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The Daily Feed: Thursday, 12/20/2012

The quarterback controversy and linebacker plague rage on, Tyler Bray is going pro in sports, David Williams firms up his announcement date, and - believe it or not - basketball things are taking place.

Gamecocks Practice Thursday (VIDEO)
Quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus: "[Connor] has done well and thrown the ball beautifully the past couple of days."

Coach Spurrier reiterated on his call in show that both quarterbacks will play and that Connor needs to improve on getting the ball out of his hand sooner when receivers are open downfield.

If Dylan Thompson ends up getting significant snaps, he may have telegraphed to Brady Hoke how the Wolverines can beat the Gamecocks: by baptizing people on the sidelines.

Carolina Calls was also replete with its customary blend of incessant advertisements and callers thanking Coach Spurrier for coming to South Carolina, including one who caused me to tweet the following:

Offensive line coach Shawn Elliott: "Going into the spring, I envision Cody [Waldrop] stepping right in there, playing the center position, hopefully not missing a beat. He's done really well in the last week... I've been really pleased with him... Some of the best stuff I've seen. He's a competitor and he likes to get after it."

With Junior Travis Ford not expected to return to the team and Kyle Harris's decision to transfer, Waldrop has the inside track to start at center as a redshirt freshman, with fellow redshirt freshman Clayton Stadnik likely backing him up. Reports out of practice have been that Waldrop has a "mean streak about him," which is a cliche frequently bandied about in reference to two-star prospects like Waldrop. But if the Seffner, FL native continues to impress, we'll have no choice but to start taking those reports seriously.

We also learned that Cedrick Cooper did indeed tear his ACL, leaving Kaiwan Lewis and TJ Holloman as the only able-bodied linebackers who will not be graduating this season. Oy.

It was asked in yesterday's Daily Feed who the Gamecocks might turn to at linebacker after missing out on Tommy Sanders. They'll continue to pursue Maryland product Yannick Ngakoue, whose name I pronounce differently in my head every time I read it. Other options include Rutgers commit Skai Moore and, according to 247 Sports' JC Shurburtt, 4 star OLB prospect Zach Cunningham.

Vols QB Bray leaving for NFL Draft -
With Justin Hunter and Tyler Bray defecting to the NFL - and Cordarrelle Patterson's announcement likely soon to follow - Butch Jones' UT squad is looking like it will be in line for some serious rebuilding during year one of his tenure on Rocky Top. Matt Hinton delivers the money quote:

David Williams update.... (Subscription Required)
Gamecock lean and 4-star Pennsylvania running back prospect David Williams has firmed up previous indications that he will announce his college decision at the Semper Fidelis bowl on January 4th. The game will be televised at 9 PM EST on the NFL Network.

USC keeping up strong interest with North Carolina receiver
The Gamecocks continue to stay in contact with 2014 WR Braxto Barrios, who they like lining up in the slot.

Arshad Jackson considering Florida State, South Carolina and Ole Miss -
Recent Auburn tight end recruit decommitment Arshad Jackson will visit Florida State, Ole Miss and South Carolina. I'm curious to see of Jackson's interest will be reciprocated by the USC staff. The Gamecocks are pretty loaded at TE for the foreseeable future and passed earlier in the 2013 cycle on now-UGA commit Jordan Davis. Given the current depth at tight end, the fact that NCAA violations will limit South Carolina to taking no more than three additional players in 2013, and the Gamecocks' inside track for 2014 four star tight end KC Crosby, I would be surprised if Spurrier's staff made a strong push here.

What Happened: Appalachian State |
Perhaps the biggest crime caused by this year's men's basketball team being genuinely awful is that I haven't been reading Chicken Hoops enough. If anything will help me get into this season, it's their blog.

Tyrone Johnson to decide between Illinois & South Carolina - VU Hoops
While the on-court product is often hard to watch, Frank Martin and staff have been cleaning up on the recruiting trail. The Court Cocks (is that a thing?) could get a big win by convincing Villanova transfer Tyrone Johnson to join the fold.