Hale McGranahan/SEC Country
Four-star tackle Warren McClendon is one of South Carolina's top remaining targets for the 2019 recruiting cycle.

South Carolina in good shape with 2 targets; Gamecocks-Bulldogs tilt set for prime CBS spot

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.

Top 5

Four-star tackle Warren McClendon unveiled his top 5 schools on Wednesday, with South Carolina making the cut along with Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.

McClendon is the younger cousin of South Carolina offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon.

The Brunswick, Ga., native is rated as the No. 248 overall prospect for 2019, according to the 247Sports composite.

‘Right direction’

Three-star linebacker and 2019 prospect Derek Boykins is one of several targets expected in Columbia this weekend for official visits. The 6-foot-1, 224-pound linebacker already feels good about the Gamecocks.

“Everything is moving in the right direction with me and South Carolina,” Boykins told SportsTalkSC’s Phil Kornblut. “The fact that they really need me. I’m a real need for them. That’s a big thing. I’m feeling good about the visit.”

The 247Sports composite tabs Boykins as the No. 30 outside linebacker for 2019.

Game of the week

South Carolina’s Week 2 game against Georgia at Williams-Brice Stadium will be televised in the prime SEC on CBS slot at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 8.

“The matchup could be the two best teams in the SEC East, which means this battle could have serious SEC title game implications later on in the season,” SEC Country’s Spenser Davis wrote.

The Gamecocks’ last victory was a 38-35 win in Columbia in 2014. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series 50-18-2.

Tough decisions

South Carolina forward and former 5-star prospect Brian Bowen will remain in the 2018 NBA Draft after hearing from the NCAA that he’ll likely have to sit out next season, at a minimum.

“I am completely devastated by the NCAA’s ruling,” Bowen said in statement. “All I ever wanted to do was continue my education and play college basketball. However, after learning of the ruling, and discussing it with my family and attorney, I’ve decided to pursue my professional career. I’m grateful to the University of South Carolina and Frank Martin for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to be a Gamecock.”

Bowen transferred from Louisville to South Carolina in January.

Moving on

Four-star athlete and former South Carolina commit Bryce Thompson will attend Tennessee, Lou Bezjak of The State confirmed on Tuesday.

“Thompson expects to play offense at Tennessee and will be eligible to play this year,” Bezjak wrote. “He was on his way to Knoxville on Wednesday evening. Tennessee’s first summer session begins June 1.”

The Dutch Fork High School (Irmo, S.C.) standout committed to the Gamecocks in December but didn’t sign with South Carolina.

MORE: Want this roundup in your inbox every morning? Sign up here!

‘Where it belongs’

Having led the South Carolina baseball team to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016, first-year Gamecocks coach Mark Kingston is proud of his team’s progress.

“My focus is always just on the current team and my focus on this team is I want to see these seniors get to an NCAA Tournament,” Kingston said earlier this week, via Jeff Owens of Spurs and Feathers. “I did not want to see them miss it again. I want our fan base to understand that we are going to give them everything we have and try to get this team back to where it belongs.”

The Gamecocks wrapped up the regular season winning five straight SEC series. South Carolina plays Ohio State on Friday at 2 p.m. ET in Game 1 of the Greenville, N.C., Regional.

Welcome

With several freshman football players arriving on campus this week, the Gamecocks let the fresh faces take over the team’s Twitter account for a brief shout-out to fans.

Craving more Chicken & Waffles? Get your fix with previous versions here.