Good morning, Gamecocks! If you took our advice and stayed inside yesterday, I hope you were near your computer because several important stories broke in the afternoon; in the space of a few hours we learned that the Cocks had hired two new position coaches with impressive pedigrees, and landed one of the most important recruits left on our board. So, now that it's safe to come outside again, without further ado:
AJC: Mike Davis commits to South Carolina Gamecocks over UGA and Tennessee. He is the third pledge to the Cocks from Atlanta's Stephenson H.S., joining teammates Kyle Fleetwood (DB) and Carlos Hood (DT). The other major, uncommitted RB prospect in the region, Todd Gurley of Tarboro, N.C., chose Georgia over Clemson and NC State yesterday. I still don't understand the whole business with "secret commitments" and don't think it applies to Davis.
GoGamecocks.com: Gamecocks land top RB target Mike Davis. Plus stats and comments by the major recruiting services.
LOHD: Read Flounder's take on Mike Davis' commitment. While you're there, check out his piece on Byron Jerideau's arrest (where I disagree with his conclusion that it was "totally dumb move" by Byron because of my position it was an overreaction by the CPD) and also his opinion on coaching changes in the secondary (where I do agree that the jury is out on whether moving Jeep Hunter to coach the spur is the right call).
GoGamecocks.com: Josh Kendall's story - Two new assistants arrive for Gamecocks.
Post & Courier: Darryl Slater's piece - USC fills two openings on football staff.
Bleacher Report: The dependable Alex (No, not *that* Alex) Roberts posts a good piece on Mike Davis here - blissfully without a slideshow.
Post & Courier: Bruce Ellington gets his starting job back. You knew this was coming just from the numbers.
CBS Sports: USC-UF Hoops Preview.
ESPN.com: Dan Burch previews Florida-South Carolina.
Orlando Sentinel: Gators head to South Carolina looking for first road win.
SportsPlace.com: South Carolina Gamecocks Vs. Florida Gators 1/14/12.
GatorSports.com: The Gainesvile Sun's preview - No. 19 Gators try again for first road win.
Check out the Loose Feed after The Jump!
TRC: Tbone kills it with Dabo’s Friday the 13th Office High-jinks . If that is Mrs. Swinney in the photo, I have to say she's kinda hot even dressed in purple and orange.
Palmetto Recruiting: Kornblut apologizes for his erroneous story about Todd Gurley. PK created a minor kerfluffle when he posted an article that Gurley had selected Clemson. The Clemmers claimed it was interference by Phil, whom, on scant evidence, they accuse of being Carolina's version of Chris Ard - trying to use his influence with recruits to steer them one way or the other. I think it was an honest mistake by Phil. Obviously, in order to be on top of the news cycle, he has to keep multiple-scenario pieces on the spike; it would be an easy-enough error to post the wrong one by accident without seeing it for an hour or so. Further in his defense, he has one of the toughest jobs in the recruiting analyst industry - getting information directly from 17 and 18 year old boys who change their minds more often than their gym socks. Even if it was an unforced error, I've met Phil several times and I believe that despite being a USC grad, he tries to do his best without favoring Clemson or Carolina. Not only that, but I've been reading him for over 20 years, since his days writing recruiting blurbs for Spurs & Feathers and trust him to be a worthy source for news on GABA (unlike, e.g., FITSnews to which I will never, ever link or cite). The fact he writes for both The State and The Post & Courier, plus having hosted a statewide radio show for over two decades, gives him a level of credibility in my mind that makes the Clemson fans' handwringing and ad hominem attacks seem entirely partisan and insignificant.
NBC Sports: Draft-eligible Bulldogs to stay for another SEC East run. It's still not too late to change your minds, boys. And why suffer the indignity of yet another almost-certain defeat to the Chickens, when the combine awaits?
SB Nation: Spencer Hall's College Football Recruiting: A Primer for the Layperson.
Sapakoff: Bowl results mean little going forward. Gene propagandizes for Clemson. Again. (Confidential to Gene - Ask Kevin Steele if the bowl results don't matter going forward. Or Todd Gurley.)
DogBites.com: Richt on Georgia’s perceived "easy" 2012 schedule and VanGorder back in SEC. Saint Mark can't help but spread the Gospel of It Ain't Easy Being Georgia. Bless his heart.
ESPN: Vols pluck Sal Sunseri from Tide's staff. A bit of good news for Derek Dooley. Lest you think it's a total dumpster fire in Knoxville, there is talk the Vols will be a surprise sleeper in 2012. I'm not buying that until I see it on the field.
Al.com: NCAA considers cutting football and women's basketball scholarships. Meddling for the sake of meddling. The bureaucrats in Indianapolis simply can't help themselves.