South Carolina coaches on recruiting trail; plus, top Gamecocks of 2017 season

South Carolina football-Skai Moore

Welcome to SEC Country’s Chicken & Waffles, your daily dish for all things South Carolina Gamecocks football, basketball and more. Miss a previous edition? Find every edition of SEC Country’s South Carolina Gamecocks Chicken & Waffles right here.

Coaches hit road

South Carolina coaches have been busy the last few days, visiting many of the Gamecocks’ top recruiting targets.

“Two Gamecocks assistants were in Concord, N.C., on Sunday to visit with 4-star defensive tackle Rick Sandidgewho was in Columbia on Saturday night for the Clemson game,” SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan wrote. “Sandidge, the No. 11 defensive tackle in the Class of 2018 according to the 247Sports composite, spent time Sunday with defensive line coach Lance Thompson and running backs coach Bobby Bentley, his area recruiter.”

Sandidge, along with 4-star linebacker Channing Tindall, are two of the top remaining defensive players on the Gamecocks’ recruiting board.

Season superlatives

McGranahan put a bow on South Carolina’s regular season by handing out some figurative hardware with his MVP, Rookie of the Year and Most Improved awards.

The Gamecocks had a number of players make major contributions on defense this season, but none larger than that of redshirt senior linebacker Skai Moore. McGranahan tabbed the Cooper City, Fla., native as his defensive MVP.

“The senior linebacker took over the team lead in tackles late in the season and appears to be on track to finish that way, as he has done the other three years on the field for South Carolina,” McGranahan wrote. “In addition to his 85 tackles, Moore also leads the team with 3 interceptions. For his career, he’s tied with Bo Davies for the school record [14].”

In his career at South Carolina, Moore has delivered 346 total tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 14 interceptions and 3 forced fumbles.

Back in action

Injured South Carolina tight end K.C. Crosby is close to returning to the field, according to his father, Kevin.

The redshirt junior is about a week-and-a-half away from running and potentially playing in the bowl game, the elder Crosby told SportsTalk.

Crosby was among South Carolina’s breakout players last season, catching 23 passes for 217 yards and 4 touchdowns. In six games this season, he caught 2 passes for 11 yards before fracturing his fibula against Arkansas on Oct. 7.

South Carolina assistant in demand?

South Carolina co-offensive coordinator Kurt Roper is rumored to be a candidate for the vacant head coach position at Rice, according to Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated.

Roper just finished his second season as South Carolina’s primary playcaller. The Rice graduate was hired by coach Will Muschamp in January 2016.

Under Roper, the South Carolina offense averaged 340.2 yards and 24.1 point per game this season.

Chris Silva stands tall

The South Carolina men’s basketball team improved to 5-1 with a 78-61 win over Florida International on Monday night.

Junior forward Chris Silva led the way with a career-high 26 points and 10 rebounds. Maik Kotsar chipped in with 16 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.

The Gamecocks head to Madison Square Garden on Thursday night to take on the Temple Owls (3-1). The trip to MSG will be South Carolina’s first since the 77-70 win against Florida in the Elite Eight last March.

Have yourself a game

Former South Carolina star and current Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney was electric on Monday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft collected a sack, 2 tackles for loss and 2 quarterback hits in the first quarter, according to the Texans. Perhaps his most impressive play, at least before halftime, was this explosive behind-the-line tackle of Ravens running back Alex Collins.

The Rock Hill, S.C., native has 9 sacks and 17 tackles for loss through 11 games for Houston this season.

Juju on that beat

With Crosby potentially returning to the field, let’s look back at one of my favorite plays from the 2016 season: South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley with a 35-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Crosby in the Gamecocks’ 24-21 win against Tennessee.

Watch the clip through the end for the best part.

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The post South Carolina coaches on recruiting trail; plus, top Gamecocks of 2017 season appeared first on SEC Country.

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