Two of South Carolina’s top targets say that Steve Spurrier’s resignation doesn’t affect how they feel about the Gamecocks. In fact, it could end up being a positive.
Eric Douglas and T.J. Moore are the starting offensive tackles for Mallard Creek, the two-time defending state champions in North Carolina’s largest classification. They’re both juniors, and among the state’s top 15 players in the Class of 2017. They’re also both high on the Gamecocks, and took an unofficial visit to Columbia, S.C., together earlier this season.
“We went to the Kentucky game,” Douglas said. “They lost, but the atmosphere was crazy. The Sandstorm was great, the place was jumping, it felt the stadium was moving.”
One reason losing Spurrier might not be a big deal is interim coach Shawn Elliott recruits the Charlotte area, and has been developing relationships with both players. He was also the offensive line coach before Spurrier’s decision.
“When Steve Spurrier was there, he said he wanted me to come play for him, and that instantly put them at the top,” Douglas said. “Steve Spurrier is a legend, a first ballot Hall of Fame guy. My position coach, Shawn Elliott, is now the head coach and it’s cool to see him in charge now. He’s a cool, down-to-earth guy and a great technique person.”
Added Moore: “Coach Elliott, he’s the man. I talk to him like every other day. He’s always checking to see if I’m good, to see if my grades are good even though he’s got the head coaching job now. I was really happy to see that. I like South Carolina a lot.”
Both Douglas and Moore have South Carolina among their top schools. Douglas listed South Carolina and Clemson as his top two, with N.C. State in third. Moore said South Carolina and N.C. State, with Notre Dame in the mix as well.
Both are also intrigued by Florida, but neither have offers from the Gators at this point. One big selling point is Mallard Creek alum D.J. Humphries, who graduated in 2011 before developing into a first-round pick with the Gators.
“Before I even came here, I used to come and watch D.J.,” Douglas said. “Actually playing for the same school as he did and the same position since my sophomore year is awesome. He came back to the school and was talking to us. He told me a lot of stuff that I think will help me in the future. He’s awesome.
“Florida said they would recruit me more and maybe get an offer once they saw some film. They wanted to see where I’m at midway through the season, so I’m going to get that done in a week or two and get it out to them. Tennessee, I’ve also been hearing from them and Georgia as well.”
Douglas is listed at 6-foot-5 and 282 pounds, while Moore checks in at 6-foot-6 and 276 pounds. They, along with center Grant Gibson, help make the Mallard Creek machine go and are part of an offense that might end up placing nine players on Division I rosters and seven or eight at FBS schools.
They are also both excited about the thought of Elliott getting a chance to be South Carolina’s coach on a permanent basis.
“It would be a big positive,” Moore said. “Coach Elliott and I have a real good relationship.”
Added Douglas: “Oh yeah, definitely. If they kept Coach Elliott, that would definitely be awesome.”