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The Daily Feed, 1/9/2013

The Gamecocks record their highest ever finish in the AP and Coaches Polls; D'Shawn Hand lists South Carolina in his top five.

Al Messerschmidt

Gamecocks Post Highest Finish in History
South Carolina came in at #7 and #8 in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll and AP Poll, respectively. The difference between the two is that the AP was allowed to vote for Ohio State but the coaches were not. Both marks are one spot higher than last year's final rankings, which were school records.

Another interesting note: the Gamecocks are ranked ahead of the two teams to whom they lost and behind a team they beat 35-7.

Alabama Crimson Tide headline college football's Way-Too-Early 2013 Top 25 - ESPN
The Gameococks check in at #7 in Mark Schlabach's look ahead to the 2013 preseason. This is a great place to be ranked. It is, however, one spot behind Georiga, which is somewhat hard to understand. (Minor fact check: The Gamecock offense returns 8, not 7 starters.)

Alabama Crimson Tide's chances of winning three straight BCS championships (ESPN Insider)
Gamecock beat alumnus Travis Haney contrasts the positions that South Carolina and Oklahoma find themselves in, momentum-wise, coming off of thrilling and devastating bowl performances, respectively.

Today In Jadeveon Clowney

Apologies to Jadeveon Clowney, SEC - ESPN
Again, nothing particularly new here for the more-than-casual Gamecock fan, but it's never bad to see JD getting good press from the Worldwide Leader.

Gamecock Football Recruiting

How new college football recruiting rules could change the game -
Click through the link to get more thorough analysis from Bud Elliott, but the upshot is basically that the NCAA is taking some significant steps to deregulate communication between prospective student athletes and their prospective coaching staffs. On one hand, there seems to be some value in the NCAA getting rid of dumb rules it can't enforce. On the other, it's easy to see how some of these changes could come at the expense of the student athletes' privacy.

How do you guys think these changes would affect recruiting for the Gamecocks? Given the degree to which Spurrier delegates recruiting, will virtually unlimited communication between coaches and recruits help or hurt?

Da'Shawn Hand breaks down his top five schools (247 Sports, Subscription Required)
Alabama, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia Tech are the current top five schools for 2014 No. 1 prospect Da'Shawn Hand of Woodbridge (Va.). Hand's reasoning for including the Gamecocks is, essentially, "If Clowney's there, they must know what they're doing." It's not the soundest of logic, but I'll take it.

Yannick Ngakoue focused on South Carolina, Florida State - (Free!)
Prior to seeing Bud's piece on Yannick, all other reports I read had Maryland as the leader. If that has changed, you have to feel a lot better about the Gamecocks' chances here. As the recruiting analysts like to say, South Carolina has a great story to tell Mr. Ngakoue, with the entire two deep at linebacker graduating and probable 2013 starter Cedrick Cooper going down with a torn knee ligament in bowl practice.

Ngakoue is visiting on the same weekend as fellow Maryland/D.C. area prospect Na'Ty Rodgers. According to some reports, the two have formed something of a bond, so having both of them in town on the Gamecocks' big recruiting weekend of January 18th with a horde of 2013 commits certainly can't hurt.

3-star LB Skai Moore is back on the market (247 Sports, Subscription required)
Should South Carolina miss on Ngakoue, Skai Moore is someone with whom they've opened up a dialogue about potentially coming to play in Columbia. Today Moore decommitted from Rutgers. He hasn't set up any visits yet, but the Gamecocks are expected to get a serious look from the Fort Lauderdale linebacker.

Check out Moore's highlight video:

Wiggins will visit USC this month
The reasons I want Shaq Wiggins to flip from UGA are trifold: 1) We need to continue to collect Shaqs. 2) We need to start collecting players whose surnames are words that exist primarily in the lexicon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 3) To hell with Georgia.

Oh, and he happens to be a four star cornerback, which is always good.

Berry confident of USC visit
WR Jordan Berry of Dutch Fork will visit Wingate January 19th and is confident he will visit USC as well. Berry is someone the Gamecocks would like to take as a walk-on.

Four-star junior plans South Carolina junior day visit (The Big Spur, Subscription Required)
Four-star OL/DL Caleb Samuel (Macon, Ga./Stratford Academy) doesn't have an offer from South Carolina yet, but says he feels the Gamecocks are making him a priority.

UNC recruiting 2014 QB Jacob Park hardest (The Big Spur, Subscription Required)
North Carolina is the most recent school to offer 4-star Goose Creek quarterback Jacob Park. The Gamecocks have faded a bit with him as they've continued to make Hebron, KY QB Drew Barker their number one priority for this class.

USC remains among Brown's favorites
With over 35 offers, OL Orlando Brown, Jr. (6-8 343) of Suwanee, GA has USC, Georgia, Florida, Ohio State, Alabama, Michigan, Iowa and Oregon as his top eight in no order. #want

USC might move on Brunson; Golson not an option
SEC rules will prevent the Gamecocks from pursuing former linebacker commit Brand Golson, but Devaris Brunson is emerging as a potential option at linebacker as his academic situation improves.

Gamecock Basketball

Better Know An Opponent: Mississippi State
The South Carolina men's basketball team opens SEC play tonight on the road against MIssissippi State. Chicken Hoops previewed the matchup.