Feb. 1, 2012
South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier
February 1, 2012
We think it's an exciting group. One of those survey guys, I think it was CBS, had us number 10 in the country. Most had us between 10 and 15. Somewhere around there is fine. We feel like we have a lot of good players that will come in and compete for playing time this year. We redshirted 21 or 22 guys from last year's class. We have a lot of bodies to work with. Four Parade All-Americans. I don't know if we've signed four before. Darius English, Brendan Nosovitch, Shaq Roland and Brock Stadnik were Parade All-Americans. Brendan broke all the records in Pennsylvania. Dan Marino and Jim Kelly I think held some of them. He's the all-time leading passer in state history up there. He's only a three-star (prospect). I asked G.A. (Mangus) and he said well he didn't go to all these camps over the country to get rated by whoever does that stuff. Brendan we think is a good passer that will help us down the road. Other than that, another thing I like about all these players is every player that committed to us stuck. We didn't have any defections. Statistics show that players who stick to their commitment usually stick in college. I think we have a good class of young men that will represent our school in a first-class manner on the field and off.
On the improvement in recruiting...
We have more to offer than we've ever had at South Carolina. We have a track record for winning, we have a track record for graduating our players, we play in the SEC and so forth. The facilities here now are right there with anyone in the country. We have a good football program. Our job is to keep pushing and try to get better. We had a super year last year in wins and losses. We have to try and do better. If you don't try and get better, you're going in the wrong direction. This is a year we'll try to do better than we did last year, and we'll see what happens.
On being happy getting the top player in South Carolina for four straight years..
Four years in a row? Certainly. To get the Mr. Football four years in a row is neat. Looking back, Stephon Gilmore being the first really helped us four years ago. We had just come off the Outback Bowl where we played like crap. I was hoping someone didn't get ahold of Stephon, but he was a mid-year guy, came in January and stuck with us. Then Marcus (Lattimore) and (Jadeveon) Cloweny and now Shaq (Roland). They've all been outstanding players and will continue to be. It's pretty neat that we've been able to do that.
On signing five recruits from the state of South Carolina...
I think we signed 10 from this state last year. It's just one of those years that worked out like that. The state of South Carolina has 4 ½ million (people), and the greater Atlanta area has 5 ½ million. That shows you right there (number of recruits). We're a 3 ½ drive and that's a perfect distance to go to college. It's a perfect pipeline in that area.
On Shaq Roland...
I got a chance to watch the first half of one of their games this year. It was against Dutch Fork. He caught one or two touchdowns the first half of that game. He'll have a chance to come in here and compete, as will the other receivers. Kwinton Smith is a big, tall kid that's very talented as well as Jody Fuller. Shaq has that burst of speed that you can't coach. He's a talented young man. We'll allow all these guys to earn their way as they go.
On tight ends...
Two players to look out for are the two tight ends. Jerell Adams, a big 6'6 kid who had a tremendous Shrine Bowl game. He caught seven or eight passes two years ago in the Shrine Bowl. Look for Jerell and Kelvin Rainey who's here now. Our last game against Nebraska, Justice (Cunningham) got his shoulder bonked a little bit and our other was Buster Anderson. Those were our two the whole year. We'll have more than just two tight ends to play this year. These guys will be ready.
Assistant Coach Steve Spurrier Jr.
On recruiting to the team needs...
That's one of our philosophies here, to recruit to our needs. We've been fortunate enough to have success on the field and build facilities around here that puts us competitive against everyone we recruit against. We've been selective with who we've recruited, and we felt like we fit our needs this year.
On recruiting well in Georgia..
Coach Ward did a wonderful job over there and hustled. He recruited hard all year long. The last three years he's built those relationships. Georgia is always s a state that has a lot of good players. A few years ago, Georgia sent more palyers to the SEC than any other state, so we always know there's players in that state. We want to recruit South Carolina first as best we can.
On early commitments and the role of team camps...
They did a study, the early (recruits) commit, the more likely they are to decommit. But this year we had 16 guys commit at the end of the summer. That's the most we've had. Really what it's done is it's changed the way we offer people. Now when we offer in the summer there's a chance he'll commit ... Camps have changed. Now there aren't 500 kids coming to camps, and its very specific where you evaluate people.
On recruiting in South Carolina...
There are probably more players in-state. Some left and some went to Clemson. Georgia is just a state that has more players. At the end of the day, we knew we'd probably sign more out of state. There's still plenty of players in this state that are excellent players, and we know if we'll be come a good team we have to recruit this state very well.
On recruiting pipelines...
With Coach Mangus, we've made a decent amount of inroads in the northeast, signing five the last two years. I think a majority of our recruits will be in the southeast. We try to stay in our market - South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. We'll see if we can cross into Texas now with Texas A&M, but I still think in the long term we'll try to stay the closest to our state and the surrounding states along with the northeast.
On the number of defensive backs and offensive linemen signed...
We felt those were our biggest needs. Last year we signed a lot of defensive linemen, so this year we knew we wouldn't be as heavy. Offensive line is always a need. You like to sign five or six every year. Those guys seem to be in the lowest supply and highest demand, so it's hard to find five great ones, but we try our best. Defensive backs, we knew there would be a need in the secondary and special teams. Those guys are your best contributors there. Coach Ward likes guys a little bigger and taller. Coach Ward picked out a couple of guys he liked and went after them hard.
On facilities at South Carolina..
I can't say enough about our facility upgrade the last few years and our record with some of the teams we've beaten in this stadium. The perception is greater. It's an impressive place to bring young men and their families. People want to be a part of this program. It's changed in that we need to be selective when we offer people. To have 16 commit last summer means the guy you offer may commit then, and that (has to be) the guy we want.
On Chris Moody switching from being a Vanderbilt commitment...
Coach Ward stuck with him all year long. That was a big reason we were able to recruit him. He got him in here on a visit and spent a lot of time with him. He had a great weekend and decided South Carolina was the best place for him. He sold him on the university, sold him on football and sold him on the stadium. Chris was excited to have the opportunity to become a Gamecock.
2012 SIGNING CLASS