ESPN (press release): We know who will replace Joe Tessitore behind the mic for ESPN’s Thursday night college games: it’s Dave Flemming, who’s called baseball and college hoops for the network. Last year, Flemming was paired with
former Gamecocks head coaching candidate former Texas head coach Mack Brown on Friday nights; he’ll now be alongside Jesse Palmer (above), who’s staying. Laura Rutledge will be the sideline reporter. Tessitore, Palmer and Joe Schad (let go from the network in April) called the Gamecocks’ win over North Carolina in last year’s season opener.
The State: Kornblut is reporting that the Gamecocks might gain the services of JUCO cornerback/safety Steven Montac. Montac was a teammate of Jamarcus King at Coffeyville CC and is mulling Mizzou and Boise State as well. In 11 games, he recorded 17 tackles, three defended passes, one interception and 1.5 sacks. Also, here’s a profile of incoming freshman Darius Whitfield, who is looking to his brother (at Alabama) for advice on making the transition from high school to college. Whitfield, who committed to the program just minutes after Steve Spurrier’s resignation press conference, is being projected at several different spots on the line, and is a player that I think will benefit well under the tutelage of Travaris Robinson and Lance Thompson.
It’s scary, but it’s not scary because I know if I want to make it to the next level, I’m going to have to accept the fact that I’m going to go into a real organization and a business...I’m really nervous because my senior year went by really fast. It really just hit me. ... Like dang, I’m going to be a college freshman. College and high school are two totally different levels, so it’s really a maturity level.
The Big Spur: As always, the TBS gang is hard at work: Shurburtt explores the staff’s focus on the state of Georgia, including their in-depth, detailed evaluation of every prospect they look at in the state - mainly to avoid having more misses than hits.
[W]ith the explosive growth of Atlanta and thus a higher number of prospects from the state flowing to major college football programs, the state has become saturated in terms of recruiting. The average “above average” prospect from the metro Atlanta area likely has 10-plus offers (a majority of them SEC) in December of his junior year. Because of this, there is a tendency for recruiters to dig and dig in order to “get theirs” out of the area and sometimes this equals disaster. There are a lot of non-committable offers out in Georgia- almost more than in any other state- and you can easily end up taking a player that in reality is a Southern Conference-level player at best- if you don’t make your own thorough evaluations.
He also breaks down the QB battle and who he thinks has the “slight edge” right now. Whittle caught up with Deebo Samuel and chatted with him about how WR coach Bryan McClendon is working with freshman wideout Bryan Edwards ($$$). Also, South Carolina’s ethics commission cracks down on Governor Haley’s use of her new box at WBS. Whoops. (Must be nice, though) TBS is also counting down the top 10 Gamecocks; they were at #8 yesterday.
GamecocksOnline: Congrats to Savannah McCaskill, named to the MAC Hermann Trophy (soccer’s version of the Heisman) watch list. So was Danny Deakin on the men’s side. Only a handful of players earn this honor - and only four schools nationwide have both a male and female athlete on the watch list. Should be fun to watch those two go to work this year. Swimming and diving introduced their incoming freshman class yesterday.
SEC Country: A look at the Gamecocks’ wide receivers. Can’t stress enough how important it is for guys like Deebo Samuel to step up and assert themselves when the 2016 season comes around.