Hale McGranahan/SEC Country
Skai Moore's 14 career interceptions are tied for No. 1 all time at South Carolina.

Former Gamecocks prepare for NFL draft, South Carolina set for 2 big recruiting weekends

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To the league

Two former South Carolina players, tight end Hayden Hurst and linebacker Skai Moore, are among the prospects projected to go in the first two rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft in April.

According to some draft experts, Hurst compares favorably to Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen.

“Assuming Hurst attends the NFL Scouting Combine in March, he’ll light up the testing portion of the annual event, and he’d certainly do well in the interviews with front office personnel. Age is one factor that could potentially affect Hurst’s draft stock. He’ll be 25 by the start of his first regular season in the NFL.”

Moore’s penchant for tackles could make him a first-round selection. He’s one of 15 players in college football history to lead his team in tackles for four years.

Both Hurst and Moore were named first-team All-SEC by the league’s coaches after the 2017 season.

See you soon

Four-star defensive tackle Dennis Briggs will be in Columbia, S.C., this weekend for an official visit. Wide receiver signees Tyquan Johnson and Josh Vann will also be on campus.

Briggs visited Miami last weekend and is expected to see Florida State next.

He’s rated as the No. 320 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to the 247Sports composite.

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Next weekend

The Gamecocks will welcome several top 2018 prospects for official visits next weekend, including 3-star defensive end John Mincey, 4-star offensive tackle Dylan Wonnum and 4-star DT Rick Sandidge.

The trio are among the Gamecocks’ top non-committed priority prospects for 2018.

South Carolina’s current 2018 Class is ranked No. 18 in the 247Sports football recruiting composite team rankings.

Moving on

South Carolina’s longtime director of football operations, Robbie Liles, is leaving the program for a position outside of football, according to John Whittle of The Big Spur.

Liles isn’t the only staffer to depart South Carolina this offseason. Shaq Wilson, former assistant director of recruiting (defense), left for an assistant strength and conditioning role with Tennessee and Kurt Roper was relieved of his offensive coordinator duties in December.

Prove your worth

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft could be in line for a big payday, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson.

Houston Texans general manager Brian Gaine is reportedly preparing to give former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney a major extension when his rookie deal expires after next season.

The Rock Hill, S.C., native is coming off arguably his most successful NFL season, finishing the year with 113 total tackles, 9.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 3 fumble recoveries.

From the pitch

Former South Carolina women’s soccer player Savannah McCaskill was drafted No. 2 overall by the Boston Breakers in the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League College Draft on Thursday.

McCaskill was twice named SEC Offensive Player of the Year and helped lead the Gamecocks to the Women’s College Cup, the women’s soccer equivalent of the Final Four, in 2017.

The Chapin, S.C., native ranks third in program history in points (114) and goals (40), and second all time in assists (34).

Put a ring on it

South Carolina men’s basketball players received their Final Four rings on Thursday.

The rings are a righteous celebration of the program’s first-ever Final Four appearance.

The Gamecocks’ magical run in the 2017 NCAA Tournament ended with a 77-73 loss to the Gonzaga Bulldogs.

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