South Carolina is in the middle of spring football practices but you have to figure that head coach Will Muschamp is going to let the team go home early on Sunday night in order to watch a little basketball.
Not only is the NCAA Tournament going on down the road in Greenville, but the Gamecocks themselves are playing in one of the biggest matchups in school history against No. 2 seeded Duke. While you would think that everybody on the football team would be supportive of their brethren on the hoops team trying to make it to the Sweet 16, it appears one player has a bit of a question of loyalties on the hard court.
“My favorite team is Duke. Since J.J. Redick, I’ve been a Blue Devil,” receiver Deebo Samuel told reporters earlier in the week, including The State, before eventually being pressed on the second round matchup with the Gamecocks. “I’m a Blue Devil but I hope South Carolina wins.”
It wasn’t exactly the most convincing of answers from one of the team’s best offensive threats so things might get a little awkward when the two teams tip off around 8:40 p.m. ET on Sunday. At the same time, he might be one of the lucky ones in the matchup since it appears Samuel is in a potential win-win scenario no matter what school takes home the victory.
The highest-rated member of Southern Miss’ recruiting class last year has found himself on the outside of the football program looking in this year.
Multiple media outlets reported Friday evening that JaCorey Morris is no longer with the team. Just what led to the linebacker’s departure, and whether it was voluntary or involuntary, is very much an unknown.
Interestingly, Patrick Magee of the Sun Herald wrote that “USM head coach Jay Hopson [said] Friday that freshman linebacker JaCorey Morris won’t be with the squad for the 2017 campaign.” Some could interpret that phrasing as the door being at least slightly ajar for a return at some point beyond this season.
A three-star 2016 recruit, Morris was rated as the No. 24 inside linebacker in the country and the No. 22 player at any position in the state of Alabama. Originally committed to South Carolina, Morris instead became USM’s top recruit last year.
As a true freshman, though, he took a redshirt.
We now come to reason No. 3,758 why anyone with a sense of humor misses the Ol’ Ball Coach being a daily part of college football.
January 5 of this year, Nick Saban was named as the 2016 recipient of the Maxwell Football Club Coach of the Year award. A little over two months later, Steve Spurrier took to the radio waves in an interview and decided to fire a playful shot across Saban’s bow.
That final game was, of course, Alabama’s 35-31 loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoff championship game. On Jan. 9, four days after Saban received his Maxwell coaching hardware.
Never change, Coach Spurrier. At all.
(Tip O’ the Cap: al.com)
South Carolina quarterback Brandon McIlwain previously made it clear he was going to begin shifting his focus more to baseball than football starting this spring. Now, he will be focusing on finding a new place to call home. McIlwain announced, via Twitter, he has made the decision to transfer to a new school after the spring semester.
As a freshman in 2016, Mcilwain appeared in eight games for the Gamecocks last fall. In his time on the field, McIlwain combined for 600 passing yards and two touchdowns with an interception and 127 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. The dual-threat talent may still want to put himself in the bets possible baseball situation with his transfer if he is going to continue to use baseball as his preference, but he has the potential to bring something to the table with his football flexibility as well if placed in the right situation.
This transfer also takes a toll on the quarterback depth for Will Muschamp and the Gamecocks. Lorenzo Nunez previously opted out via transfer as well. It’s been a busy offseason for departures from the program in Columbia.
Few things signal the transition from offseason into preseason quite like the annual gathering in Hoover, Alabama every summer that is SEC Media
Now we not only have the dates for the annual press tour, but who’s going on what day. The conference has released the full schedule for the 2017 edition of SEC Media Days and it goes as follows:
Monday, July 10
Arkansas’ Bret Bielema, LSU’s Ed Orgeron, Tennessee’s Butch Jones
Tuesday, July 11
Florida’s Jim McElwain, Georgia’s Kirby Smart, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason
Wednesday, July 12
Alabama’s Nick Saban, Kentucky’s Mark Stoops, Missouri’s Barry Odom, Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin
Thursday, July 13
Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze, South Carolina’s Will Muschamp
Things are still subject to changes between now and mid-July but it’s pretty safe to start making plans if you want to hang out by the escalators in the lobby. The names of the players from each school who will be attending have not been announced yet, but that news should come out later in the summer.
At first glance, it seems like a pretty jammed week. New Tigers coach Ed Orgeron leads off on Monday while SEC East favorites Florida and Georgia headline Tuesday (and don’t discount Dan Mullen getting asked about Ole Miss issues either). The conference king and local legend Nick Saban will be the attraction on Wednesday while Gus Malzahn, Hugh Freeze and Will Muschamp bat cleanup on Thursday.