Mel Kiper does not think that Ace Sanders, who declared for the NFL Draft yesterday, will be taken until the third day, when the fourth through seventh rounds of selections take place. Ace wants you to know that he ain't even trying to care about that greasy-haired goober:
Don't care what Kiper says.. I'm just going to grind hard and wait on the outcome so just let me live with my decision.— Enrique Martinez (@AceSanders1) January 16, 2013
Basketball coach Frank Martin also doesn't understand why everyone gets so worked up about Mel Kiper. Meanwhile, wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier, Jr. (or as Travis Haney called him, Ball Coach Junior) was among the many Gamecocks not handling the news of Ace's departure particularly well:
Record 74 and counting underclassman attempting to join the ranks of the NFL. Time will tell if they have chosen wisely.— steve spurrier jr (@coachspurrier) January 16, 2013
As many have pointed out (and I agree), Sanders will be missed more for his punt returning than his receiving. Here's a highlight video of 2013 commit Pharoh Cooper, who has mentioned that returning punts for the Gamecocks is something that has been discussed during his recruitment:
Today In Jadeveon Clowney
So, you know how a lot of people are all like, "Hey, maybe Jadeveon Clowney should get all of those Best Defensive Player in the Country Awards after Manti Te'o's disastrous performance against Alabama?" Yeah, that talk is going to intensify. As for next year's Heisman Trophy ceremony, ESPN's Chris Low thinks Clowney will be in attendance.
Our own George Stevens would like you to know that CLOWNEY COMIN', a fact that Vincent Smith knows all to well. Smith was lucky enough to live to tell the tale to Wolverine Nation.
Gamecock Football Recruiting
South Carolina's top target and only offer at the quarterback position is Drew Barker, who recently named the Gamecocks as his leader. Tennessee has also offered and is heavily in the mix. New UT coach Butch Jones was recruiting Barker at Cincinnati and the two have stayed in touch since Jones took over his new role with the Volunteers. Ohio State is still a team to be worried about here. Barker grew up just a few hours from Columbus, and if Urban Meyer is unsuccessful in his attempts to flip current Clemson commit Deshaun Watson, the Buckeyes could turn up the heat on Barker and extend an offer.
Four star cornerback and current Georgia commit Shaq Wiggins made his official visit to South Carolina last weekend and seems to have thoroughly enjoyed his visit. Though he has not decommitted from the Bulldogs at this point, it's currently 50/50 between them and South Carolina. Wiggins will announce his final decision on National Signing Day.
Alabama linebacker Jonathan Walton will be in town for USC's huge weekend of official vistors this Friday. He visited Tennessee last weekend and has decommitted from Penn State, who recently lost defensive coordinator Ted Roof to Georgia Tech. Fellow linebacker and Rutgers decommitment Skai Moore will also be in town this weekend. Moore has narrowed his choice down to USC, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Arkansas.
Four star linebacker Quinton Powell has set up his official to Columbia for January 26th. Powell is a former Florida commit (Florida has since added another linebacker, Alex Anzalone, giving them 1,559 linebackers for the 2013 cycle). He's also considering Southern Cal (who is under such a numbers crunch that they are turning away 4 star commitments) and Miami (who is Miami). Based on that, you'd have to think the Gamecocks would have a good shot with Powell if he is a take for them at this point.
Looking ahead to 2014, the Gamecocks have made a good early impression with McDonough, GA defensive lineman Andrew Williams, who says he first took notice of the Gamecocks' success along the defensive line during Melvin Ingram's stellar 2011 season. Williams plans to visit USC sometime soon, but hasn't set anything up quite yet. Lithonia CB Wesley Green is also planning a visit.
The Gamecocks visit Baton Rouge to take on the LSU Tigers tonight. Chicken Hoops has your LSU preview, take a look at why Frank Martin's squad is so bad on defense, and would like to tell you where you can put your lazy "they just don't know how to win" narrative. Andy Demetra goes Inside the Chart.
The Rubber Chickens break down the drive that won the Outback Bowl.
Jackie Bradley, Jr. continues to make noise in the Red Sox farm system.
South Carolina has three entries in Bill Connelly's 100 best games of the 2012 season.
Travis Haney ranks the Gamecocks fifth in his way-too-early top 10 for 2013.
Finally, via Spencer Hall, the best college football highlight ever (featuring The Hit):