, put it best on how times have changed last year by telling one of his friends why he likes the Gamecocks instead of Clemson: “I like the Gamecocks because they always win.”


24 • Spurs & Feathers

August 27, 2014

One area that will make all the difference this season As the season opener approaches I am excited about every aspect of the 2014 South Carolina football team, but I want to touch on one area I believe will make all the difference this season. I remember the first time I met Coach Shawn Elliott. He had just joined the staff, and I asked him about his recruiting philosophy. He said, “I’m going to sign 4 or 5 offensive linemen every year.” I laughed so hard I almost had tears in my eyes. I replied, “Shawn, every O line coach since Coach Jim Carlen has said the same thing, and it has never happened.” Glenn Snyder I even recalled Inside the words of Lou Look Holtz who said, “You need 16 offensive linemen to have a good offense.” But here are the facts: The 2001 signing class had two (thankfully one was Nashan Goddard), the 2002 class had four, the ‘03 class had one. The 2004 class actually had eight signees, but only four made it to school, and only three ever contributed. Math was never my strong suit at Carolina, but I don’t think those numbers equal 16. I won’t bore you with the numbers, but things didn’t improve markedly during the Brad Scott era. And sadly, they didn’t get

much better in Coach Steve Spurrier’s first seasons under O Line Coach John Hunt. He approved recruits who were big and smart, who had dominated in high school because of their size, but, as it turned out, only a few of the players he brought in had the heart for big-time, SEC football. Coach Elliott hit the ground running, when he took the job in 2010. The class had just three offensive linemen, but two of them are pretty good ones: 2014 preseason All-SEC picks A.J. Cann and Cory Robinson, and Will Sport who is listed as the backup at right guard. The 2011 class also had just three signees, but again, two very good ones: 2014 preseason All-SEC tackle Brandon Shell and Mike Matulis, who was set to be starting right guard before he suffered a knee injury in a recent scrimmage. In 2012 the class included four players: Clayton Stadnik, Brock Stadnik, Cody Waldrop and Mason Zandi. Clayton and Waldrop are in a battle for the starting center spot, while Brock is listed as the backup to Cann, and Zandi is No. 2 behind Robinson. The 2013 class included: D.J. Park, who is in the mix at right guard; Na’Ty Rogers, who is No. 2 behind Shell; Alan Knott, who is in the mix at center and J.B Vonashek and Bryce King, who have since left the program. Because of where the numbers were, the Gamecocks signed just two offensive lineman in the 2014 class, but Malik Young and Donell Stanley are both great young talents. Coach Elliott has not quite reached the magic 16 number, but heading into the season

there are 15 scholarship offensive linemen on the roster. The Gamecocks have four O linemen (three four-star and one three-star rated prospects) committed for the 2015 class. If those four follow through on their pledges, with Cann, Robinson and Gibson the only seniors, the 2015 roster will be at 16. More important than the numbers, Coach Elliott has brought in OL’s who have a defensive linemen’s mentality. His linemen will never be considered a “passive” group. They are going to be the hunter and not the hunted. Two other points: in the past, if an offensive line starter wanted to take a day off in practice, he wasn’t concerned, because he knew he would still be the starter on Saturday. Now, the competition is such that if a player slacks off, he’ll find himself spending time sitting on the bench. Also in the past, if fans learned that a starter like Matulis was going to miss at least half of the season, they would be certain the year was headed down the tubes. Now, the talent is at a level to where the next guy at any position is capable of stepping up and getting the job done. I don’t think there is any question that this will the most talented and deepest offensive line group since Carolina joined the SEC in 1992. The question for me is, can they be as good as the line that paved the way for George Rogers to lead the nation in rushing and win the 1980 Heisman Trophy? The O line will begin to answer that question this Thursday night against a very talented Texas A&M squad. Can’t wait to see how it plays out. It’s a great time to be a Gamecock!

Charleston kicks off season in style by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

of the home football games and at Clemson and at Auburn also. We had a Connor Shawsigned helmet that went for quite a few hundred The Charleston County Gamecock Club’s dollars. Cocky and the cheerleaders showed Football Season Kickoff Party & BBQ had a up which was very good. Also we had a local tremendous turnout in a fun event for Gameperson, not a restaurant, do the barbecue for us cock fans. which was absolutely delicious,” Skoy com“We ended up having about 350 people. We mented. sold 300 tickets and had about 40 or 50 in sponNot only was there the party atmosphere with sor tickets that we gave away. We had over all the food and fun, but the chapter had some $4,000 in sponsors which helped immensely special guest speakers that put on a good show with costs,” board member Jen Skoy said. “We for the Gamecock fans. ended up raising over a $7,000 profit from the “We had a couple of guest speakers in Andy event and most of that went toward the new sig- Demetra, Tommy Moody and Chris Clark from nage at Williams-Brice Stadium as part of the Gamecock Central,” Skoy remarked. “Chris Block C campaign. We also sponsor volleyball, gave us an update on all the recruiting informaso they’ll get a check and we usually make a tion since we’ve had so much good recruiting donation to the marching band as well.” lately. Andy was great as usual. He started out The event provided lots of fun, fellowship and talking about the baseball and basketball teams great food for Gamecock fans in the area to help then builds the energy and plays to the crowd in support South Carolina Athletics. talking about football coming up too. It was also “We had a band - local group Stone Kings nice to have Tommy there as a bonus. We didn’t who played southern rock - and did a live and even know that he was coming.” silent auction. We auctioned off tickets to each The Charleston County Gamecock Club

submitted photo

enjoyed the successful event and will set up some game-watching events at local restaurants throughout football season. “We don’t have any other big things planned just yet, but we will try to set up watch parties for anyone who isn’t going to the games. Just keep checking on our Facebook page and on Twitter for more updates to come,” Skoy said. To find out more about the Charleston County Gamecock Club, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter as @ChasGamecockClub. You can also visit the chapter website at: www. charlestongamecockclub.com.


Spurs & Feathers • 25

August 27, 2014

Columbia Football Rentals offering new way to enjoy Gamecock football weekends by ed girardeau ed@spursandfeathers.com

biaFootballRentals.com offers their clients a solution. “There are currently 23 properties just For more than 50 years, people in and minutes away from Williams-Brice, some around the Augusta, Ga. area have been are just steps away.” Curnes reported. “We renting their personal residences to Mashave everything from 10 bedroom manters Golf Tournament visitors. They earn sions to apartments. More properties are good money and leave for a short vacation. being added each week. Fans can avoid the Now a group of entrepreneurs are doing hassle of being stuck in traffic before and the same thing for college football weekafter the game.” ends. They launched a website for ColumHomeowners are encouraged to go on bia at ColumbiaFootballRentals.com. the website and list their home for free. If “It is just an issue of supply and demand a booking is made, a small service fee is for lodging in college towns,” Jordan paid. Curnes, one of Columbia Football Rent“Homeowners get to set their own price als’ co-founders, said. “During a Gameand select which weekends they want to cock football home game weekend, over rent out their home,” Curnes remarked. 100,000 fans pour into Columbia and all “They can look at the prices of the other the hotels are full. Football games are homes on the site to get an idea of how times when families and extended families much they should charge for a particular come in to town together. They can keep weekend.” the whole group together and have space to Curnes and his partners started in 2006 relax and reconnect. Once a family experi- in South Bend, Indiana around their alma ences a home rental for a football weekend, mater, Notre Dame. The business worked they come back year after year. Gamecock so well it began to expand to other college fans like the idea of spending the entire towns. The focus has been on the SEC this weekend enjoying Columbia.” year. How many times have Gamecock fans As far as security of the home, it is very sat in traffic on Assembly Street or Bluff much like staying at a local hotel. “Like a Road waiting and wished there was an hotel, we put a $1,000 security deposit hold easier way to get to the stadium? Columon the credit card of the renter. If there are

any issues at all, their card gets charged immediately,” explained Curnes. “Fortunately we have had very few issues in over 2,000 rentals over the past seven years. Homeowners often do have one room in their house or one closet that they lock and put anything they want to keep away from the renters. But you don’t have to clean out your fridge or your closets, as renters are only staying for the weekend. Homeowners just need to clear a bit of space in the fridge and some hanging space in the closet.” Homeowners often add little extras to entice people to stay at their home. “Some homeowners do offer rides to and from the game as part of their package. It is completely up to the homeowner,” Curnes discussed, “but all homeowners are required to leave their house for the entire weekend. That prevents any issues that may arise from trying to have two families share a kitchen or bathroom or TV room.” Columbia Football Rentals also provides instruction to homeowners to ensure that guests are comfortable. “We provide a thorough guide for all homeowners on how best to prepare their home for guests,” Curnes noted. “Homeowners are responsible for this part as well as the cleanup, but many choose to hire a

submitted photo

cleaning service to come after the rental and make their home spotless.” As for whether they think this will be successful in Columbia, Curnes has no doubts. “We have been overwhelmed by the response from both homeowners and fans so far,” Curnes concluded. “They are certainly excited for this season of Gamecock football to begin. Many have told us that we are solving a problem they have had for years – for both football games and events like graduation.” Contacting is easy. Go to www.ColumbiaFootballRentals.com or you can call toll free 1-855-BIG-GAME.


26 • Spurs & Feathers

August 27, 2014

New Williams-Brice sign manufactured in Palmetto State by brian hand bhand@spursandfeathers.com President and CEO of Concept Unlimited, Inc. Scott Hinkle knew that when his company was awarded the bid for the new sign at Williams-Brice Stadium that they were about to be a part of something special. Despite this knowledge he never could have envisioned the overwhelmingly positive response to the new sign on the outside of the concrete column of the elevator shaft at Williams-Brice Stadium though, calling the whole experience “unreal.” Hinkle understands that the garnet sign featuring the “block C” logo and the words Williams-Brice Stadium is basically the focal point of the stadium facing Bluff Road and Gamecock Park and he knows that means it will be seen by many for years to come. “I was telling my wife the other day that this could be the legacy of this company,” Hinkle mused. Paid for in part by the efforts of the Gamecock Club, who challenged their chapters to help them raise $50,000, the sign is a 29-footby-51 foot lighted sign. After the original design was decided upon, Concept Unlimited quickly began the process

of getting everything they needed together to be able to manufacture the sign and then install the sign at Williams-Brice Stadium. “We’ve had a relationship with USC actually a while now and there was actually a bidder’s list that went out and we were awarded the contract,” Hinkle noted. “From that point they basically gave us a conceptional idea of what the sign was to look like and they spec’d some criteria, but we actually had to create a construction drawing and meet their approval and then I had to get it engineered … and then USC’s engineer over at the stadium had to make sure everything was okay as far as the surface we were mounting it on. It’s pretty normal as far as signage goes, just very large.” According to Hinkle, it is the biggest sign of this kind that he has ever produced in his 30 years. “That’s the biggest sign I’ve built in 30 years of doing it that mounts on the side of a wall,” Hinkle remarked. “I’ve built stuff that mounts on a pole that were actually about that same size, but it’s totally different when you’re mounting flush to a wall like that. If we were just doing the letters themselves and mounting them to the wall it would have been have a big project, but not nearly as big as what it ended up being with this background panel.

“It has a three-foot ledge at the bottom with the LED downlights and at the top there’s a five-foot ledge that goes back over the stadium. Normally when somebody would do something like that they’d set that on top of the wall, but the designer actually wanted that backlight piece to go over the top of the wall and then back, which made it a little difficult,” Hinkle continued. As one would imagine, Concept Unlimited considered every single part of making the sign a reality important. South Carolina alum Jeremy Inman was the project manager and salesman for the unique task. “I’m proud of everybody here at team Concept,” Hinkle commented. “It was unreal. They stepped up and we knocked this thing out of the park. We did all this in six weeks too. It took every person in this whole company. I’ve got 70 people and 70,000 square feet, but I don’t think a single person in this company didn’t have a small part in this. The last four weeks we worked Saturdays and Sundays.” It was also a thrill for Hinkle to produce the sign because he is a big Gamecock fan with his son presently a senior at South Carolina and currently in the band. His father-in-law is also a graduate and played baseball at South Carolina in the 1950s. Hinkle’s son actually even

gamecock club

signed the back of the new Williams-Brice Stadium sign to commemorate the special occasion for the family. The love for all things Gamecock aside, Hinkle and his staff at the end of the day are nevertheless most proud of the fact that the sign was produced in the Palmetto State with Hinkle closing by pointing out “we’re right here in Columbia.” To learn more about Concept Unlimited, please visit their website at www.conceptunlimited.com.


Spurs & Feathers • 27

August 27, 2014

Gamecock Radio/Television Information The Gamecock Sports Network from IMG College counts 23 affiliate stations for the 2014-15 season. For Sirius/XM subscribers, follow the Gamecock Radio Twitter (@Gamecockradio) page for weekly updates on channel information for Gamecock broadcasts. The weekly Carolina Calls show will air from 7-8 p.m. on the flagship station of the Gamecocks, WNKT-FM (107.5 FM), and over the Internet at www.GamecocksOnline.com. The show takes place each week at Wild Wing Café, located at 729 Lady Street in the Vista. Wild Wing Café, which is South Carolina’s home for the best wings south of Buffalo, has 12 locations in the Palmetto State. Visit www.wildwingcafe. com for more information.

Inside the Roost

South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner and Derek Scott from the Gamecock Sports Network from IMG College host an hour long radio show every Monday night at 7 p.m. from Hilton Columbia Center in the Vista. The show is broadcast on 107.5 FM and features discussions on current issues with Ray Tanner and interviews with coaches and athletics department staff.

South Carolina-Texas A&M television

The game will be the first-ever televised football game on the SEC Network. Please check local listings.

2014-15 Radio Affiliates

City Call Letters Frequency Football Abbeville WZLA-FM 92.9 X Johnston/Aiken WKSX-FM 92.7 X Allendale WDOG-FM 93.5 X Anderson WRIX-FM 103.1 X Camden WPUB-FM 102.7 X Camden WCAM-AM 1590 X Charleston WWIK-FM 98.9 X Chesterfield WVSZ-FM 107.3 X Columbia WNKT-FM 107.5 X Florence WHYM-AM 1260 X Florence WFRK-FM 95.3 X Gaffney WZZQ-FM 104.3 X Gaffney WZZQ-AM 1500 X Greenville/Spartanburg WROO-FM 96.7 X Hilton Head WVGB-AM 1490 X Hilton Head WVGB-FM 94.5 X Myrtle Beach WSYN-FM 103.1 X Newberry WKDK-AM 1240 X Rock Hill WRHM-FM 107.1 X Seneca WSNW-AM 1150 X Seneca WSNW-FM 94.1 X Sumter WIBZ-FM 95.5 X Union WBCU-AM 1460 X

Dorchester County preps for football by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

you can’t always let people know who you pull for, but there were some really good sponsors and we’re glad to have them,” The Dorchester County Gamecock Club Stoney added. held a successful football kickoff party McFarland and Tony Morrell of the Big at the Summerville Country Club with a Spur were the featured speakers for the propacked event. gram and both had impressive presentations Chapter secretary Beth Campbell Stoney according to Stoney. said there were at least 150 guests with “Tony was amazing. He didn’t have one every table filled along with people overnote in front of him and spoke off the cuff flowing into a standing room during the for 30 minutes, naming players and posiprogram. tions. We were very impressed and he did a “It was a sponsored party so guests didn’t great job,” Stoney remarked. “Also Patrick have to pay,” Stoney commented. “We even brought a presentation on the improvements had it open to all Gamecock fans, Gamethat are going to be taking place around the cock Club members or not. It worked out stadium and also the practice facilities for well because (Gamecock Club Executive the other athletics teams. That was really Director) Patrick (McFarland) brought a nice to see and everyone is really excited bunch of applications and every one of them about that … we’re looking forward to seegot taken. Hopefully the Gamecock Club ing the new sign on the outside of Williamscan gain some members from our party. Brice Stadium too.” “It was fun finding out some of the people The event also served as a fundraiser, are Gamecock fans in the area. In business which included a live auction that was “en-

thusiastically conducted by Gamecock Club member J.J. Messervy.” “In between the speakers we had an auction of three items: a signed football by coach Spurrier, a framed picture of Williams-Brice Stadium and an Adirondack chair that was custom-made and decorated in Gamecock colors. The chair actually went for more than anything else. All the items went well, but the chair was a big draw too,” Stoney explained. Stoney said the fun atmosphere around the event served to only increase the excitement around the season opener against Texas A&M. She noted that the same location will also host a watch party for those in the area not heading to Williams-Brice Stadium for the game. “We can’t wait for football season to kick off down here. Where we had the party at the Summerville Country Club, there is a covered pavilion that overlooks the golf course. They have a big screen TV and

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Pictured is three generations of Gamecocks (l-r) in Robby Robbins, Doug Robbins and Bryce Robbins. they’re going to host a viewing party for people who can’t get to the game to watch us beat Texas A&M,” Stoney said. To learn more about the Dorchester County Gamecock Club like them on Facebook. Chapter information along with plenty of South Carolina Athletics updates can be found on the page.


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What the experts are saying about the Gamecocks by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com South Carolina was selected to win the SEC East at SEC Media Days and some college football experts further broke down their selections. One constant from everyone at the event was that the SEC East race would most likely come down to South Carolina and Georgia with the game in Williams-Brice Stadium on Sept. 13 being the key. “Mr. College Football” Tony Barnhart of CBS Sports noted that game will go a long way to determining the East. “I think the favorite in the East is whoever wins the South Carolina-Georgia game,” Barnhart explained. “As you sit there and look at both of those teams, you know that both of them will be really, really good offensively, but both have question marks on defense. I think whoever plays well in that game, whoever wins that game, will have the upper hand. “I think it’s those two teams, then there’s a gap and there is Florida and maybe Missouri, then you’ve got another gap and there is Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt. I’ll be stunned if it’s not either Georgia or South Carolina to win the division,” Barnhart added. Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated agreed that game would be the turning point of the division race. “A lot rides on that Georgia game in Columbia on Sept. 13. Everyone will know a lot more about that division after that game because they have to be the two favorites on that side,” Staples commented. Greg McElroy, new analyst for the SEC Network, reiterated the importance of the Gamecock-Bulldog showdown. “That game against Georgia is going to be huge. South Carolina might get the advantage being at home and looking to bounce back from a loss in Athens last year, but that game will tell us a lot about both teams,” McElroy said. Some analysts also focused on a few of the Gamecocks’ offensive weapons when discussing the 2014 season as well. ESPN’s Joe Schad talked about the running backs in the conference and the importance of Mike Davis to the Gamecock offense. “When (Georgia’s Todd) Gurley is healthy there is no running back that is better than him, but I think Mike Davis is arguably the secondbest running back in the SEC, especially when you think that there is a deep stable of running back in Arkansas with Alex Collins and a deep stable of running backs with T.J. Yeldon at Alabama. Not that the other backs at South Carolina aren’t capable … for South Carolina to have a chance to win the SEC this year, they need Mike Davis to be no worse than the second-

nized by most analysts. ESPN’s Jesse Palmer, who also played for Spurrier at Florida, gave his insight on the Head Ball Coach. “Don’t be surprised by what Spurrier is saying. Historically when he’s had good teams he takes shots at other coaches. At Florida he took shots at Phillip Fulmer and Bobby Bowden at ‘Free Shoes University.’ At South Carolina he’s taking shots at Mark Richt at Georgia and multiple shots at Nick Saban now as well,” Palmer said. “You didn’t hear Steve Spurrier talk a lot in the early years at South Carolina, but threephoto by Travis bell/sideline carolina straight 11-win seasons, three-straight top-10 finishes, they finished fourth in the nation last best running back in the SEC,” Schad said. than anybody else in the SEC and it’s the reayear. Edward Aschoff of ESPN.com’s SEC Blog son that I’ve got South Carolina (ranked) five, “This is legitimately a program that has now agrees that Davis is a great threat for South just outside the top four, and winning the SEC arrived. They’re becoming consistent, they’re Carolina. beating Alabama in the Southeastern Confergood, he knows it, he’s confident. It’s what he “They’ve got a lot of talent on the offensive ence championship,” Brando commented. does. I think this means that South Carolina side of the ball and Mike Davis is a great player. McElroy broke down both Thompson and has arrived,” Palmer continued. He could have a big year and become one of Davis by saying they build confidence in the ESPN’s Danny Kannell, former Spurrier rival those well-known guys around the nation beGamecock offense. cause he is just really good,” Aschoff remarked. “I think Dylan Thompson could have a really as a player at Florida State, gave his thoughts on Spurrier as well, simply saying “Spurrier is Barnhart recognized the skills of Davis, but good year this year running that offense. He’s underselling his team at South Carolina. They he also knows there are other talented options got some experience and he learned behind might be one of the better teams in the SEC at tailback for South Carolina to strengthen the Connor Shaw, but really he’s got a lot of talent and he still hasn’t won that SEC championship. position. around him. When you can hand the ball to This could be his year.” “I think when Gurley is healthy and in shape, Mike Davis that makes things easier. Davis is Brando summed up his thoughts on Spurrier he’s the best running back in the country, but one of the best in the league and in the country Mike Davis is right there. He is a beast and the and could be a dark-horse Heisman candidate,” by recognizing him as one of the best in the business. thing about South Carolina is that you can go McElroy said. “I love the fact that Spurrier stokes the fire the three or four deep at running back. When you He also echoed Staples in emphasizing the can put in Brandon Wilds, Shon Carson and need to focus on each opponent during the sea- way that he does. Steve is, I think, one of the great coaches and if I had to pick one coach to David Williams who no one knows about but son to find success. will be a really good player, that’s a great group “I think this South Carolina team is going to win one game, anytime, anywhere, I’d take him over Nick (Saban) in a heartbeat, but I don’t of backs,” Barnhart explained. be really good as they have been the last few begrudge Nick Saban’s dynasty at Alabama,” Some of the experts focused on Davis’ back- seasons. They will need to bring the focus field partner, quarterback Dylan Thompson week-in and week-out because they have been Brando said. The expert’s thoughts are encouraging for the stepping into the spotlight as the starter. These good, but they need to be great to get to AtGamecocks this season, but everything will beexperts also recognized that as Thompson lanta,” McElroy said. goes, so might the Gamecocks, starting with One of South Carolina’s biggest assets is head gin to be determined on the field when the first kickoff of the year happens on Aug. 28. Staples’ comment. coach Steve Spurrier, a factor that was recog“The parallel that I’m reminded of is D.J. Shcokley at Georgia who waited behind David Greene seemingly forever and then finally got a shot in 2005 and wins an SEC Title at Georgia,” Staples said. “I don’t know that South Carolina is going to win an SEC Title, but they’ve won 11 games each of the past three years, they’ve beaten the East champ each of the last three years, but have not wound up in Atlanta. Can they get over that hump this year? “They’ve got to take care of the games that they’ve got to take care of. That’s what championship teams do. Could South Carolina do that? It’s a good question, but it seems like they have the leadership to do it,” Staples continued. Fox Sports’ Tim Brando said recently on the Reynolds and Gunter radio show on 560 The Team in Columbia that he felt Thompson is ready to lead the Gamecocks. “Connor Shaw is a big loss, but I do think that Dylan Thompson is more ready for primetime


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Unique views sponsored by Unique Expressions

We are down to the final hours and kickoff to the 2014 season is here. South Carolina will open the season at 6 p.m. on August 28 at Williams-Brice Stadium against Texas A&M on the SEC Network. Now if you didn’t know that, and you are reading this column, where have you been? I cannot begin to tell you how many calls Spurs & Feathers has received starting in the spring asking where they could get the Network. Hopefully by now, everyone is settled on that fact, as Ed Girardeau most cable and Contributing satellite providWriter ers have it. There is one thing that promotion did. You don’t need to be a Gamecock or an Aggie fan to know that these two are playing in the first game of the season. If you are an ESPN junkie (such as me), the ad for the kickoff has played over and over. So I started thinking about it. Is this the

biggest opening game of the season ever for USC? An opener against an SEC opponent ranked in most Top-25s and an opponent Carolina has never played before. I rolled through some past games in my mind and headed to the trusty media guide (my favorite reading book this time of year) and started going back. The Gamecocks have not lost an opener since 1999. That was Lou Holtz’s first year. The opener was in Raleigh against old nemesis NC State and the game was played in a tropical storm against the No. 24 Wolfpack. Carolina couldn’t get any points on the board and lost 10-0. The last home game loss to start a season was in 1994 to Georgia. After joining the SEC, Carolina opened with Georgia four consecutive years, including one of the most memorable openers ever, the 23-21 win in Athens in 1993. Most will remember the radio calls of Bob Fulton and Larry Munson. Brandon Bennett, after failing on his first attempt, scored with two seconds left to get the win over the 14th-ranked Bulldogs. The celebration by Gamecock fans went late into the evening. The Dawgs had long gone home when we left after dark. South Carolina has actually opened with Georgia nine times going all the way back

to 1984 and the last one in 1995. The opener of choice in the 1920s and 30s was Erskine who opened the season with USC 14 times, a game Carolina never lost (the one Erskine win came in 1917 in mid season). The team South Carolina has opened with the most is Duke with 17. In the 1950s, Duke came in ranked No. 10 twice to open and came away with the wins. The record with Duke in openers, 6-9-2, the last one in 1991 a 24-24 tie, though the Gamecocks had won the previous three. As far as memorable, the 1954 opener was against No. 18 Army at West Point, a 34-20 win for the Gamecocks. It was a little before my time, but I’m told that it was just a huge win and wildly celebrated in Columbia. As far as highly anticipated openers, the 1986 game featured the third-ranked Miami Hurricanes who came to Columbia led by Vinny Testaverde. It was the first game of a highly regarded new quarterback, Todd Ellis. It was a very cool evening due a cold front that came down. I guess we can only hope for that. Miami proved too much, spoiling Ellis’ debut, 34-14. In 1971, Georgia Tech came in ranked No. 17 and was soundly beaten by USC, 24-7, revenge for the opening loss in 1970 to Tech

when South Carolina was ranked No. 17. 1970 was then the second time the Gamecocks had opened the season ranked. In 1959, USC began the season ranked No. 14, beating Duke, 12-7. South Carolina has also been ranked to open the season in 1988 (19), 2001 (21) and 2002 (22). Five times between 1892 and 2010 the Gamecocks opened the season ranked. Is there any better indication how much things have changed? Carolina opened 2010 with Southern Mississippi. I suppose the most memorable part of that game was Stephen Garcia lowering the boom on the DB, knocking him down, and running into the end zone. The next week USC was No. 24, beat Georgia 17-6, and the Gamecocks haven’t been unranked since (and hasn’t lost to Clemson since 2008, which has nothing to do with this column, but is still fun to include). In 2011, Carolina opened at No. 12, 2012 No. 9, and 2013 No. 6. This year we open at No. 9. Whether this is more highly anticipated than any other is debatable, but isn’t that what makes this fantastic? And it’s why we are all champing at the bit to get it going! What a time to be a Gamecock!


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Upcoming Events: Gamecock Club Colleton County Happy Hour When: Tuesday, Aug. 26; 5 p.m. Where: Fat Jacks Grillin’ & Chillin’, 309 Ivanhoe Rd., Walterboro, S.C. Welcome all Gamecocks for Happy Hour! Bring the kids! RSVP to Lori 843-909-1919 or laribellbeard@gmail. com. NYC Gamecocks Game Watching Party When: Every time the Gamecocks play football this season Where: The NYC Gamecock Club home, The Mason Jar, at the intersection of 30th St. and Park Ave. Come out and enjoy Gamecock Football with the best NYC Gamecock fans you will ever meet. Enjoy drink specials, giveaway items, cool raffle items, great food and dozens of TV’s with only Gamecock Football! Wear your game day gear, take a photo with our inflatable Cocky mascot and be proud to be a Gamecock in NYC! If you are not at Williams-Brice, you want to be here! 21st Annual Border Bash When: Friday, September 12, 2014; 4 p.m. Where: Augusta Common Tickets are $10 Advance/$15 at Gate – Kids 12 & Under are free. Available Friday, July 25 at BorderBash.net. Performances by: Kristian Bush of Sugarland and the Joe Stevenson Band. As always the University of South Carolina and University of Georgia cheerleaders as well as mascots Hairy Dawg and Cocky will be on hand throughout the evening performing and taking pictures with fans. All of this plus great vendors, food, drinks and fun games make Border Bash the place to be with your family and friends on Friday, September 12. Nashville Gamecock Club Vanderbilt Weekend When: Sept. 19-20 Friday, Sept. 19 from 7 p.m.-11 p.m.: Vandy Game Pre-Party at Tin Roof Demonbreun with Musical Guest Ricky Young. Local South Carolina Alum and diehard Gamecock Ricky Young will be

headlining. They have a lot of drink and food specials set up as well, including from 7-10 p.m. $5 Chick Dilla, $5 build you own Nachos, $40 Crowd Control (bucket of Wings/Nacho combo) and from 7-11 p.m. $2 domestic drafts, $3 craft drafts and $6 Gamecock shot. Please feel free to stop by, where you will be given a wrist band so that you can enjoy the specials and the evening.

Cherokee County Kickoff features special guests

by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

The Cherokee County Gamecock Club had a successful fall banquet featuring some special guests in Gamecock Athletics Director Ray Tanner and Gamecock great Jeff Grantz. “It was a great time. We had about 140 people come out. Of course we had Ray TanSaturday, Sept. 20, All Day: Vandy ner, Jeff Grantz, Cocky and the cheerleaders,” Game Tailgate at Jed’s off West End. chapter president Mike Phillips said. “Last They will have music, tents, and all year we had (men’s basketball head coach) sorts of other events set up in the lawn Frank Martin and George Rogers, so now outside. You ARE allowed to bring your we’re trying to bring a former player every cooler to this event, but you cannot take year.” alcohol that you bring outside the fenced Phillips said that he met Grantz at a hotel in Orlando, Fla. before last year’s Capital One in area or inside Jed’s. You are also Bowl victory by South Carolina over Wisallowed to purchase drinks from Jed’s, consin. He said Grantz was very gracious in but you cannot take them outside to the accepting an invitation to speak at the kickoff tailgate area. party and “he said that he was glad to come and acted like he had a good time too.” Jacksonville Gamecock Club Florida Phillips said that the chapter also took the opportunity to make donations to the AthletWeekend ics Department to help with upgrades. When: Nov. 14-15 “We donated $5,000 to the basketball program for the graphics package they’re going The Jacksonville Gamecock Club to do in the tunnel and we donated $2,000 to invites all Carolina fans to Jacksonville the Williams-Brice Stadium Block C project,” to prepare to beat the Gators again! Phillips noted. “We asked Patrick McFarland November 14 & 15, 2014. Reserve your where the money was needed if they’ve got bus tickets and party tickets now! Friday new projects they’re taking on … we put the night party starting at 7 p.m. at Jackson- $5,000 to basketball because he said that was ville Marriott @ Southpoint; cost is $20 something coach Martin really wanted going per person with The Sensational Epics performing. by mike kucharski Game day bus ride on Nov. 15 five hours mike@spursandfeathers.com prior to kickoff; leaving from JacksonThe Georgetown County Gamecock Club ville Marriott @ Southpoint with a coast held its Fall Kickoff Meeting in early August of $40 per person, does not include with a strong turnout and plenty of excitement. ticket to game. “Everything turned out very well for us. We of course had Patrick McFarland in attendance Hotel accommodations at Jacksonville as well as guest speaker Andy Demetra,” chapMarriott @ Southpoint, Gamecock Club ter president Wayne Morris said. “We had a full house and everyone was very excited. rate $79/night. (904) 296-2222. Make “Andy did a great job as well as Patrick and checks payable to Jacksonville Gamethe overall excitement level is really, really high cock Club, 2948 3rd Street South #328, for our group down in Georgetown county. Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250-5847. We’ve got a pretty big contingent heading up to Please include email for confirmation. that Thursday night game against Texas A&M and we’re really looking forward to it,” Morris Any questions call: Belk Ingram: (904) continued. Morris said that about two-thirds of the about 254-5969, bingram@pbclubrealty.com; 60 people in attendance said they were headed Rod Brace (904) 755-4041, rrbrace@ to the opener when asked by Demetra during gmail.com; Dane Hall (904) 591-4877, the kickoff. He continued to compliment Demedhall88@comcast.net; Rick Williamson tra on his performance as the guest speaker for (904) 699-7952, rwilliamson1301@ the event as well. yahoo.com “Andy is a wealth of information when comes

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Pictured (l-r) at the Cherokee County Kickoff are Mike Phillips, Jeff Grantz, Kathy Baines, Tony Lipscomb and Ray Tanner. from the dressing room to the court. He said it was big for recruits, so we just wanted to use our money where it’s needed.” Phillips also noted the chapter made a $1,000 donation to the Gamecock softball team recently as the chapter’s adopted team and made a trip down for a game last season as a club. He also said their recent chapter golf tournament was a good fundraiser including 48 hole sponsors and a big enough turnout that they had to bring in extra golf carts. The excitement level was high during the event and going forward leading into the football season for Phillips and all the local Gamecock fans. “Steve Spurrier has really set the bar high, so naturally everybody is excited with the way they’re winning. It’s almost gotten where it’s expected now,” Phillips commented. “We’re looking forward to the season and we’re just counting down the days until kickoff here.”

Georgetown holds Fall Meeting

to anything South Carolina, whether it be obviously basketball and baseball or anything. He had an awful lot of information and facts about the football team that he shared with us and had some interesting numbers to share with us. He has a pretty good pulse of the team and what’s going on when some of our group asked him questions about practice and what’s going on with different players and everything … he did a super, super job,” Morris expounded. “He’s an encyclopedia of facts about South Carolina, that’s for sure.” Morris also noted how nice it was for the chapter to have McFarland at the event to fill in the Gamecock Club members on the facilities upgrades that come from their donations. He added that the group is excited to see the updates that will come around campus and at Williams-Brice Stadium. “I think we’ve got an excellent chance to have a good season and that just raises the excitement level for all of us around here. The kickoff event just kind of gets us ready to go and we’re really looking forward to that kickoff on the 28th,” Morris said.


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