OrTre’s impact, Javon Kinlaw predictions and more recruiting notes
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OrTre brings more
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Another year of Will Muschamp at Carolina brings another major receiving threat in the end zone — say hello to OrTre Smith, the 6-foot-3 Class of 2017 receiver who enrolled in December.
After Bryan Edwards had a big debut after enrolling early in 2016, OrTre Smith tries to follow the same path. Smith, a wide receiver from Mount Pleasant (S.C.) Wando, is the top-ranked offensive commit for the Gamecocks. Selected to play in the Army All-American Game, Smith did not take part in it because of ankle surgery.
The consensus 4-star prospect should only boost the Gamecocks’ receiver unit — one with talent (between Edwards and Deebo Samuel) and promise (Chavis Dawkins, Randrecous Davis, Korey Banks), but short on experience.
With National Signing Day now just days away, anxiety starts to take hold for recruitniks.
Fortunately, we have some good news on that front — specifically in the trenches …
“Three 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions for four-star defensive end Javon Kinlaw came in on Thursday and each of them had the Goose Creek native picking the home state South Carolina Gamecocks,” reports The Big Spur’s Connor Tapp. “All 12 expert predictions for Kinlaw’s college choice have the 6-6, 305-pound lineman choosing Carolina.”
Kinlaw, a one-time Carolina commit, returning to the fold would provide a major boost on the defensive line.
If Muschamp is able to keep the Goose Creek native in-state and out of the hands of almighty Alabama, that would be considered a major “get” for the Gamecocks head coach.
More on de-commitments
From SEC Country:
South Carolina has had seven prospects de-commit from the 2017 haul, starting with 4-star junior college wide receiver Stephen Guidry. He’s flip-flopped from his commitment to LSU but is expected to sign with the Tigers.
Hale McGranahan outlines all of the attrition the Gamecocks’ Class of 2017 has incurred over the past couple of months — from Guidry all the way to recent flip from Hamsah Nasirildeen.
Though Feb. 1 looms large for top commit Jamyest Williams, the Gamecocks are in play for other top prospects such as the aforementioned Kinlaw, Devonte Wyatt and Brad Johnson.
I’d urge any fans who follow recruiting to not sweat the commits, flips and losses too much — come Feb. 2, the Gamecocks are likely to be sitting pretty with at least a top 25, maybe even top 20/top 15 class if they catch some breaks.
Got $1.35M lying around?
Then, have I got an investment for you!
South Carolina’s all-time winningest coach is finally leaving the Palmetto State … and putting his Woodcreek Farms home on the market.
“Finally got it listed,” Steve Spurrier told The State on Thursday. “It hasn’t sold yet, but, hopefully, it will pretty soon.”
With the last of Spurrier clan leaving Columbia (son Scott heading to USF), it only makes sense for the Old Ball Coach to pack it up for good.
“We’ve got a lot of friends up there,” Spurrier said of South Carolina. “We will go in and out and so forth. I’ll be back. Gosh, I thoroughly enjoyed the good years there, and we had some good ones.”
It’s still a little weird to look back at those final years of the HBC in Columbia — especially with it ending so poorly, with Clemson winning the national championship this season as the nightmarish cherry on top.
Alas, I’m sure as more time passes (and the Gamecocks hopefully improve), Carolina fans will come to look more and more fondly upon Spurrier’s time at USC.
Women’s hoops still undefeated in SEC
The runaway freight train that is the South Carolina women’s basketball team continued its unbeaten run through the SEC on Thursday night, topping UGA, 62-44.
Still unbeaten in #SECWBB play! ?
— GamecockWBB (@GamecockWBB) January 27, 2017
Guard A’ja Wilson led the way for the Lady Gamecocks with 19 points and 6 boards.
Coach Dawn Staley’s team is off until Monday — when it plays host to the women’s hoops royalty that is the Lady Volunteers of Tennessee.
The SEC/Big 12 challenge!
About that …
Our beloved Gamecocks were left out of the schedule this season. I guess that’s what happens when you pair of up a 14-team conference with a 10-team conference.
The Gamecocks do, however, take on a former Big 12 team in the Missouri Tigers on Saturday.
Mizzou hoops has seen better days — currently 5-14 and dead last in the SEC. But in Columbia North, the Tigers could upset the No. 23 Gamecocks …
Frank Martin refers to Columbia, MO. as a place that hasn't been kind to his team. South Carolina lost at Mizzou last year.
— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) January 26, 2017
The road loss suffered by the Gamecocks last season was one that ultimately came back to haunt them as they found themselves on the outside looking in when the NCAA tournament was announced.
The Gamecocks and Tigers tip off Saturday night at 8:30.
So much signing day drama, let’s not forget the day in 2011 when Jadeveon Clowney made Gamecocks everywhere his valentine…