Daily Archives: January 5, 2008

Just another championship preseason in Columbia

In the minds of Gamecock fans, it’s the best time of the year – the period between regular seasons.  The sun shines a little brighter, some kid gets converted from safety to quarterback and is immediately anointed a Heisman candidate, the ‘Cocks have the best coaching staff in the country, USC will be playing in Atlanta… you know the drill.

Oh, and the South Carolina recruiting classes are as good as anyone’s in the SEC.  If you’re looking for ratification of that claim, feel free to check out the latest in The State.

Well, maybe there’s some room to grow:

Though six SEC schools — not to mention Clemson — currently are ranked higher than the Gamecocks, Rivals’ Crabtree does not view that as a reason for USC fans to mope.

“You can finish seventh in the SEC and still have a top-30 recruiting class,” Crabtree said. “If you’re in that range that means you’re signing a good group of kids, and I have no doubts that they’re going to have a good class come signing day.”

Coach Spurrier is pumped… about taking other schools’ leftovers.

In the meantime, Spurrier hopes the Gamecocks will have a strong finishing kick.

“It seems like most schools are almost filled up. But there are still a lot of players that haven’t done anything,” Spurrier said recently. “There are still a whole bunch of good players out there that want to go through the visits in January.”

Jamie Newberg thinks the Gamecocks have a new recruiting weapon, which will come as a bit of a surprise to Dawg fans.

But Newberg said the Gamecocks’ biggest commitment could prove to be new defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder. Newberg lived in Atlanta when VanGorder ran Georgia’s defense from 2001 to 2004 and believes players will be excited about playing in VanGorder’s 4-3 scheme.

“I think you’re really going to see that boost their recruiting in the future,” Newberg said. “Now, these kids might not remember what he did at Georgia, but after one year they’ll know.”

There is one good bit of recruiting news for South Carolina, though.  It looks like the Gamecocks have landed a roommate for Stephen Garcia.

Georgia Military defensive end Jarriel King, part of Spurrier’s first USC class in 2005, was dismissed from his junior-college team in August after stealing $5 from a teammate. Georgia Military coach Bert Williams said King is on track to finish his two-year degree in March and remains committed to the Gamecocks.

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