Category Archives: South Carolina Gamecocks

SECual Healing: A Weekly Dose of SEC Football


There’s a major reason I’m glad I don’t write about sports professionally, even though I got an undergraduate degree in doing exactly that: I loathe fabricating news. The offseason in college football is all about that.

(So and so) was taking snaps with the first team offense today! Did he really unseat (established all-SEC veteran)?

Is (insert 5-star recruit) a secret commit?

Fortunately, if you sporadically send news as it comes along, you sacrifice page views but actually put out a decent snapshot of your subject matter! As such, here is the first SECual Healing.

Alabama

Big and Georgia-relevant news out of T-Town, as former UGA DT Jonathan Taylor was arrested on his second felony sexual assault charge. The story has become Nick Saban’s nonchalance in stating he was ‘giving Taylor a second chance’. I’m not touching this one, as there are no circumstances in which a man should lay a hand on a woman.

Rising sophomore RB Tyren Jones was booted for marijuana possession, which will hurt the Tide a lot more than Taylor’s absence. The sophomore was the logical ‘next in line’ after the T.J. Yeldon/Kenyan Drake/Derrick Henry triumvirate departs.

Hey, at least Alabama has a more stringent weed policy than Auburn.

LSU/Texas A&M

Staying in the SEC West, a must-read on new Texas A&M DC John Chavis, who bolted from LSU. Three major themes of note here:

1) The acrimony in the fallout of his departure from Baton Rouge, typical of any SEC-to-SEC coaching move;

2) A paradigm shift in the minds of defensive coordinators. Chavis felt that his defense had to be world-class to compete for the CFP, and left to coach opposite a hurry-up no-huddle offense at A&M. Historically, the overwhelming thought has been that that ruins a DC’s rep. In addition to Chavis’ move, Auburn hired Will Muschamp and (shameless UNC plug here because duh), Gene Chizik is the new DC in Chapel Hill. Three good opportunities to test this new theory.

3) Piggybacking on number 2, Chavis knew he could become the scapegoat with another underachieving D. But the talent he loses to early entry every year is insane. He lost 6 starters TO EARLY ENTRY ALONE prior to the 2014 season, and DT Ego Ferguson made 7 in last year’s draft.

Ole Miss

The Rebels shored up their linebacking corps by moving DE C.J. Johnson to a new position. The nation’s #1 scoring defense (speaking of HUNH offenses and their counterparts) looks to keep leveraging the depth from that one recruiting class that still makes no sense.

SEC East

Simply not as much excitement here, so I’ll link my rambling spring thoughts on South Carolina and Tennessee. Hoping to get to Florida and Mizzou this week, and the Alabama schools after that.

And finally…

A big shoutout to our editor-in-chief, who is now father to a beautiful baby girl.

Rambling Spring Thoughts: Cocks Coming Home to Roost?


I’ve got no real new information to present to you in the Spring. The SEC Network and ESPNU are showing too much basketball, preview magazines aren’t out yet, and recruiting rankings will have zero effect on the 2015 season. This is my attempt to keep you in the loop with some of Georgia’s potential obstacles for next season.

Steve Spurrier is on Twitter

But it took him two characters in his first (of two) tweets to make a grammatical error.

Nothing Else Has Gone Right

Where do we begin? It is not all sunshine and roses in Columbia (frankly, it’s concrete and abandoned warehouses). Since a 24-21 Independence Bowl win over Miami, 10 (TEN!) Gamecocks have left the program. Eight are listed on the pre-Miami two-deep, including RB Mike Davis and OL A.J. Cann (early NFL departures), WR’s K.J. Brent and Shaq Roland, and four (two rising senior) rotation players on the front seven.

Meanwhile, speculation about Spurrier’s impending retirement forced USC administration to give the Ole Ball Coach a raise in order to extend his contract to 2018. Largely due to this speculation, a recruiting class that peaked at #2 in the country as recently as last September finished 19th in the country, according to 247sports.com.

Oh, and remember the Will-Muschamp-to-South-Carolina rumors that made Georgia fan ears bleed throughout January? WELP. Muschamp is at Auburn. John Chavis and Gene Chizik both took DC roles opposite hurry-up no-huddle offenses (more often than not, career suicide), and the Cocks ended up with former Bears DB coach Jon Hoke, much to the chagrin of South Carolina message boards (or so I’m told by friend of the blog Brandi Mills of TheBigSpur.com)

Speaking of Brandi, her thoughts on the quarterback battle: “Oh great, our number one QB on the spring depth chart couldn’t even beat out daggum Dylan Thompson last year and the spring back up is a walk-on. #pray4gamecocks”

I won’t, Brandi, I’d rather enjoy a dumpster fire.

Okay, a Little Has Gone Right

Pharoah Cooper, the receiver/wildcat/running back/return man extraordinaire, is still (as of this writing) wearing Garnet and Black. Who will deliver him the ball when he’s not under center is still a major concern, however.

Looking at that recruiting class, there are three JuCo/prep defensive linemen who should be ready to somewhat right the ship for the USC D, as well as top-50 DE Shamiek Blackshear.

And of Course, the Schedule

It’s not toothless by any means. They draw Florida, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky at home, meaning that four of their five toughest SEC games are outside of Sandstorm territory. With a home crossover date against LSU being the exception, they pay visits to Georgia, Missouri, A&M, and Tennessee.

They have my current ACC favorite Clemson at home, as well as my favorite ACC team North Carolina in Charlotte to open the season.

If the defense doesn’t recover or the offense sputters after the losses of Dylan Thompson, Davis, Cann, Brent, Roland, et al, 7 wins could be the high-water mark for the Cocks. Just as long as Georgia gets its revenge.

Short. Still and forever.

Short. Still and forever.

 

***EXCLUSIVE*** Interview with Elite 4-Star ATH Marquez Callaway: Where do the Dawgs stand?


Marquez Callaway - Photo courtesy of robinsfootball.com

Marquez Callaway – Photo courtesy of robinsfootball.com

Marquez Callaway – ☆☆☆☆
#55 Overall; #3 ATH; #7 in GA
Warner Robins (Warner Robins, GA) ATH
6-2/170

Check out his highlights HERE.

Marquez Callaway is an elite athlete in the class of 2016. I said back in the fall that Callaway would without a doubt be ranked in the top-100 once 2015 rolled around, and sure enough, that’s where he sits on Rivals, 247 Sports, and ESPN. He has the skills to play wide receiver or defensive back for pretty much any school, but I really see him playing receiver at the next level. Marquez can go up and get the ball as well as any receiver I’ve seen in this 2016 class. He also possesses tremendous speed (sub 4.5), and great vision when he has the ball in his hands. He is certainly a player to keep an eye on throughout the next year, and one I fully expect the Dawgs to make a main priority.

Monday night, I had a chance to catch up with Marquez and get the inside scoop on where things stand with his recruitment. First off, let me say that I left my conversation with Marquez very impressed. He has a good head on his shoulder, and you can tell immediately that he is a very polite, very humble young man. Whichever school lands him will not only be getting a great talent, but also a tremendous individual.

 

Johnny Sanders: I know you don’t have a firm leader yet, but could you tell me what teams you have at the top of your list?
Marquez Callaway: Georgia, Tennessee, Florida State, Notre Dame, South Carolina, and Auburn

JS: Where is Georgia telling you that they’d like you to play?
Callaway: They want me to play safety for them, but they told me that if I wanted to play receiver, I can play receiver.

JS: Do you have a feeling of what position you would like to play?
Callaway: Yeah, I want to play receiver.

JS: You mentioned Auburn as one of your top schools. What would you say stands out about the Tigers?
Callaway: I have a good friend, Jeff Whitaker, that went to Auburn and played, and he told me lots of things about the school, and now that I’ve looked at the school, I see that everything he told me was right. So, I know if he says it’s a great school, it’s a great school.

JS: What would you say stands out about Georgia?
Callaway: The location. It’s not too far from home, and all the coaches seem like they have great personalities. I really like the people there.

JS: What are going to be the biggest factors for you when you make your decision?
Callaway: I think that it’s going to come down to if we’re all on the same page. Like, if they respect what I want, and I’m going to respect wherever I go. So, it’s going to come down to whether or not they’re going to respect me for me.

JS: What coaches are recruiting you right now for Georgia?
Callaway: Coach Lilly and Coach Richt both talk to me.

JS: I guess you’ve seen the news now about Coach McClendon becoming the receivers coach and Coach Brown coming in to coach the running backs. Have you gotten a chance to meet Coach McClendon or talk to him?
Callaway: No, I haven’t met him yet. But I plan on it.

JS: What about Georgia do you like outside of football?
Callaway: This past year, I had a couple of good friends that graduated from my high school, and they’re attending UGA now. They tell me how fun it is outside of football and how they all have a good time.

JS: Do you have any friends on the football team at Georgia or anyone that’s coming in?
Callaway: I don’t know anyone on the team, but I have a good friend, Rashad [Roundtree] who’s going there next year.

JS: What school do your parents like best so far?
Callaway: To be honest, I think my mom likes Auburn and Georgia, but I don’t know about my dad. He just goes along with her.

JS: With the major need that UGA has for wide receivers and defensive backs, will that affect you at all knowing that there’s a good chance you can come in and play early?
Callaway: That’s going to be my main question I’m going to ask them, so I can find out if they’re really going to play me.

JS: You mentioned that you want to play receiver, and obviously the big talent that is going to attract guys to Georgia for the next couple of years is quarterback, Jacob Eason. Is he factoring into your decision at all, and do you ever talk to him?
Callaway: I met him one time at a camp we were at together, the Under Armour All-American camp, and I didn’t really talk to him. I just saw him, and he saw me, but he probably didn’t really notice anything about me, and I didn’t notice anything about him, so we just kept the distance.

JS: Have you been in contact with him at all?
Callaway: Oh, no. I don’t think he knows me.

JS: What did you think after watching his film?
Callaway: I wish he could throw to me.

JS: Some quick hits: Who has the nicest facilities?
Callaway: Tennessee.

JS: The best game environment?
Callaway: Probably Florida when they played LSU.

JS: The best college town?
Callaway: Probably Auburn.

JS: When are you planning on getting down to Athens next?
Callaway: I’m not quite sure. I’m going to try to make it to some junior days, but we’re still in basketball season. We made it to the state playoffs. So we have some basketball games on some of the junior days. I do plan on being at Georgia in the summer for Dawg Night.

JS: Do you have a date set that you want to commit? Or do you know when you at least want to narrow down your list?
Callaway: I’m probably going to drag it out to signing day. I haven’t visited all the colleges I want to, but after I visit all the ones I want to, I’ll probably narrow my list down.

JS: Where would you say Georgia’s chances are compared to other schools?
Callaway: Georgia is on my mind. The Dawgs are on my mind

 

***Rankings from 247 Sports Composite

 

Check back for more recruiting updates!

Jonathan

ICYMI Georgia Football Recruiting: Dawgs Land HUGE 4-Star Receiver – UGA becoming Wide Receiver “U”?


Darius Slayton - Photo courtesy of 247 Sports

Darius Slayton – Photo courtesy of 247 Sports

Darius Slayton – ☆☆☆☆
#144 Overall; #18 WR; #16 in GA
Greater Atlanta Christian (Norcross, GA) WR
6-2/1982

Georgia is doing something this year that they’ve had a very hard time doing in the past: Securing the borders. Mark Richt and his staff are going after the elite prospects in the state of Georgia and they are snagging almost all of them. The latest? 4-Star wide receiver, Darius Slayton, out of Greater Atlanta Christian. Slayton made a surprise commitment to the Dawgs Thursday morning at his Army All-American jersey presentation:

I don’t care what the recruiting sites say about Slayton, he is an elite athlete with 4.4 speed who will be a phenomenal player at the college level. I’ve watched the film, I’ve watched him in person, and I can promise you that he is severely underrated. Slayton plays wide receiver, cornerback, running back, kick returner, and punt returner for GAC, but once he arrives in Athens, I expect him to primarily play receiver. He has tremendous speed, great instincts, and excels at going up and catching the ball at its highest point. Earlier I saw that another writer on the site compared him to former Bulldog, Tavarres King, and although their playing styles are quite similar, Slayton is faster, more dangerous, and has, in my opinion, a much higher ceiling.

I’ve said for months that Slayton was a must get for the Bulldogs, and it seems like I’m not the only one who realizes how huge his commitment is:

The pickup of Slayton now gives the Bulldogs their 25th overall commitment and 6th commitment at wide receiver (One 5-star, Four 4-stars, and One 3-star), a position of great need. Georgia’s recruiting class now sits at #3 on Rivals, #3 on 247 Sports, and #2 on ESPN. This is shaping up to be the best class UGA has ever put together, and there are still a lot of other big names out there that the Dawgs have a great shot of landing.

Check out his Slayton’s junior highlights here.

Stories on his commitment here, here, here.

 

***Rankings from 247 Sports Composite

 

Check back daily for more recruiting updates!

Jonathan

Georgia Football Recruiting: Dawgs Land HUGE 4-Star Receiver – UGA becoming Wide Receiver “U”?


Darius Slayton - Photo courtesy of 247 Sports

Darius Slayton – Photo courtesy of 247 Sports

Darius Slayton – ☆☆☆☆
#144 Overall; #18 WR; #16 in GA
Greater Atlanta Christian (Norcross, GA) WR
6-2/1982

Georgia is doing something this year that they’ve had a very hard time doing in the past: Securing the borders. Mark Richt and his staff are going after the elite prospects in the state of Georgia and they are snagging almost all of them. The latest? 4-Star wide receiver, Darius Slayton, out of Greater Atlanta Christian. Slayton made a surprise commitment to the Dawgs this morning at his Army All-American jersey presentation:

I don’t care what the recruiting sites say about Slayton, he is an elite athlete with 4.4 speed who will be a phenomenal player at the college level. I’ve watched the film, I’ve watched him in person, and I can promise you that he is severely underrated. Slayton plays wide receiver, cornerback, running back, kick returner, and punt returner for GAC, but once he arrives in Athens, I expect him to primarily play receiver. He has tremendous speed, great instincts, and excels at going up and catching the ball at its highest point. Earlier I saw that another writer on the site compared him to former Bulldog, Tavarres King, and although their playing styles are quite similar, Slayton is faster, more dangerous, and has, in my opinion, a much higher ceiling.

I’ve said for months that Slayton was a must get for the Bulldogs, and it seems like I’m not the only one who realizes how huge his commitment is:

The pickup of Slayton now gives the Bulldogs their 25th overall commitment and 6th commitment at wide receiver (One 5-star, Four 4-stars, and One 3-star), a position of great need. Georgia’s recruiting class now sits at #3 on Rivals, #3 on 247 Sports, and #2 on ESPN. This is shaping up to be the best class UGA has ever put together, and there are still a lot of other big names out there that the Dawgs have a great shot of landing.

Check out his Slayton’s junior highlights here.

Stories on his commitment here, here, here.

 

***Rankings from 247 Sports Composite

 

Check back daily for more recruiting updates!

Jonathan

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 31,709 other followers

%d bloggers like this: