South Carolina Gamecocks

Getty Images

Rimington watch list details list of returning centers

Leave a comment

It’s the dead time of the college football calendar, which means it’s time for this sport’s oldest, most antiquated tradition: watch lists.

First one in line is the Rimington Trophy, given to the best center in college football. And to help voters narrow down their choice for when voting picks up six months from now, the Rimington has helpfully provided this watch list of essentially every returning starting center in college football.

The 2017 list includes (deep breath):

– Aaron Mitchell, Fresno State
– Alan Knott, South Carolina
– Alac Eberle, Florida State
– Antonyo Woods, Florida Atlantic
– Asotui Eli, Hawaii
– Austin Doan, Central Michigan
– Austin Golson, Auburn
– Austin Schlottmann, TCU
– Billy Price, Ohio State
– Blaise Fountain, New Mexico
– Brad Lundblade, Oklahoma State
– Brad North, Northwestern
– Bradley Bozeman, Alabama
– Brendan Moore, Maryland
– Brian Allen, Michigan State
– Bryce Holland, Army
– Cameron Ruff, South Florida
– Chandler Miller, Tulsa
– Coleman Shelton, Washington
– Colton Prater, Texas A&M
– Danny Godloveske, Miami (Ohio)
– Dennis Edwards, Western Kentucky
– Drew Keyser, Memphis
– Erick Wren, Oklahoma
– Evan Brown, SMU
– Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
– Gabe Mobley, Georgia State
– Garrett McGhin, East Carolina
– Jake Bennett, Colorado State
– Jake Hanson, Oregon
– Jake Pruehs, Ohio
– James Daniels, Iowa
– James O’Hagan, Buffalo
– Jesse Burkett, Stanford
– John Keenoy, Western Michigan
– Jon Baker, Boston College
– Julian Good-Jones, Iowa State
– Keoni Taylor, San Jose State
– LaVonne Gauthney, Akron
– Levi Brown, Marshall
– Luke Shively, Northern Illinois
– Mason Hampton, Boise State
– Matt Hennessy, Temple
– Mesa Ribordy, Kansas
– Michael Deiter, Wisconsin
– Nathan Puthoff, Kent State
– Nick Allegretti, Illinois
– Nick Clarke, Old Dominion
– Reid Najvar, Kansas State
– Ryan Anderson, Wake Forest
– Sam Mustipher, Notre Dame
– Scott Quessenberry, UCLA
– Sean Krepsz, Nevada
– Sean Rawlings, Ole Miss
– Sumner Houston, Oregon State
– T.J. McCoy, Florida
– Tanner Thrift, Baylor
– Tejan Koroma, BYU
– Tim McAullife, Bowling Green
– Trey Martin, Rice
– Will Clapp, LSU
– Will Noble, Houston
– Zach Shackelford, Texas

Exhale.

Got all that?

Ohio State’s Pat Elflein claimed the honor last season.

South Carolina QB Brandon McIlwain set to transfer to Cal for football and baseball

Getty Images
Leave a comment

A USC quarterback appears set to transfer to California.

Before Golden Bears fans do a double-take and wonder who’s moving up the coast, the signal-caller is actually from the East Coast version of USC as South Carolina QB Brandon McIllwain announced on Twitter on Saturday that he would be heading west and transferring to Berkeley this fall.

McIllwain is originally from Pennsylvania but wound up with the Gamecocks out of high school and started three games for the team as a freshman last season. He threw for 600 yards and ran for another 127 on the ground but played fairly uneven for South Carolina despite high hopes coming into the year.

Once fellow freshman Jake Bentley replaced McIllwain in the starting lineup for the Gamecocks midway through 2016, it appears the writing was on the wall for a transfer eventually. Now he’ll be taking his talents West.

Interestingly, McIllwain appears set on playing both football and baseball for the Golden Bears going forward. He was considered a fairly good prospect on the diamond in high school and did attempt to play both sports for South Carolina with limited appearances in each. Once he becomes eligible down the road in 2018, one figures he has a solid opportunity in both departments at Cal given a relatively open depth chart going forward under new coach Justin Wilcox on the gridiron and a number of spots available on the baseball team.

SEC to enact NCAA practice policies, eliminate two-a-days

Getty Images
3 Comments

Two-a-days in the Deep South are officially a thing of the past.

Last month, the NCAA Division I Council also voted to eliminate “multiple contact practices a day” — aka two-a-days — in summer camp.  The SEC announced Friday that the conference “will adopt recent practice recommendations set forth by the NCAA Sports Science Institute in the sport of football.”

Moving forward, and after the standard five-day acclimation period that kicks off preseason camp, any given seven-day period will have to include at least three non-contact/minimal contact practice sessions as well as one day where there is no practice, period.  Additionally, the next practice after a scrimmage will have to be one of the non-contact/minimal contact periods.  While two-a-days are no longer permitted, teams can, if they so choose, run “[a] second session of no helmet/pad activity [that] may include walk-throughs or meetings; conditioning in the second session of activity is not allowed.”

To make up for the lost practice time, teams will be allowed to start camps one week earlier than previously allowed.  That extension will “help ensure that players obtain the necessary skill set for competitive play,” the NCAA said in its release.

As for in-season practices, the biggest change is going from allowing two live-contact/tackling sessions per week to one of those plus one described as “live-contact/thud.” The standard for non-contact/minimal contact practices remains the same at three.

As for the postseason, below are the NCAA’s recommendations:

  • If there is a two week or less period of time between the final regular season game or conference championship game (for participating institutions) and the next bowl or postseason game, then in-season practice recommendations should remain in place.
  • If there is greater than two weeks between the final regular season game or conference championship game (for participating institutions) and the next bowl or postseason game, then:
  1. Up to three days may be live-contact (two of which should be live contact/thud).
  2. There must be three non-contact/minimal contact practices in a given week.
  3. The day preceding and following live contact/tackling should be non-contact/minimal contact or no football practice.
  4. One day must be no football practice.

“We believe these measures will enhance the health and safety procedures SEC universities have already established to support their football programs,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “Student-athlete well-being will always be a priority for SEC member institutions and, as the NCAA Sports Science Institute has developed and provided guidance on the structure for football practice, everyone associated with this great sport must continue to adapt to keep the game safe while played at the highest competitive level.”

The conference’s presidents and chancellors as well as its athletic director, incidentally, voted unanimously to accept the NCAA practice recommendations.

Attorney: Deebo Samuel wasn’t present for alleged bar assault

Getty Images
3 Comments

Tuesday, Will Muschamp very emphatically stated that one of the players accused in connection to a bar fight, star wide receiver Deebo Samuel, wasn’t present for an incident at a Columbia bar.  Two days later, another individual is coming to the South Carolina receiver’s defense.

Neal Lourie, an attorney representing Samuel, stated in a press release, via the Columbia State, that his client was not present for or a part of an alleged assault at Five Points Saloon very early Saturday morning.  Samuel, along with teammate and linebacker Skai Moore as well as former Gamecock Jalen Dread, had been named in a criminal complaint filed in connection to the alleged assault of a 24-year-old man.

“It’s unfortunate his reputation was tarnished by inaccurate reporting and a rush to publish a story without any independent corroboration,” a portion of the release read. “I hope there will be a retraction with as strong a headline as the initial false report.”

As of Wednesday, the State reports, none of the players connected to the incident have spoken to police.  Video surveillance of the alleged incident is expected to be made available to police at some point, while the newspaper has asked for a copy of it as well.

It’s unclear if Moore has secured legal representation.  Muschamp made no mention of the starting linebacker when he issued a denial on Samuel’s behalf.

Last season, Samuel led USC with 59 receptions for 783 yards.

Deebo Samuel tells Will Muschamp he wasn’t at bar that was site of alleged assault

Getty Images
3 Comments

There’s been a potentially significant development in one of the day’s most noteworthy college football stories.

Earlier Tuesday, reports surfaced that two current members of the South Carolina football program, fifth-year senior linebacker Skai Moore and redshirt junior wide receiver Deebo Samuel, as well as a former Gamecock, Jalen Dread, had been accused in a criminal complaint filed in connection to the alleged assault of a man at a Columbia bar very early Saturday morning.  Video surveillance of the alleged incident is expected to be made available to police at some point; it’s unclear if any of the players have spoken to police as they were not at the bar when officers arrived.

As far as Will Muschamp is concerned, at least one of his players will not be seen on the video when it is reviewed by police investigators as Samuel told his head coach that he wasn’t even at the bar where the alleged assault occurred.

“We’re still kind of gathering the facts. I’ve been out of town, so I’ve been out of pocket,” Muschamp said according to the Columbia State. “We are still gathering information. I have talked to Deebo Samuel and he was not at the establishment so there’s an incorrect report and that’s some irresponsible journalism, in my opinion, but it is what it is.”

Witnesses told police that all three of those involved in the alleged assault of a 24-year-old Marine who served in Afghanistan were Gamecock football players.  None of the trio mentioned in the complaint filed with the Columbia Police Department have been charged.  An investigation into the alleged incident is ongoing.

Last season, Samuel led USC with 59 receptions for 783 yards.  Moore led the Gamecocks in tackles from 2013-15, earning second-team All-SEC honors in 2015, before missing the 2016 season because of a neck injury.  He announced in January that he would be returning to Columbia for one final season.

Dread played linebacker for the Gamecocks last season but opted to transfer from the football program in February.