South Carolina football: Capitalizing on the downturns at Florida and Tennessee, part 2
We are tackling the best question supplied by South Carolina football fans each day. If you’d like to submit one, tweet to Hale McGranahan here.
Welcome to Thursday, Oct. 25, 2017:
@Gamecock_Kyle asks … With Florida/Tennessee down, how good of a time is this for South Carolina to capitalize on recruiting? What does this staff need to do to successfully capitalize?
South Carolina isn’t the only team that could help kick Florida and Tennessee while they’re down. It could start with the two teams’ 2018 commitments.
Florida’s class, which is ranked No. 6 in the country according to the 247Sports composite, has a lot of highly rated players, but the only one who South Carolina was truly involved with prior to his commitment is 3-star safety Randy Russell. To my knowledge, he was the only one where there seemed to be mutual interest between both parties.
But 3-star cornerback Divaad Wilson will take an official visit to South Carolina this weekend, which is an interesting development.
Tennessee, of course, has potential flip targets in 4-star cornerback Jaycee Horn and 3-star defensive end Dorian Gerald. Its class is No. 10 in the country.
Obviously, there are plenty of highly rated prospects committed to both schools, several of whom could be poached by others, so there’s free-for-all potential if something happens with the coaches in Gainesville and/or Knoxville.
In general, South Carolina certainly would benefit if both programs make a change. That goes for just about everyone else in the SEC East, because programs in transition are a little more vulnerable, especially when they’re in that elite caliber like Florida and Tennessee.
And, of course, there are the implications for right now, during the 2017 season. Tennessee is fighting it out in the 0-for-the-East basement with Missouri and Vanderbilt. And Florida’s grasping for air with the outdoor cocktail party looming in Jacksonville.
But this isn’t the first time the Gamecocks had a chance to capitalize on these two programs’ down years. Under Steve Spurrier, the Gamecocks had their best run in program history: 2010-13.
During much of that span, the Gators were led by Will Muschamp. Aside from its 11-2 run in 2012, Florida went 19-19 during that stretch.
In the four seasons right after 2009, Lane Kiffin’s only season on Rocky Top, the Volunteers went 21-28. They also had two more coaching changes between 2010-13.
At the time, South Carolina capitalized, going 9-5 in 2010 and 11-2 in each of the next three seasons. But we all know now that Spurrier and his staff sort of mailed it in when it came to recruiting.
It’s safe to say that won’t be the case as long as Muschamp is running this program.
Check out previous editions of the Gamecocks question of the day.