Hale McGranahan/SEC Country
Athletic director Ray Tanner and South Carolina got good news on Thursday.

Gamecocks win Palmetto Series. Plus, where does South Carolina’s athletic department rank nationally?

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.

The champs are here

South Carolina topped Clemson 8-7 to win the Palmetto Series championship for the second straight year.

The Palmetto Series is an annual competition that keeps track of the Gamecocks and Tigers as they face off in annual athletic events, with additional points coming from highest team GPA and a food drive.

Got your number

South Carolina’s newcomers, both freshmen and transfers, received their numbers on Thursday at the annual Pigskin Poets event. SEC Country’s Brian Stultz has the full list, but here a few that jumped out to me:

  • 13 — Shi Smith, WR: Shi sporting that Syvelle Newton throwback.
  • 15 — Aaron Sterling, DE: Love seeing a low number like this on the line, very cool.
  • 21 — Jamyest Williams, DB: Prime Time!

More from Israel Mukuamu

Three-star S Israel Mukuamu talked with SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan about each of his final four schools: Florida State, Indiana, Oklahoma State and South Carolina.

MORE: Israel Mukuamu talks top 4, upcoming decision 

The Gamecocks hold a special distinction for the standout safety:

“It really means a lot, because they were the first to offer me and believe in my talents,” Mukuamu said of South Carolina. “For them to reach out to me and say that they really want me, especially coach [Will] Muschamp, the head coach, that really means a lot.”

A second signal-caller

Three-star QB Kevaris Thomas is another 2018 signal-caller on the Gamecocks’ radar. South Carolina plans to take two quarterbacks in the class, with 4-star QB Dakereon Joyner already on board.

MORE: Another QB to know 

“I’ve been talking to [co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks] Coach [Kurt] Roper and Coach Muschamp at least three times a week,” Thomas said. “It’s not really about them giving an offer, just having a friendly conversation. They like that I’m real light on my feet and I can throw the ball really well.”

The Lakeland, Fla., native was on campus a couple of weeks ago for Will Muschamp Football Camp.

Another incoming Auburn transfer?

According to Sports Talk, another former Auburn player could soon make his way to Columbia:

Department ranking

Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde ranked all 65 Power Five schools by overall athletic success over the past five school years (2012-13 through 2016-17), with the Gamecocks clocking in at No. 34.

“Trajectory: Up,” writes Forde. “Nascent basketball power in both genders had been no higher than 31st in the five–year cycle before vaulting to No. 21 for 2016-17. Even Frank Martin might crack a smile over that.”

Offer out for in-state 4-star forward

The Palmetto State’s No. 2 prospect in the Class of 2018, 4-star SF Aaron Nesmith, earned himself an offer from the Gamecocks on Thursday.

MORE: Gamecocks offer 4-star SF Aaron Nesmith 

The Porter Gaud (Charleston) star already boasts offers from Columbia, East Carolina, Winthrop and Yale, among others.

Storm’s a-comin’

Check out this amazing photo of a storm brewing over Williams-Brice that was circulating last night on Gamecock Twitter.