Bryan McClendon named South Carolina offensive coordinator; plus, Gamecocks get new QB coach
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New OC for Gamecocks
South Carolina coach Will Muschamp officially announced Bryan McClendon as the team’s new offensive coordinator on Friday.
McClendon’s held the interim offensive coordinator tag since Kurt Roper’s departure in early December.
“I know, in his first game calling a game, he did a lot better job than experienced coordinators,” Muschamp told the media.
Under McClendon’s direction, the South Carolina offense put up 26 points and 300 yards of offense against Michigan’s No. 3-ranked defense in a 26-19 win over the Wolverines in the Outback Bowl.
The Georgia alum will continue to coach wide receivers as well.
On the hire
Several South Carolina signees are excited with McClendon being named offensive coordinator.
“I think it’s pretty sweet. When you think about it, WR coach being the OC, it couldn’t get even better,” said 4-star wide receiver Josh Vann.
Vann is among several of the Gamecocks’ 2018 signees who will play on the offensive side of the ball, along with 4-star quarterback Dakereon Joyner, 3-star running backs Deshaun Fenwick and Lavonte Valentine, and more.
In the quarterback room
McClendon wasn’t the only personnel announcement on Friday. Muschamp also named Dan Werner as South Carolina’s new quarterbacks coach.
Werner comes to Columbia having spent the last season as an offensive analyst with Alabama. Before joining the Crimson Tide, Werner was the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ole Miss for five years.
“As a coach, you always have a short list of guys that impressed you, and he certainly did,” Muschamp said. “Then you go back and look at the research and the development at the quarterback position of Bo Wallace and Chad Kelly.”
Werner will stay with the Crimson Tide through the national championship game before joining the Gamecocks.
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Down 2 starters
The Gamecocks will be without at least two starters during spring practice, Muschamp announced on Friday.
Linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams and cornerback Jamyest Williams will be recovering from shoulder injuries suffered during the season.
Allen-Williams recorded 10 tackles and 2 sacks in three games in 2017. Williams, a freshman, started six of 11 games at nickelback. He finished the season with 38 tackles, 4 tackles for loss and 2 interceptions.
With 20 players already signed for the 2018 cycle, SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan turns the page and previews the Gamecocks’ needs for 2019.
“The 2019 class could end up being a double quarterback haul for South Carolina,” McGranahan wrote. “With Michael Scarnecchia set to be a senior this coming season, the Gamecocks could look to have four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster for the 2019 season, even though they went through 2017 with just three.”
The Gamecocks’ 2019 class (3 commits) is currently ranked No. 17 overall in 247Sports’ recruiting composite team rankings.
Elusive SEC victory
The South Carolina men’s basketball team earned their first SEC win on Saturday with a 71-60 victory over Vanderbilt.
Junior forward Chris Silva led the way for the Gamecocks with 27 points and 8 rebounds. Senior guard Wesley Myers pitched in with 17 points.
The Gamecocks now sit at 1-2 in conference play and 10-5 overall.
On the win
South Carolina coach Frank Martin was pleased with his team’s effort in the win over Vanderbilt.
“Obviously, we needed to figure out a way to win that game [Saturday], and I keep telling the players, I know we’re young and have a bunch of new guys,” Martin said. “… What I can’t stand is when guys play with no [effort]. That’s what happened in the Missouri game; we had no resolve.”
According to Martin, the Gamecocks have been without the spirit they had in early December. “Hopefully, we can take something from this [Saturday],” he said.
South Carolina heads to Tuscaloosa to play Alabama on Tuesday.
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