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South Carolina board approves three-year extension for Will Muschamp

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Will Muschamp is being rewarded for what’s been a quick turnaround of the South Carolina football program.

Friday, USC’s Board of Trustees approved a new contract for the Gamecocks head coach heading into his third season.  The deal includes a three-year extension that would keep him signed with the university through the 2023 season.

The first year of the contract calls for Muschamp to earn $4.2 million; he made $3.1 million in 2017, a figure that was 11th among head coaches in the SEC and fourth in the seven-team division.  The new deal also calls for a $200,000 raise each year.

All of Muschamp’s assistants received contract extensions and raises as well.

Taking over a team that went 3-9 in Steve Spurrier‘s truncated final season, Muschamp went 6-7 in his first season.  In 2017, they went 9-4, the program’s most wins in a season since the 11 they had in 2013.  The Gamecocks have also played in back-to-back bowl games, winning the Outback Bowl this year.

Three-star 2019 prospect one of five charged with capital murder

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One 2019 football prospect with multiple Power Five scholarship offers has much more pressing concerns than how many more he’ll add in the near future.

According to the Gadsden Times, 17-year-old Alabama high school football player Jesse Altman is one of five individuals who have been charged with capital murder in connection to the shooting death of 18-year-old Aaron “A.J.” Huff last week. Altman and two other teenagers, Broderick Lawrence Pearson and Lonterry Orlando Harrison, were booked into the Etowah County (Ala.) Detention Center Wednesday while two others were taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Fugitive Task Force; those teenagers, Kalab Blake Whitworth and Tyler Michael Abbott, have been charged as adults.

From the newspaper’s report:

While detectives have not commented on a motive for the shooting, after Abbott’s arrest they said it was believed that he and Huff knew each other and met in a parking lot about 7:30 p.m. last Thursday. There was what police described as an altercation, and the two left in separate vehicles. The vehicle in which Huff was a passenger stopped at the intersection of Hoke Street and Litchfield Avenue, and a gunman got out of the other vehicle and shot Huff. The driver of that vehicle took Huff to a nearby hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries.

All five of those arrested were in the vehicle from which the shooter allegedly emerged; as of yet, police have not publicly identified the person they believe pulled the trigger

Altman is currently rated as a three-star recruit by 247Sports.com and the No. 20 player at any position in the state of Alabama. According to Rivals.com, the 6-1, 285-pound defensive tackle holds offers from among others, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.

Alabama and Florida State are also listed as having shown interest.

Marcus Lattimore returning to South Carolina as football staffer

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Two years later than expected, Marcus Lattimore is coming home again.

The State newspaper confirmed Thursday that Lattimore will join Will Muschamp‘s football staff as South Carolina’s director of player development.  The paper writes that “Lattimore’s job duties include focusing on off-the-field activities of the student-athletes and serving as an important resource in balancing the demands of academics, athletics, community outreach, and their personal lives as they transition in and out of college athletics.”

Just how this will happen given what kept Lattimore from joining the program in April of 2016 is unclear.

The former USC great was offered a paid position to be on Muschamp’s football staff in a non-coaching capacity, one that he was ready to accept after he graduated from the school in May of 2016.  Lattimore also wanted to continue working youth football camps across the state as part of his Marcus Lattimore Foundation.

Unfortunately for Lattimore, the NCAA ruled that continuing to run those camps and being a paid employee of USC football would be an unfair recruiting advantage.  Thus, Lattimore had a choice to make: either the job or the camps; Lattimore chose the latter.

The NCAA ruling is fair and I will fully comply,” Lattimore said in a statement at the time.

One of the most popular players in Gamecocks history, Lattimore tore an ACL and missed the second half of the 2011 season before missing the last three games of 2012 after dislocating his kneecap and tearing several ligaments in his knee in a game against Tennessee.  The running back declared early for the 2013 NFL draft, but, after being selected in the fourth round by the San Francisco 49ers, the injuries prevented him from playing a down.

In November of 2016, Lattimore was named as the head football coach at a Columbia high school.

Will Muschamp promotes one on South Carolina staff, adds another

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Not surprisingly, the offensive side of Will Muschamp‘s coaching staff at South Carolina will have a decidedly different look this coming season — and a familiar loo at the same time.

The football program confirmed Friday that Bryan McClendon has been promoted to offensive coordinator of the Gamecocks.  McClendon, who replaces the dismissed former OC Kurt Roper, had spent the past two seasons as USC’s co-coordinator.

The assistant will also continue on as wide receivers coach.

“Bryan has prepared himself to take on the offensive coordinator duties and made the most of his opportunity at the Outback Bowl,” the head coach said of McClendon, who called plays in the postseason win over Michigan. “He did an outstanding job of preparing our football team offensively leading up to the game. He also made several adjustments during the game that allowed us to take advantage of some of the things we saw against one of the nation’s top defenses, and that showed up when we put together three consecutive scoring drives in the second half.”

In addition to McClendon’s promotion, Muschamp also announced the hiring of Dan Werner as quarterbacks coach.

Werner served as an offensive analyst for Alabama this season.  He’ll remain with the Crimson Tide through Monday night’s national championship game before assuming his new duties with the Gamecocks.

Prior to ‘Bama, Werner spent five seasons at Ole Miss as co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Colorado officially adds Kurt Roper as QBs coach

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Kurt Roper wasn’t out of a job for that long, as it turned out.

Dec. 6, South Carolina announced that Roper had been fired as its offensive coordinator.  Less than a month later, Colorado confirmed that Roper has been hired as its quarterbacks coach.  Roper had also served as the Gamecocks’ quarterbacks coach.

Roper replaces Brian Lindgren, who spent five seasons at CU as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach before leaving for the same jobs at Oregon State last month.

Roper was in his second season with the Gamecocks prior to his dismissal, and in his third year with Will Muschamp overall as he spent one season with him at Florida in 2014.  Prior to a pair of stints with Muschamp, Roper spent six seasons as the coordinator and quarterbacks coach under David Cutcliffe at Duke.