Hale McGranahan/SEC Country
Former South Carolina Gamecocks tight end and 2018 NFL Draft hopeful Hayden Hurst led all SEC tight ends with 44 catches for 559 yards in 2017.

Previewing South Carolina’s pro day; QB prospect plans to visit Gamecocks

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Showtime

A dozen former South Carolina Gamecocks players will work out for NFL coaches and scouts on Tuesday for the Gamecocks’ pro day.

The participants include offensive lineman Cory Helms, tight end Hayden Hurst, defensive lineman Ulric Jones, cornerback JaMarcus King, offensive lineman Alan Knott, defensive back Chris Lammons, linebacker Skai Moore, offensive lineman D.J. Park, defensive lineman Dante Sawyer, defensive back Demetrius Smalls, defensive back D.J. Smith and defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth.

The event begins in the Crews Building weight room at 8 a.m. for height/weight measurements, broad jump/vertical jump and bench press, then moves into the indoor facility about 9:45 a.m. for field drills, including the 40-yard dash and shuttle drills.

Coming soon

Four-star quarterback and 2019 prospect Ryan Hilinski plans to return to Columbia on March 30, staying through the following day for South Carolina’s Garnet and Black spring game, according to SportsTalkSC’s Phil Kornblut.

“I talk to [quarterbacks] coach [Dan] Werner a lot. Coach [Will] Muschamp texts me and my parents daily,” Hilinski told Kornblut. “They are just great guys, and they really care about me as a person rather than a football player. Of course, that’s a big part of it. They just want to make sure I’m doing good.”

The Orange, Calif., native is rated as the No. 8 pro-style quarterback for 2019, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State and Oregon are also in the mix for the 6-foot-3, 218-pound player.

Running hard

South Carolina junior running back Ty’Son Williams has performed well in practice, but Gamecocks running backs coach Bobby Bentley wants to see more of that dominance in games, according to The Big Spur’s John Del Bianco.

“We’re working on that. I think he’s over it. I think he’s ready to take the next step and become a pro [at this level],” Bentley said. “With Ty’Son, it all goes back to being ready and being prepared and having confidence. When you look at him on the field, he’s probably the most talented on the practice field. That has to carry over into the game.”

The former North Carolina transfer was South Carolina’s second-leading rusher last season with 471 yards on 95 carries.

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First one

Growing up a South Carolina fan, 4-star defensive tackle and 2020 prospect Xavier McIver was stunned when the Gamecocks and Muschamp offered him his first scholarship in June.

“It was like a blur,” McIver said of the moment.

The Cheraw (S.C.) High School standout is garnering interest from Arkansas, LSU, Missouri, North Carolina and more. 247Sports ranks him as the No. 218 overall prospect for 2020.

Change of plans

South Carolina’s scheduled baseball game against The Citadel on Tuesday has been moved to Columbia because of projected thunderstorms in Charleston, S.C., the university announced on Monday.

With the shift, the other game originally scheduled for April 10 against The Citadel in Columbia will move to Joe Riley Park in Charleston.

The Gamecocks (13-7, 1-2 SEC) are looking to bounce back after dropping two of three to No. 2 Florida last weekend.

How sweet it is

The No. 2-seeded South Carolina women’s basketball team will play the No. 11-seeded Buffalo Bulls on Saturday in the Sweet 16.

The Bulls reached the third round of the NCAA Tournament by upsetting No. 3-seeded Florida State 86-65 on Monday.

The winner of the Gamecocks-Bulls game will face either No. 1-seeded Connecticut or No. 5-seeded Duke in the Final Four.

G.O.A.T.

The Post and Courier’s David Cloninger believes All-America forward A’ja Wilson has made a strong case for the best career in South Carolina athletic history:

“A’ja Wilson is a player who transcended the game, named the best in the country and someone who made her team reach its highest level,” Cloninger writes.

“She never showed up in headlines for something other than her brilliance on the basketball court and her worldly, humble, friendly approach to anyone who ever came into contact with her. She represented the University of South Carolina in a manner every bit as first-class as the way she dominated courts across the planet.”

Though the Hopkins, S.C., native already has created an incredible legacy, another national title would further cement her as one of the greatest Gamecocks of all time.

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