South Carolina Gamecocks

COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 17:  Johnny McCrary #2 of the Vanderbilt Commodores runs away from Boosie Whitlow #49 of the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Another South Carolina Gamecock decides to transfer

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For whatever reason, the personnel attrition train has made an inordinate amount of stops in Columbia the past month or so.

On his Twitter account Monday night, Boosie Whitlow confirmed that he has decided to transfer from South Carolina and will be “furthering my education else where (sic).” No reason for deciding to move on from the Gamecocks was given.

As a three-star 2015 freshman, Whitlow started three of the 12 games in which he played. He was credited with five tackles for loss that initial season, but didn’t see any action in 2016.

Whitlow is at least the sixth Gamecock to leave the football program since the calendar flipped from 2016 to 2017.

In early January, USC announced that three players — running back David Williams, wide receiver Jamari Smith and defensive back Jasper Sasser — “have elected to forego their final year of eligibility at South Carolina and will not return for their senior season in 2017.” Just shy of a month later, the university announced that a pair of linebackers, sophomore Jalen Dread and redshirt freshman Sherrod Pittman, had decided to leave as well.

Former four-star LB one of two leaving Gamecocks

COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 19: Head coach Will Muschamp of the South Carolina Gamecocks runs onto the field with his team before their game against the Western Carolina Catamounts on November 19, 2016 at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Todd Bennett/GettyImages)
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The annual post-signing day personnel attrition continues, with South Carolina the latest to see players who were on its 2016 roster depart.

The football program confirmed in a press release that a pair of linebackers, sophomore Jalen Dread and redshirt freshman Sherrod Pittman, have decided to leave Will Muschamp‘s squad. Pittman had previously announced* his departure via Twitter.

“After meeting with both Jalen and Sherrod, we mutually agreed to part ways,” the head coach said in a statement. “We wish them both the best in the future.”

Pittman was a four-star member of the Gamecocks’ 2015 recruiting class. After redshirting as a true freshman, he played in three games last season.

Dread played in 10 games as a true freshman in 2015 then didn’t play at all this past season. He was a three-star member of the same class as Pittman.

(* the spelling is all his)

SEC rakes in over half a billion dollars in revenue

COLUMBIA, MO - SEPTEMBER 15:  An SEC sign sits atop a yardage marker during the game between the Arizona State Sun Devils and the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Columbia, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Breaking: The SEC has a lot of money.

The conference announced Thursday it collected and subsequently divided $584.2 million in revenue during the 2015-16 fiscal year. Each school received an average of $40.4 million, which leaves around $18.7 million for the conference office.

That number represents a sharp spike from recent years, a 286 percent increase since 2008-09.

“Each of our institutions sponsor from 16 to 22 intercollegiate athletics teams and offer their student-athletes in those sports the highest level of commitment to their athletics and academic experience,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement.  “This distribution from the SEC helps our universities’ athletics programs continue to fully support broad-based opportunities for thousands of female and male student-athletes in all sports.”

According to a copy of the SEC’s tax return obtained by CBS Sports, television and radio revenue grew from $311.9 million in 2014-15 to $420.1 million in 2015-16, a growth made possible by SEC Network. Postseason revenue also grew from $162.8 million to $180.6 million, thanks to the College Football Playoff.

The 2015-16 fiscal year also represented Mike Slive‘s swan song as commissioner, for which he was paid nearly $4.2 million. New commissioner Sankey made $1.2 million for the year.

SEC National Signing Day recap: Alabama reigns supreme but Georgia isn’t far behind

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 09:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates their 38-17 win over the LSU Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 9, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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When it comes to recruiting, there’s Alabama and there’s everybody else playing for second. It seems that way on the field each season and it is certainly evident on the first Wednesday of every February when Nick Saban puts together yet another ho-hum No. 1 overall recruiting class.

How high of a level are the Crimson Tide operating on? Well, when you are so loaded that you are grayshirting top 100 recruits, you know things are going pretty well in Tuscaloosa.

Despite another banner day for the defending SEC champions though, the rest of the league once again impressed when it came to reeling in the talent. Schools from the conference stacked half of the top 10 in the class rankings and nine of the 14 programs cracked the overall top 25. Nobody surged as much as Georgia did, with Saban protegé Kirby Smart cleaning up in the state while cherry-picking some great players elsewhere too. Only Alabama and Florida State signed more five-stars than the Bulldogs and the Tide and Michigan were the only two programs in the same league when it came to top 100 players. LSU closed strong in Ed Orgeron’s first recruiting class as head coach of the Tigers and SEC West stalwarts Auburn and Texas A&M continued to add depth with top 12 classes.

Top recruits (all rankings via 247Sports Composite): No. 3 overall Najee Harris (RB, Alabama), No. 4 overall Alex Leatherwood (OT, Alabama), No. 13 Dylan Moses (LB, Alabama), No. 14 Trey Smith (OT, Tennessee), No. 16 Isaiah Wilson (OT, Georgia)

Top 25 classes: No. 1 Alabama, No. 3 Georgia, No. 7 LSU, No. 9 Auburn, No. 10 Florida, No. 12 Texas A&M, No. 17 Tennessee, No. 21 South Carolina, No. 24 Mississippi State

Biggest storyline: Georgia finds plenty of success to keep the Tide from rolling away

Alabama’s recruiting domination is no surprise but it’s the Tide’s former defensive coordinator who made one of the biggest splashes on Signing Day by landing a top three class. Of course it’s not too hard to recruit at a school like Georgia in such a fertile recruiting area but the fact that Smart and company were able to haul in the group they did is still impressive. Adding this group to the young team that is returning for 2017 should ratchet up expectations even further in Athens going forward.

Biggest surprise: Ole Miss’ dramatic departure from the top 25

The Rebels have been a mainstay in the top 15 ever since Hugh Freeze took over the program but the specter of impending NCAA sanctions really hampered the team’s recruiting efforts in 2017. Ole Miss found itself in the 30’s of the team rankings, right behind Kentucky with fewer four- and three-star players than the Wildcats. Freeze didn’t exactly sound like a happy camper on Wednesday and there’s no secret why that is.

Don’t sleep on: Auburn

Their in-state rival took home all the headlines but don’t overlook the work that Gus Malzahn did despite not having an offensive coordinator for several weeks. Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham will rightfully get the most attention and he could be one of the most talented QB’s to head to the Plains since a recent Heisman Trophy winner. In addition, the Tigers landed five-star offensive tackle Calvin Ashley and came out of nowhere to snag Markaviest Bryant from several of their SEC rivals.

We’ll see about: Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina

Georgia was the top, um, dawg in the rankings among SEC East teams but the other half of the league still managed to put together some fairly highly ranked classes. Florida closed very strong on Wednesday to sneak into the top 10 with some late flips, but the Gators still missed on adding an impact defensive tackle and landed only one top-tier offensive lineman. The Vols had the No. 1 offensive tackle enroll early but didn’t quite have the momentum of past years on the recruiting trail. South Carolina was among the surprises in the top 25 team rankings but the question with the Gamecocks and the other two divisional rivals listed above is if that is all going to be enough to close the gap on the SEC West.

South Carolina holds off Georgia, hangs on to four-star CB Jamyest Williams

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No flip for you, Kirby Smart.

While Jamyest Williams has been committed to South Carolina since last August, SEC East rival Georgia had been in hot pursuit of the four-star in-state prospect.  Once considered a hard commit to the Gamecocks, that commitment softened somewhat following an official visit to Athens Jan. 20.

Still, the cornerback was unofficially viewed as a heavy lean toward USC entering National Signing Day.  Exiting it, he’ll officially be considered a Will Muschamp recruit as Williams, sitting in front of a banner that featured both the Gamecock and Bulldog logos, put his Herbie Hancock on a USC National Letter of Intent Wednesday afternoon.

“Me and my dad had a sit-down talk and went through it. At Georgia, it’s my home town and I knew everything about it,” Williams told GamecockCentral.com. “I enjoyed it every single. I think this is the best fit for me, just to get away and define myself as a man at South Carolina.”

Williams was rated as the No. 8 corner in the country and the No. 9 player at any position in the state of Georgia.  Not only that, but he’s the highest-rated member of a USC class that’s currently ranked 16th by Rivals.com and 20th in 247Sports.com‘s composite team rankings.