COLUMBIA, S.C. — In this edition of the SEC Country mailbag, we take a look at South Carolina football and recruiting after the first loss of the 2017 season.
These questions were received via Twitter.
Can you explain that the sky isn’t falling yet and recruiting will be fine as long as they bounce back? — @TimboCarpenter
There’s a misconception that a recruit’s game-day experience is ruined by a loss. While results matter, in the grand scheme of things, one game won’t make or break a decision. Well, it shouldn’t.
Generally, recruits care more about the overall experience on a visit: How were they treated? Did they feel welcome? How much love were they shown?
That kind of stuff carries a little more weight.
Plus, at the end of the day, most recruits want to go somewhere where they can play early and do it for a coaching staff with a track record of sending players to the NFL.
Do you think Muschamp can get Byron Cowart to follow him to SC? — @kevinharper__
Byron Cowart was one of the bigger gets for Muschamp during his short stint as Auburn’s defensive coordinator, so it would seem like a natural for them to reunite in Columbia. However, Cowart has cited his mother’s health as the primary reason for seeking to transfer from Auburn. Because he’s from Florida, I suspect that he’ll end up at a place such as South Florida or Central Florida to finish his college career.
Do you think Chip Kelly would be a good hire for South Carolina, if something were to happen with Kurt Roper’s job? — @kevinharper__
That would make for an awfully intriguing hire, for sure, but I doubt Kelly’s next job will be anything other than a head coaching position. He had too much success at Oregon before going to the NFL, so I’d be shocked to see him in an offensive coordinator position, at least for his next stop.
Please list the SEC recruiting rankings by OL recruits, for the last five years. — @FeatheredWarrior
These are based off the Rivals rankings, from 2013-17. Alabama, by no surprise, had the top overall class among SEC teams each year.
During that stretch, the Tide signed five 5-stars and nine 4-star offensive linemen.
LSU’s class finished inside the top 3 four times. During those four cycles, the Tigers signed nine 4-star offensive linemen.
Georgia has had a couple of top-3 SEC classes, during which the Dawgs signed one 5-star and four 4-star offensive linemen.
Tennessee made appearances on the list in 2014 and 2015, signing one 5-star and four 4-star offensive linemen.
Overall, South Carolina has finished with the eighth-best class four times. Once, the Gamecocks were ninth. During that stretch, four 4-star offensive linemen were signed: D.J. Park, Na’Ty Rodgers, Donell Stanley and Zack Bailey.
Why didn’t Ty’Son Williams touch the ball against Kentucky? — @Mud_Kat
Well, he did catch a pair of passes, but your point isn’t lost. After looking like a really good option at running back against Missouri, Ty’Son Williams didn’t have a single rush against Kentucky.
Muschamp explained earlier in the week that several run-pass option plays were called when Williams was on the field. Because of the numbers facing the Gamecocks in the run box, Jake Bentley opted to throw the ball.
Moving forward, I suspect we’ll see Kurt Roper make a concerted effort to get the ball in Williams’ hands a little more often.
Was the DJ even at the game? — @Mud_Kat
Yes, he was. His stand is above the tunnel that South Carolina enters and exits the field. It’s right beside the recruiting section.
Committed recruiting targets most probable to flip to the Gamecocks? —@ClemsonSucks01
In my mind, there are two and both are committed to Tennessee: Jaycee Horn and Dorian Gerald.
Horn, of course, visited South Carolina last weekend for the Kentucky game. As with Gerald, the Gamecocks once held a strong lead. Gerald will visit later this fall, officially.
Your opinion how many do we sign out of Rick Sandidge, Dax Hollifield, Channing Tindall, Dylan Wonnum? — @ClemsonSucks01
I could see a scenario in which South Carolina lands all four. Will that happen? Time will tell, but it certainly helps that all four were on campus last Saturday. Long-term, I still believe the Gamecocks hold the edge for Sandidge and Tindall.