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Pete Leota follows Shawn Elliott from South Carolina to Georgia State

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In December, Shawn Elliott left his post as the offensive line coach at South Carolina to take over as the head coach at Georgia State.  This week, one of his former players has taken a similar geographic path.

According to The State, Pete Leota has decided to transfer to GSU to again play for Elliott.  The move comes nearly two weeks after the offensive lineman announced his decision to transfer from the Gamecocks.

For what it’s worth, his new football team has not yet confirmed his addition to the roster.

While normally Leota would have to sit out the 2017 season, the newspaper also reported that his new team will seek a waiver that would give him immediate eligibility.  The specific grounds for the appeal weren’t divulged.

A three-star member of USC’s 2016 recruiting class, Leota was rated as the No. 49 player at any position in the state of North Carolina.  He took a redshirt his true freshman season last year.

Ex-South Carolina RB David Williams transfers to Arkansas

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David Williams may have left the SEC East, but, as it turns out, he’s not leaving the conference altogether.

On his Twitter account Friday, Williams announced that he has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at Arkansas.  The move comes five months after he decided to transfer from South Carolina.

As he graduated from USC this past December, he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2017.  The upcoming season will be his final year of eligibility.

Williams’ 239 yards rushing and three rushing touchdowns were third on the team and tied for third, respectively, this season.  He also had nine receptions for 72 yards coming out of the backfield.

The Philadelphia high school product, who started six games the last three years, finished the USC portion of his career with 794 yards and five touchdowns on 187 carries as well as 27 catches and 264 yards receiving.

The Razorbacks have lost a pair of running backs this offseason, precipitating the need to bolster the backfield with a graduate transfer.  Another neck injury in early May prompted UA’s leading rusher, Rawleigh Williams, to retire from the sport, while Juan Day left the program as a grad transfer a couple of weeks later.

Pika Leota tweets decision to transfer from South Carolina

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A member of Will Muschamp‘s first recruiting class at South Carolina has decided to ply his football wares at an undetermined elsewhere.

Wednesday night on Twitter, Pika Leota tweeted that, “[w]ith lots of prayer and talk with my family,” he has decided to transfer from the Gamecocks. “I believe I will find my perfect fit at another school,” the offensive lineman added.

No specific reason for the decision to transfer was given.

Leota was a three-star 2016 signee for the Gamecocks, and was the highest-rated offensive lineman in USC’s class that year.  He held offers from, among others, Boston College, Duke, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

As a true freshman last season, Leota took a redshirt.

Auburn AD banging the drum for a Tigers move to SEC East, Mizzou shift to West

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Tuesday, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey laid talk of a potential Auburn move from the SEC West to the East at the feet of the media. A day later, that university’s athletic director picked up the talk and ran with it. Hard.

After months of chatter on the subject, Jay Jacobs met the issue head-on at the conference’s spring meetings Wednesday, with the AU AD banging the drum very loudly for his football team to move from the West to the East and Missouri taking their place in the division.

While it makes sense football-wise for most involved, Jacobs cited the demographics of the student population at large as one of the reasons he will push for a divisional adjustment.

“It makes more sense for Auburn from the standpoint of the demographics of our students, not our student-athletes,” the athletics boss said according to 247Sports.com‘s Brandon Marcello. “Six or eight years ago, I looked at all the demographics. Most of all our students come from Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, a few from Mississippi, very few from Louisiana.

“Since we went to the national championship twice we’ve got more geographical students from all over the place but still the majority of our students come from the southeast.”

The Opelika-Auburn News lays out the geographical argument, as it in reality relates to athletics budgets that are impacted by more than football specifically, very succinctly:

If you look at SEC universities laid out on a map, Auburn is closer to SEC East schools Georgia, Florida South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt than it is to SEC West schools such as Arkansas, LSU and Texas A&M.

Missouri is closer to all three of those schools than it is to the ones located in the Eastern Time Zone.

Jacobs is expected to broach the West-to-East subject with Sankey this week as the conference’s ADs talk shop with the commissioner, although it won’t be on the official agenda.

As for the the Iron Bowl as well as the annual matchup with the team Between The Hedges as part of any potential move? “[T]he bottom line is … we’re going to keep playing Georgia and we’re going to keep playing Alabama,” Jacobs said.

Moving to a nine-game conference schedule — and this is without even discussing eliminating divisions entirely as well — would easily facilitate an Auburn move to the East as well as limit, if not completely erase, the concerns over losing long-time rivalries across the league. Of course, we all know adding another league game will likely gain very little if any traction, at least not for the foreseeable future.

After all, you gotta continue to have those cupcakes as part of your Deep South college football diet.

Stephen Davis will reportedly transfer from Auburn to South Carolina

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Stephen Davis may be leaving his father’s alma mater, but he’s not leaving the SEC.  Apparently.

In late February, Davis was one of four Auburn football players who decided to leave the Tigers program. Three months later, Davis’ father, former AU and Carolina Panthers running back Stephen Davis Sr., confirmed to The State that his son will continue his collegiate playing career at South Carolina.

The newspaper writes that “[c]urrent USC head coach Will Muschamp and assistant Tavaris Robinson recruited Davis when they were at Auburn.”

While AU blocked Davis from transferring to any SEC school — and Clemson — he’ll be a walk-on at USC, which will allow him to join the team and practice with the Gamecocks this fall. The running back/defensive back will still have to sit out the 2017 season to satisfy NCAA bylaws.

He’ll then have three years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018.

A three-star 2016 signee, Davis was rated as the No. 7 player at any position in the state of South Carolina. Ongoing rehab for a torn ACL he sustained in high school forced Davis to redshirt his true freshman season.