Hale McGranahan/SEC Country
Coming out of high school in 2016, South Carolina running back Rico Dowdle was rated as the No. 38 running back prospect, according to the 247Sports composite.

Best of South Carolina on SEC Country; Gamecocks hoops gets major commitment

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.

One shot

With SEC Country closing its doors on Saturday, let’s look back at a few of the top South Carolina Gamecocks stories from SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan the past 26 months. We’re starting with McGranahan’s gem highlighting former South Carolina quarterback Perry Orth.

“All Perry Orth ever wanted was a chance,” McGranahan wrote in summer 2016. “The former walk-on will get his last crack at South Carolina’s starting quarterback job when fall camp opens next month. His spring was off to a good start before a broken collarbone shut him down in March.”

After starting eight games in 2015, Orth got the starting nod in the Gamecocks’ 2016 season opener against Vanderbilt. He finished his South Carolina career completing 56.8 percent of his passes for 2,595 yards with 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Down since Day 1

McGranahan’s first day on the South Carolina beat resulted in a tremendous profile on then-incoming freshman running back Rico Dowdle. With Dowdle’s emergence over the last two seasons, it’s fascinating to read the story of how he ended up in Columbia.

“I always wanted to go there since I was a little kid,” Dowdle told SEC Country in May 2016. “We had Sidney Rice from Gaffney. I liked him since I was little. We had him going there. I always wanted to go play at Carolina. My sister, my older sister who passed away, she liked them. That was just home, the state team.”

Dowdle led the Gamecocks in rushing his freshman year (2016) with 764 yards. He has 1,015 yards and 8 rushing touchdowns, with 26 catches for 183 yards and 2 scores, in his first two seasons at South Carolina.

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#SpursUp

The South Carolina men’s basketball team got a major boost on Tuesday with a commitment from 4-star prospect A.J. Lawson.

Prior to reclassifying to the Class of 2018, Lawson was rated as the No. 39 overall prospect for 2019, per the 247Sports composite.

He picked South Carolina over Creighton, Tulane and others.

Another star

Five-star defensive tackle and South Carolina target Travon Walker is a prospect to watch at The Opening Finals this weekend in Dallas, according to 247Sports’ Barton Simmons.

“Walker carries 265 pounds like it’s 215,” Simmons writes. “He has really good testing numbers across the board. He’s got really good film. He’s a multi-sport athlete. He’s got the versatility to project to defensive end or defensive tackle.”

Walker took an official visit to Columbia on June 2. He’s rated as the No. 28 overall prospect and No. 2 defensive tackle for 2019, according to the 247Sports composite.

Return to Tampa

Sporting News released its bowl predictions for the upcoming season on Tuesday.

The projections have the Gamecocks returning to the Outback Bowl to face Michigan State. South Carolina beat Michigan, 26-19, in the 2018 Outback Bowl.

Michigan State is led by former South Carolina defensive back (1976-78) Mark Dantonio. The two teams have never before met on the gridiron.

Yard

Check out this monster home run from former South Carolina star and current Boston Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. on Tuesday night.

The Richmond, Va., native hit .331, with 133 RBI and 30 home runs over his three-year South Carolina career (2009-11).

A first-round pick of the Red Sox in 2011 MLB Draft, Bradley Jr. is in his sixth season in the majors.

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