Have the Gamecocks found their next great JUCO talent?
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Inheriting a young roster filled with unproven players, it was obvious coach Will Muschamp needed an injection of experience to his depth chart.
Even knowing that, it was impossible to project just how often Muschamp would go to the JUCO and transfer well.
The JUCO ranks have brought USC cornerbacks Jamarcus King, Kaleb Chalmers and Keisean Nixon; OL Dennis Daley; and DE Javon Kinlaw, just to name a few. Running backs Ty’Son Williams (North Carolina) and Caleb Kinlaw (Wisconsin) both arrived via transfer.
Could College of the Canyons (Calif.) DE Dorian Gerald be the next great JUCO pickup for the Gamecocks?
South Carolina offered the West Florence (S.C.) High School grad earlier this week, with Tennessee following suit …
“It was crazy. I wasn’t expecting it. South Carolina was totally unexpected, but it means a lot. It’s my home state. I’m from South Carolina, so that’s huge,” Gerald said of the offer. “Tennessee, I knew — I was in contact with them. I was in contact with South Carolina also, but I kind of already knew Tennessee really liked me, but South Carolina took me for a big shock (today). It meant a lot, though.”
Gerald tabbed playing time as one of the biggest factors in his decision.
Missing a bowl?
According to ESPN’s latest Football Power Index, the Gamecocks are favored in just five of their 12 games in 2017.
“They have three games with a win probability of less than 30 percent: at Tennessee, at Georgia and Clemson,” wrote Matt Jennings. “South Carolin’s toughest game, according to FPI, will be at Georgia, where the Gamecocks have a 22.4 percent chance of victory.”
Perhaps the most shocking projection of the bunch? The Gamecocks’ 37.6 percent chance to win their season-opening tilt vs. N.C. State.
Thornwell toes the rubber
SEC Player of the Year Sindarius Thornwell stepped on the mound Thursday night to toss out the first pitch as the Gamecocks prepared to take on Vanderbilt.
— Mike Wilson (@ByMikeWilson) April 6, 2017
Jusssst a bit outside — but we’ll let this one slide, Sin!
Comeback falls short
Trailing the Commodores, 7-2, entering the eighth inning, the Gamecocks came storming back with a four-run frame to cut the lead to 7-6 going into the final inning.
— SEC Country SC (@SECCountrySC) April 7, 2017
Alas, that Thornwell magic didn’t fully take as the Gamecocks ultimately fell to the ‘Dores, 7-6.
City of Brotherly Love goes garnet
National champion head coach Dawn Staley was honored by her hometown Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday — by way of fellow South Carolina great and Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery!
Blessed to be in the city to honor a true legend and my dear friend the GOAT ??Coach Dawn Staley. Congrats and thanks for all you do! Love ? pic.twitter.com/vikauiImuW
— Alshon Jeffery (@TheWorldof_AJ) April 6, 2017
The celebration was part of Staley’s return to her alma mater Dobbins High School in North Philadelphia.
Mayor Jim Kenney, former Temple coach John Chaney and current coach Fran Dunphy were all on hand to salute the former Temple women’s coach.
Three Gamecocks have received an invite to the WNBA draft on April 13 in New York: senior C Alaina Coates and junior guards Kaela Davs and Allisha Gray.
— WNBA (@WNBA) April 6, 2017
The Lady Gamecocks have had players picked in the last two WNBA drafts — with three draft day invitees, it looks like the streak could continue.
Stylin’, profilin’, limousine ridin’ … beach volleyball team?
South Carolina beach volleyball’s infatuation with The Nature Boy continued this week with Ric Flair himself giving the team a shout-out on Twitter on Thursday …
— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) April 6, 2017
The encouragement didn’t end there. The 16-time world champion actually called the team to wish them luck. WOOOOOO!
— Gamecock Beach VB (@GamecockBeachVB) April 6, 2017