Steve Spurrier thinks the 25 players in the recruiting class he signed Wednesday have high athletic ability. He also likes that they were all low maintenance.
“Every player who officially committed to us stuck,” South Carolina’s coach said. “We didn’t have any defections or anything like that. It was neat they all stuck with us from the beginning. Statistics show that players who stick to their commitment, usually stick through college.”
National Signing Day usually means drama, and this year was no different for many schools around the SEC, but it was a pretty dull day for the Gamecocks. Twenty members of the class had made verbal commitments to the school in 2011 or 2010, and only one player committed in the two weeks leading up to signing day.
“It’s been a peaceful signing day today, which was kind of nice,” recruiting coordinator Steve Spurrier Jr. said.
The class was highlighted by Lexington wide receiver Shaq Roland, the fourth straight South Carolina Mr. Football to sign with the Gamecocks, and four PARADE magazine All-Americans – Roland, Pennsylvania quarterback Brendan Nosovitch, Georgia defensive end Darius English and North Carolina offensive lineman Brock Stadnik.
“I don’t know if we’ve ever signed four before,” Spurrier said.
The group was rated the 10th-best in the country by CBSSports.com, 12th by Scout.com, 15th by ESPN.com and 247Sports.com and 18th by Rivals.com.
“I think we have a good class of young men who will represent our school in a good manner on the field and off,” Spurrier said.
Recruiting is easier in Spurrier’s seventh year at the school than it was in his first, he said. South Carolina is coming off an 11-2 season in 2011 that followed an SEC East title in 2010.
“We have certainly got more to offer than we ever have at South Carolina,” he said. “We have a track record for winning. We have a track record for graduating our players and playing in the SEC (title game) and so forth. Plus the facilities right now are about as good as anybody in the country.”
The success has caused the Gamecocks an unprecedented problem, Spurrier Jr. said. The school now has to be more selective in how many scholarships it offers because players are more eager to accept those scholarships. A new SEC rule forbids schools from signing more than 25 players each year. Nineteen members of this year’s class committed before the 2011 season began.
“It has changed the way we offer people,” Spurrier Jr. said.
Offensive line and defensive back were South Carolina’s biggest needs entering Wednesday, Spurrier Jr. said, and the Gamecocks signed five linemen and six DBs.
“We have a good football program,” Spurrier said. “Our job is to keep going, keep trying to get better. Obviously, we had a super year last year with wins and losses, but we have to try to do better. If you don’t try to do better, you are going the wrong direction. We’ll try to do better than we did last year and see what happens.”