Hale McGranahan/SEC Country
The Gamecocks lost out on Xavier Thomas, but Will Muschamp has them in on several other top prospects

Moving on from Xavier Thomas, plus top remaining targets for Gamecocks

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.

Well, it happened.

The nation’s No. 2 overall recruit and major Carolina target, defensive end Xavier Thomas, pulled the trigger and committed to Clemson on Saturday.

RELATED: 5-star DE Xavier Thomas commits to Clemson

It’s a shot across the bow for the Gamecocks. Thomas was reportedly between the Gamecocks and Tigers and wasn’t set to announce his pick until his birthday on December 20.

The Florence, S.C., native would’ve been a massive pull for the Gamecocks, but Carolina has the ear of plenty of other playmakers (more on that later).

Remember, while the Gamecocks were trumpeting a five-game win streak over the Tigers, Dabo Swinney was laying the groundwork for a run to the national championship.

Does it sting? Sure. Is all hope lost for the future of Carolina football? Absolutely not.

Top remaining targets

Though Thomas may be off the board, the Gamecocks are still in the mix for several highly sought-after prospects in the 2018 class, including:

RELATED: South Carolina DE targets with Xavier Thomas now off the board

  • 4-star QB Dakereon Joyner
  • 3-star WR Jatavious Harris
  • 5-star DE K.J. Henry
  • 4-star WR Matthew Hill
  • 4-star LB Dax Hollifield
  • 4-star LB Zakoby McClain
  • 4-star DT Alim McNeill
  • 3-star CB Chris Smith
  • 3-star QB Tyler Shough
  • 4-star DE Stephon Wynn Jr.
  • 3-star QB Chase Wolf

SEE! Not all is lost, Gamecocks!

Parade of champions

South Carolina fans took to the streets on Sunday to celebrate their national champion women’s basketball team…

It was a massive celebration, one that basically took over Columbia — through campus and downtown.

RELATED: Road near Colonial Life Arena will be known as ‘Dawn Staley Way’

On top of the double-decker bus and gold Under Armour Humvee, perhaps the most impressive part of the parade was the crowd.

We already knew the Lady Gamecocks were a draw, boasted the No. 1 attendance in the nation, but the crowd that came to witness their coronation on Sunday was phenomenal.

Baseball slide

Baseball has dropped four of its last six SEC contests, but enter a short break on a high note after winning the series finale against Vanderbilt on Saturday.

Via The Big Spur

“Our kids kind of willed our way to this win today,” fifth-year coach Chad Holbrook said after the game. “Up to this point, this was our most important game of the year considering what happened the last couple of games. It was a big win for us.”

The Gamecocks have a short break from conference play as they head to Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday for a one-game showdown with North Carolina at BB&T Ballpark.

Closer returns

The Gamecocks are getting a major boost on the mound Tuesday night when they face the No. 5-ranked Tar Heels: Closer Tyler Johnson is cleared to return…

RELATED: Tyler Johnson cleared to return for South Carolina baseball 

Johnson has been out of action since March 4.

A win against a top-5 opponent like UNC before re-entering the SEC slate would be huge for the Gamecocks.

In case you missed it

Duane Notice-South Carolina-South Carolina basketball
Senior Duane Notice was a critical part of the Gamecocks’ run to the Final Four. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Today in silver linings

Had the Gamecocks not lost out on 5-star DE Xavier Thomas, we wouldn’t have this gem, in reference to former Gamecocks RB Brandon Wilds dating singer Christina Milian…