Hale McGranahan/SEC Country
Former Clemson defensive tackle Josh Belk was rated as the No. 102 overall prospect for 2018, according to the 247Sports composite.

South Carolina chats with former Clemson DT; Gamecocks interested in former NFL WR’s son

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Contact made

Former Clemson defensive tackle Josh Belk has been in touch with South Carolina Gamecocks defensive line coach Lance Thompson, according to Phil Kornblut of SportsTalkSC.

“[Thompson] was just like, make sure I make the right decision and they would love to have me,” Belk said. “And basically just saying the same thing with recruitment.”

Belk was granted his full release from Clemson on Wednesday. The Fort Lawn, S.C., native is looking to move closer to home.

Runs in the family

Class of 2020 wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad III hasn’t been offered by South Carolina yet, but the Gamecocks have expressed interest.

Muhammad, the son of former Carolina Panthers WR Muhsin Muhammad, has already visited Columbia to watch the Gamecocks practice.

The Myers Park (Charlotte, N.C.) High School standout is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 34 wide receiver for 2020. He lists offers from Michigan State, North Carolina State, North Carolina and more.

‘One of my best relationships’

South Carolina was the first to offer 3-star cornerback and 2019 prospect John Dixon, and the Tampa, Fla., native hasn’t forgotten it.

“They’ve always recruited me hard ever since they offered me,” Dixon said. “And [defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson] is one of my best relationships with the coaches, out of all the coaches.”

Dixon is rated as the No. 367 overall prospect and No. 33 cornerback for 2019, according to the 247Sports composite.

Talking shop

In his first offseason as South Carolina’s offensive coordinator, Bryan McClendon is putting his coaching connections to use.

“I’ve talked to a bunch of guys I’ve got old relationships with in the first place. It was really good to talk,” McClendon said. “Obviously, [Colorado State coach] Mike Bobo, [Miami] coach [Mark] Richt, I lean a lot on those guys. I mean, there were other sources.”

The former Georgia wide receiver was named South Carolina’s interim offensive coordinator following offensive coordinator/quarterback coach Kurt Roper’s departure in December.

Under McClendon in the Outback Bowl, South Carolina’s offense racked up 300 yards and 26 points against Michigan’s vaunted defensive in the Gamecocks’ 26-19 win. McClendon was named South Carolina’s full-time OC soon after.

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Fond memories

The SEC lost an icon on Wednesday with former conference commissioner Mike Slive’s passing.

Former South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier remembered the late Slive while on The Paul Finebaum Show on Thursday.

“He was gracious to me back in ’06,” Spurrier told Finebaum. “I complained probably a little louder than I should have about the officiating. It was a South Carolina-Georgia game. I think I turned in 12 calls to [SEC coordinator of officials at the time] Rogers Redding and he said, ‘Yeah, we missed 11 of the 12. We missed them,’ and there was no replay back then so it was just tough luck. I probably criticized those dudes a little more than I should have.”

Under Slive’s leadership, the SEC won 81 national championships from 2002-15. He was instrumental in the creation of the SEC Network and College Football Playoff.

Windy City arrival

South Carolina basketball player Brian Bowen arrived at the NBA draft combine in Chicago on Wednesday.

The former McDonald’s All-American transferred to South Carolina in January after spending the fall at Louisville.

Bowen’s eligibility remains is limbo as the NCAA has yet to rule on his status.

Due process

With his client’s future up in the air, Bowen’s attorney, Jason Setchen, took to Twitter on Wednesday to call for the NCAA to make a ruling on Bowen’s case.

Despite being cleared by the FBI in its probe into college basketball last fall, Bowen’s eligibility for the 2018-19 season has remained an unknown.

The former 5-star prospect has until May 30 to withdraw from the NBA draft pool.

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