When the Clemson game capped a disappointing season, a frustrated Steve Spurrier pared his usual out "four or five more years" coaching schedule down to "two or three". The fallout was quick and severe: South Carolina saw three players decommit in a week, including its top-rated high school prospect Mark Fields.
On Wednesday, Steve Spurrier met with reporters following bowl practice and announced he's back on the four to five year plan. Spurrier also emphasized that players commit to a school, not a coach, and that he's "not all that important". Alas, anyone who follows college football knows how inaccurate that statement is, as players decommitting or transferring following coaching changes is not uncommon. In any case, it was a necessary move for Spurrier to get back on public record as being committed to the program for a the full careerspan of a college player.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Steve Spurrier also said they were looking forward to playing in the Liberty Bowl. Later he was told that they aren't playing in that bowl.</p>— SportsTalk (@sportstalksc) <a href="https://twitter.com/sportstalksc/status/545351228209651713">December 17, 2014</a></blockquote>
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Lewis, Hawkins, Jones sign NLIs
The highest-rated player on South Carolina's commitment list has signed. Marquavius Lewis, top-rated JUCO defensive end out of Hutchinson Junior College and originally of Greenwood, SC stuck with his July commitment to the Gamecocks despite vehement pursuit by various major programs, namely Auburn. The 6'4", 270 pound Lewis will enroll in January and could start immediately at defensive end, which was one of the least productive positions on South Carolina's 2014 defense.
Lewis will be joined by JUCO LB Ernest Hawkins and JUCO DT Ulric Jones, both of whom also sent in NLIs. At 6'6", 290 lbs., Jones could also vie for early playing time.