• 72°

College Football: Spurrier wisecracking his way through SEC Media Days

By John Zenor
Associated Press
HOOVER, Ala. ó Steve Spurrier was back in his old SEC media days form, cracking wise, raving about his teamís offensive playmakers and still managing a folksy dose of poormouthing, too.
He said ěin all likelihoodî, quarterback Stephen Garcia will be back in the fold for preseason camp. After all, Spurrier cracked, ěI guess we donít want to kick him out for stupidity.î
Yep, the head ball coach had his famous dry wit on full display Wednesday, almost like his swaggering Florida days. Heís back on top again, at least in the Southeastern Conferenceís East Division, and thereís no reason to hold back too much.
ěMost coaches if they win a lot, win a lot of championships, they do talk a little bit more,î Spurrier said.
The Gamecocks have plenty to talk about these days after making the SEC championship game for the first time and knocking off both Clemson and then-No. 1 Alabama.
One hot topic: Garcia. He was suspended for the fifth time in April, this one for his behavior in a life skills seminar.
Spurrier said the senior quarterback has done everything required of him so far to rejoin the team and has made some ělifestyle changes.î But will he start? Thatís open for discussion.
Spurrier said the SECís most experienced quarterback will still have to beat out sophomore Connor Shaw, who was solid in nine relief appearances last season.
ěWeíre going to have competition,î Spurrier said. ěI guess everyone assumes Stephen is going to be the quarterback if heís there. But weíll see.î
Thereís little doubt who the emerging quarterbackís biggest weapons will be. Powerful running back Marcus Lattimore emerged as one of the leagueís most unstoppable forces and Alshon Jeffery was one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award as the nationís top receiver.
Spurrierís 2 cents: Theyíre the nationís best at their position, and itís not an outlandish opinion. As for the rest of the team, he said it might be the best collection of talent heís had in his seven seasons with the Gamecocks. Plus, heís got the nationís No. 1 recruit in defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Spurrier says Clowney will be on the field ěearly and oftenî as a freshman.
But Spurrier also points out that South Carolina took advantage of down years for East rivals Georgia, Florida and Tennessee and repeating as division champs wonít be easy.
ěI think so far the guys are pretty levelheaded,î Spurrier said. ěBut the fans, because weíve not had a lot of success there, theyíre going to tell the guys how great they are. Hopefully weíll be smart enough to handle it and go from there.
ěBut historically weíve not, so it will be a challenge to see if we can handle some preseason predictions, ëcause weíve never had much of those before in the past.î
Lattimore thinks the Gamecocks have the makings of a contender.
ěWeíve got the talent to do it on offense, defense and special teams,î he said. ěWeíve just got to finish. Weíve got a good shot to win it, I think.î
And theyíve got a veteran quarterback who has started 30 games. Or a younger guy who has shown flashes both as a runner and a passer..
Jeffery is OK with either of them.
ěMy level of confidence with Connor is 100 percent,î he said. ěIím behind each of our quarterbacks 100 percent, no matter what.î
NOTE
HOOVER, Ala. ó SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said recent headlines across the country have laid bare the darker side of major college sports so much that they have “lost the benefit of the doubt.”
With that in mind, Slive opened SEC media days Wednesday by outlining some proposals for change across the NCAA in everything from raising academic requirements for incoming freshmen to paying athletes the full cost of scholarships.
“We don’t have the luxury of acting as if it’s business as usual,” Slive said, noting that he normally would have used that platform to tout recent successes like national titles in football and baseball.
He said the negative perception of big-money college sports resulting from infractions cases from Ohio State to several of his own member schools “casts a shadow over the extraordinary student-athletes throughout the country” and merits change.
It has certainly cast a shadow for years in a league that has captured the last five national football titles, and some more dubious attention.

Comments

Comments closed.

Coronavirus

People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time

News

GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending

News

Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide