Looking back at the 2017 season; plus, what future holds for South Carolina football?

South Carolina football-Allen-Williams

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Season in review

In the latest edition of Zaxby’s Sound Off, Mike Chapman sits down with SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan to break down South Carolina’s 2017 season.

The two look at the direction of the program and how the Gamecocks’ 2018 commits can provide reinforcements and depth at key positions.

Chapman and McGranahan preview the team’s bowl prospects and discuss what bowl season means moving forward.

Previewing 2018

With the 2017 regular season in the books, it’s already time to look ahead to 2018.

The Gamecocks will welcome back wide receiver Deebo Samuel and linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams to the fold, but will face some attrition as well, particularly in the secondary.

“Cornerback Rashad Fenton, safety Steven Montac and nickelback Jamyest Williams will be the most experienced of the bunch, which will feature a lot of fresh faces,” McGranahan wrote. “Keisean Nixon had limited playing time at cornerback as a junior this season, but he’s got a couple of interceptions.”

The unit’s departing seniors, Chris Lammons, D.J. Smith and JaMarcus King, combined for 154 tackles and 20 passes defensed in 2017.

We’re No. 1

South Carolina football hasn’t just improved on the football field since Will Muschamp took over, the Gamecocks have stepped up their game on social media as well.

The efforts haven’t gone unnoticed, as Athlon Sports recently ranked the team’s Twitter account as the best in the country.

“South Carolina has really stepped up in the social department this season,” Athlon Sports’ Jasmine Watkins wrote. “From a play on ‘Last Chance U’ to other amazing videos, putting the Gamecocks’ social squad at the top was a no-brainer. They’ve got animation, personality and a new voice that will only continue to be one of the leading forces for years to come.”

The Gamecocks’ social media has been under the direction of Justin King, associate athletics director for new and creative media, since he was hired in February.

New era on the diamond

The South Carolina baseball team released its 2018 schedule on Wednesday.

The Gamecocks start Year 1 under new coach Mark Kingston on Friday, Feb. 16 against VMI.

Beyond the rigorous SEC slate, interconference tilts against the likes of Clemson, North Carolina, College of Charleston and The Citadel highlight South Carolina’s nonconference schedule.

The Gamecocks went 35-15 last season, missing the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years. Coach Chad Holbrook was dismissed after the season, finishing with a 200-106 record in five seasons as the Gamecocks skipper. He was later named to the same position at College of Charleston.

A family affair?

Class of 2019 4-star offensive tackle Warren McClendon was another talented prospect at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday for the Clemson game.

The 6-foot-5 offensive lineman has a family connection with the Gamecocks; his cousin is South Carolina co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Bryon McClendon.

“Probably how the fans were still into the game, even though they were losing,” McClendon said when asked what stood out the most about the visit.

The Brunswick, Ga., native is rated as the No. 162 prospect in the Class of 2019, according to the 247Sports composite.

‘My goal is to start my freshman year’

Three-star athlete and South Carolina target Bryce Thompson has high hopes for his freshman year, no matter where it might be.

“My goal is to start my freshman year and be a true freshman, so we’re still deciding if I want to graduate early or not,” Thompson told SportsTalk’s Phil Kornblut.

The No. 7-ranked prospect in South Carolina, per 247Sports, is also considering Marshall, North Carolina State and Virginia Tech, but “it’s still a long time until Signing Day and a lot can change,” he said.

New offer out

South Carolina offered 4-star defensive tackle Christian Barmore this past weekend.

The Neumann Goretti High School (Philadelphia) standout is rated as the No. 28 defensive tackle for 2018.

A one-time Temple commit, Barmore now boasts offers from Alabama, Georgia and LSU, among others.

They’ve arrived

The South Carolina women’s soccer team is already out and about in Orlando, preparing for the program’s first-ever College Cup appearance.

The Gamecocks play the Stanford Cardinal on Friday night in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament, with the winner advancing to the national championship against either Duke or UCLA on Sunday, Dec. 3.

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The post Looking back at the 2017 season; plus, what future holds for South Carolina football? appeared first on SEC Country.

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