It has been a really long time since South Carolina entered a football season with a pretty good idea of what its offensive line rotation would look like. Each year's group has felt like a patchwork assemblage of players without a position to call home being unexpectedly thrust into major roles in the offense (e.g., Corey Robinson, Jarriel King).
But going into 2013, there is a newfound sense of stability along the offensive line. Four out of five starters return, and the Gamecocks were able to hold onto OL coach and run game coordinator Shawn Elliott despite his alma mater making a run at him to fill their head coaching vacancy. Elliott dropped by the Halftime Show on 107.5 The Game with Jay Philips and former Half Cocked guest Michael Haney to break down the progression of his young offensive line.
Elliott confirmed speculation that redshirt freshman Cody Waldrop will have the inside track to replace career starts record holder T.J. Johnson at center, with Clayton Stadnik and Will Sport competing for the spot behind him.
Academics prevent four star defensive end Alfy Hill from joining USC
On the other side of the ball, the Gamecocks lose a defensive end who they were looking to bring in as a JUCO transfer. Alfy Hill didn't end up having the grades he needed to qualify at South Carolina, so he's going to enroll at UNC-Pembroke. DE is hardly a position of dire need for South Carolina, but - given that Brad Lawing frequently rotated his line eight deep in 2011 and 2012 - it would have been a nice luxury to have Hill added to the rotation with Darius English and Gerald Dixon.
Hill's departure from the 2013 class makes it much more likely, numbers-wise, that USC will extend a commitable offer to Immokalee, FL defensive tackle Deadrin Senat, who indicated that he might commit on his official visit on January 18th if the Gamecocks will take him.
Today In Jadeveon Clowney
Jadeveon decided that trolling SEC quarterbacks and left tackles might be a fun Thursday afternoon activity:
2 more years in college— carolina_7all day (@clownejd) January 10, 2013
The Hit also made an appearance in The Free Times and showed up in this little magazine called Sports Illustrated:
Gamecock Football Recruiting
Blanc interested in Tigers and Gamecocks
3 star 2014 RB Wadzaire Blanc (5-8 170) of Lake Nona, FL lists South Carolina and Clemson as his top two, with the Tigers currently out in front.
Gamecocks with an edge for Kalan Ritchie? (The Big Spur, subscription required)
The Goose Creek standout likes how USC uses their tight ends and that they are close to home.
Stanley talks Gamecocks (Gamecock Central, subscription required)
Latta offensive lineman Donell Stanley has been on campus several times and has an excellent relationship with Shawn Elliott.
Elite 2015 DB high on Gamecocks (The Big Spur, subscription required)
Sophomore defensive back Rico McGraw of Nashville (Tenn.) Ensworth has added four more offers this week, including one from South Carolina. McGraw watched South Carolina's season opener against Vanderbilt and likes how Grady Brown uses his cornerbacks and safeties.
Ace Sanders' punt return against Missouri narrowly defeats Willie the Wildcat in SB Nation's GIF tournament.
Spencer Hall would like you to stop using the word "butthurt", and I strongly agree.
DeAndre Hopkins will forego his senior season at Clemson:
It's been one hell of a ride tiger nation but I'm takin my talents to the next level #nfl— Deandre Hopkins (@Nukdabomb) January 10, 2013
The very concept of Ellis Johnson having a Twitter account is still thoroughly amusing to me:
Nice to see Cam Newton today...enjoyed this more than seeing him a few years ago— Coach Ellis Johnson (@CoachEliJohnson) January 11, 2013