Hale McGranahan/SEC Country
Seniors Bryson Allen-Williams (4) and Dante Sawyer (95) are both looking for their first win over Kentucky on Saturday night.

Predictions for South Carolina vs. Kentucky; plus, news on two major 2018 targets

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.

Picks for South Carolina vs. Kentucky

Joe Mussatto and Kyle Tucker of SEC Country like the Gamecocks’ chances to improve to 3-0.

Both writers predicted South Carolina to beat Kentucky on Saturday night at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia.

Mussatto called for a 30-17 Gamecocks win. Tucker picked Kentucky to cover the 5.5-point spread but South Carolina to ultimately win, 27-24.

Gamecocks’ home opener sold out

South Carolina’s home opener against Kentucky on Saturday night is officially a sellout, according to the South Carolina athletic department.

South Carolina fans are clearly excited for their team’s first 2-0 start since 2012. The Gamecocks are looking to snap a three-game losing streak to the Wildcats.

South Carolina still in play for Dorian Gerald

Three-star junior college defensive end and Tennessee commit Dorian Gerald told Phil Kornblut of SportsTalk that South Carolina has the best shot at flipping him.

“If I ever were to flip, they probably stand the best chance,” Gerald said of the Gamecocks.

The Florence, S.C., native has been committed to the Vols since July 6. He’s rated as the No. 8 overall junior college player for 2018, according to 247Sports composite.

On the Xavier Thomas rumors

In the latest edition of the South Carolina recruiting and football mailbag, SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan was asked about the rumors regarding 5-star DE and Clemson commit Xavier Thomas.

“The rumblings about the firmness of his commitment to Clemson seem to have come out of nowhere, but that sort of is the nature of recruiting,” McGranahan wrote. “The timing of this stuff is odd, because he was just on campus up there this past weekend for the Auburn game. I was skeptical, but the word on the street is that Thomas has told people that he was planning to de-commit. I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Thomas is rated as the No. 3 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to the 247Sports composite.

MORE: Could Xavier Thomas make a big weekend even bigger? 

The IMG Academy standout was planning to announce either Clemson or South Carolina on his birthday, Dec. 20. However, those plans changed when Thomas surprisingly committed to the Tigers just before their spring game on April 8.

Kentucky LB ruled out for South Carolina game

Kentucky linebacker Jordan Jones won’t play against South Carolina on Saturday night, coach Mark Stoops told reporters after practice on Thursday. The junior linebacker injured his shoulder against Eastern Kentucky last Saturday.

“We did an exam right after the game and then we did some more tests Monday after my press conference,” Stoops said. “Once I got that information he was ruled out for this week.”

Jones was third in the SEC last season with 109 total tackles.

Gamecocks welcome DJ to stadium

South Carolina home football games will now feature a live DJ, according to a press release on Thursday, via Josh Kendall of The State.

DJ A-Minor, based out of Charlotte, N.C., has been hired by the school to play music before and during all of the Gamecocks’ games at Williams-Brice this season.

“Everyone’s pulling the same direction, that recruiting is our No. 1 focus. With that being the direction, it’s a natural fit,” South Carolina marketing director Eric Nichols said. “Our music wasn’t where it needed to be. It just wasn’t resonating with any segment of the fan base. It needed a refresh. The new DJ will provide that refresh.”

Case against Rakym Felder dismissed

The assault case against South Carolina point guard Rakym Felder was reportedly dropped on Wednesday, according to Sportstalk SC.

The sophomore was suspended by South Carolina coach Frank Martin on June 30 because of the alleged charges.

Felder averaged 5.6 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists for the Gamecocks last season in their run to the Final Four.

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