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South Carolina Gamecocks wide receiver Deebo Samuel was named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week twice in 2017.

Deebo Samuel named All-American; in-state South Carolina target sets decision date

Welcome to SEC Country’s Chicken & Waffles, your daily dish for all things South Carolina Gamecocks football, basketball and more. Miss a previous edition? Find every edition of SEC Country’s South Carolina Gamecocks Chicken & Waffles right here.

Growing buzz

Athlon Sports recognized South Carolina Gamecocks wide receiver Deebo Samuel as a second-team All-American on Tuesday.

The redshirt senior was named to the team as both wide receiver and kick returner.

Before breaking his leg against Kentucky on Sept. 16, Samuel had 15 catches for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns, with 2 kickoff returns for scores and 1 rushing touchdown. That was in three games.

Save the date

Three-star cornerback and 2019 prospect Cam Smith plans to announce his commitment on Aug. 17.

“That’s who I grew up rooting for and I’ve always been a Gamecock,” the Blythewood, S.C., native told SEC Country when the Gamecocks offered earlier this month.

Smith is rated as the No. 33 cornerback and No. 3 prospect in the Palmetto State for 2019, per the 247Sports composite.

‘Not like any other college’

What prompted Class of 2020 running back Mecose Todd to commit to the Gamecocks nearly two years before his signing day? Todd explained his decision to The State’s Matt Connolly.

“South Carolina is different. It’s not like any other college. I just feel more at home there,” Todd told Connolly. “When I went on visits to other colleges, I felt that way, but it wasn’t as strong. I wasn’t as close to the coaching staff as I was the South Carolina coaching staff.”

The Villa Rica, Ga., native lists additional offers from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Southern Cal and more.

Take the over

CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee likes South Carolina to win more than the 7 games in 2018 that Vegas oddsmakers set as the Gamecocks’ over/under.

“Georgia and Clemson are likely losses, but the rest of the schedule is loaded with toss-ups,” Sallee writes. “Will they lose three more games in addition to the two likely losses to get to a push? I don’t see it.”

South Carolina is coming off of the seventh 9-win season in program history, posting a 9-4 record in 2017.

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Top tailgaters

According to 247Sports’ Sam Hellman and Scott Backstrom, the Gamecocks boast the No. 2 tailgate scene in the country.

“Consistently drawing in students and alumni alike, South Carolina brings the second-best overall tailgating community in the nation, according to Insider,” Hellman writes.

South Carolina was one of eight SEC schools on the list, second only to No. 1-ranked LSU.

Scoop and score

Tuesday marked 74 days until South Carolina football returns. What better way to celebrate than with linebacker TJ Brunson’s 74-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown against Arkansas last season?

South Carolina opens the season Sept. 1 against Coastal Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium.

Do your part

A number of former South Carolina women’s basketball standouts are excelling in the WNBA this season. Help send them to the WNBA All Star Game — voting started on Tuesday!

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