ESPN: New-look South Carolina offense has chance to get big step ahead

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‘Don’t be surprised’

ESPN’s Alex Scarborough likes what he saw from the South Carolina Gamecocks offense under first-year coordinator Bryan McClendon this spring.

“Don’t be surprised if the Gamecocks’ offense takes a big step forward this season,” Scarborough wrote. “Quarterback Jake Bentley having a year under his belt will help, as will the return of receiver Deebo Samuel, but more important there will be a new look to the unit with an emphasis on playing with greater pace.”

The Gamecocks return all seven wide receivers who caught passes last season, but have to replace All-SEC tight end Hayden Hurst, who was picked No. 25 overall by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2018 NFL Draft.

What a week

This past week was eventful for the Gamecocks’ recruiting classes for 2018 and 2019.

Four-star prospect and 2019 wide receiver/tight end Traevon Kenion committed to the Gamecocks on April 29, while Texas A&M graduate transfer cornerback Nick Harvey picked South Carolina on May 2.

“Harvey, of course, will join the Gamecocks secondary for the 2018 season,” SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan writes. “His playing career at South Carolina will be over when members of the Class of 2019 enroll for class next January.”

With Kenion’s pledge, South Carolina’s 2019 class is rated No. 13 in 247Sports’ football recruiting composite team rankings.

‘USC was really good’

Four-star defensive end and 2020 prospect Jacolbe Cowan gets good vibes from the Gamecocks.

“USC was really good,” Cowan said of his visit to Columbia in January. “They always show a lot of love. Never had a problem with USC, as far as a visit. I always feel welcome. They tell me, each time I come down, I’m always welcome.”

247Sports rates the Providence Day School (Charlotte, N.C.) standout as the No. 37 overall prospect for 2020. In addition to South Carolina, Cowan has offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia and more.

Take the over

Brad Crawford of 247Sports picked the Gamecocks as one his best bets for projected win totals for 2018. Online sportsbook BetDSI put South Carolina’s over-under win total for 2018 at seven.

“With even odds, 10 starters back on offense and no clear-cut No. 2 in the East behind Georgia, this is a smart play,” Crawford writes. “The number was 5.5 for South Carolina during the 2017 preseason and Will Muschamp backhanded Vegas with eight wins before taking out Michigan in the Outback Bowl for No. 9. There’s no element of surprise in 2018 for a team with momentum hoping to take advantage of coaching changes at Tennessee and Florida, but seven wins still feels low.”

South Carolina won nine games for the seventh time in program history in 2017. The Gamecocks open the season on Sept. 1 against Coastal Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium.

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Offer out

The Gamecocks offered 2021 prospect and Parish Episcopal School (Dallas) quarterback Preston Stone on Thursday, according to Ben Breiner of The State.

“In his first high school season, Stone threw for 2,937 yards, completing 59.3 percent of his passes, with 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions,” Breiner writes. “He also ran for 216 yards and 12 scores on a team that didn’t have much running game to speak of.”

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound rising sophomore also lists offers from Georgia, Michigan, Texas, Texas A&M and more.

Making the cut

Five-star small forward and 2019 prospect Wendell Moore announced South Carolina as one of his top-5 schools on Friday, The Big Spur’s John Whittle reports.

 The Concord, N.C., native is rated as the No. 24 overall prospect for 2019, according to the 247Sports composite.

What an honor

Former South Carolina standout and Detroit Tigers catcher Grayson Greiner tied a record when he made his big-league debut on Sunday.

In three seasons at South Carolina (2012-14), Greiner hit .278 with 36 doubles, 18 home runs and 120 RBI.

He was picked by the Tigers in the third round of the 2014 MLB Draft.

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The post ESPN: New-look South Carolina offense has chance to get big step ahead appeared first on SEC Country.

Daniel Sweeney – SEC Country

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