Brad Lawing's decision to leave South Carolina to coach defensive ends at the University of Florida was one by which most onlookers were thoroughly confused, especially when it came out that Lawing would be responsible for coaching just the ends - not the tackles - for D.J. Durkin's Gator defense. Rumors began popping up on message boards that the decision may have been made, in part, due to some marital strife in the Lawing household, and - though he didn't get into specifics - defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward confirmed on Monday that Lawing and his family "felt like they needed a new start" and that the situation had become about "a little bit more than football."
As I mentioned yesterday, I don't expect that Lawing's departure will be the sole cause for any defections from the 2013 recruiting class and that has remained the case as of the time I'm writing this. Of course, ti doesn't hurt that Steve Spurrier acted so swiftly in identifying and hiring a replacement in North Carolina defensive line coach Deke Adams. Adams is relatively young (special teams coordinator Joe Robinson coached him during his senior season at Southern Miss in 1994) and carries a reputation as a strong recruiter.
South Carolina just hired a DL coach I feel is a rising star in former UNC assistant Deke Adams. Underrated recruiter.— Kipp Adams (@KippLAdams) January 22, 2013
A handful of players the Gamecocks are recruiting also weighed in on the hire:
"@qbkilla52: I'd like them to get Deke Adams from UNC." Yes bruh he's a great coach— CGHS #4.... #11 ⚾ (@WatchOut4_11) January 22, 2013
@qbkilla52 yea he recruiting me too if he go to SC that's another plus— CGHS #4.... #11 ⚾ (@WatchOut4_11) January 22, 2013
USC just got a good coach, but an awesome recruiter #trustme— Braxton Berrios (@HNYNUT_BERRIOS) January 22, 2013
Filling Out the 2013 Recruiting Class
Monday's verbal commitment from Na'Ty Rodgers brought the size of the 2013 recruiting class to 20. One of the self-imposed NCAA sanctions South Carolina is currently dealing with is a scholarship limit for incoming players, capped at 22 - three fewer than the SEC-mandated ceiling of 25.
Havelock, N.C. defensive end Kendal Vickers is expected to be a JUCO or prep school placement for the Gamecocks, which would bring the number back down to nineteen. So depending on your interpretation of the Public Infractions Report, that would mean that Steve Spurrier and staff have room to take either two or three more players in this class, spots that will likely be taken by some combination of the following linebackers: Quinton Powell, Skai Moore, Yannick Ngakoue, and Jonathan Walton.
Each of those prospects was on campus for the Gamecocks' big recruiting weekend that just concluded except for Powell, who visited Southern Cal last weekend, will be in Columbia this upcoming weekend, and is also considering a visit to Oregon. The four star linebacker has narrowed it down to those three schools after decommitting from Florida.
The Big Spur reports that Skai Moore came away from his official visit very impressed with South Carolina, citing early playing time opportunity with which we are all too familiar as a major factor favoring the Gamecocks.
Jonathan Walton was taken by what he saw and heard to the point of naming the Gamecocks the leader for his services at this point but Auburn is still a big factor here for the Mobile, AL native. Walton was visited by Auburn head coach Guz Malzahn on Monday and will host him for an official visit this weekend.
Yannick Ngakoue has been characteristically tight-lipped about his visit, but he has indicated via Twitter that his will be a signing day announcement. likely between South Carolina and Maryland.
Prized 2014 offensive tackle Bentley Spain was among the unofficial visitors on campus last weekend, and he set a goal for his trip of spending more time interacting with the current Gamecock players to see how he would get along with everyone if he came to South Carolina. Spain has indicated that he could be making a decision as early as May or perhaps sooner. Reading between the lines with some of his comments, it wouldn't shock me at all if he soon joined Joe Blue and became the second commit of the 2014 class.
With it currently looking as though South Carolina will not sign a single wide receiver in the 2013 class, wideout will be a high priority position in 2014. Steve Spurrier recently swung by the high school of 4 star Georgia receiver Terry Googer, who will soon be naming a top five that is expected to include the Gamecocks.
Beginning this August, the NCAA will be taking a more laissez-faire approach to contact between coaches and recruits. Blue And Gold Illustrated has a nice writeup of how some NCAA rule changes will impact recruiting.
Chicken Hoops takes you inside the basketball team's inability to score points in Saturday's loss to Vanderbilt.
Finally, this is exactly news, but I thought it was interesting and worth passing along: