USC Gamecocks Football

Skai Moore confirms it: He’s back for 2017

One familiar face is returning to South Carolina’s football team, and another is on the way out.

Senior linebacker Skai Moore confirmed he’ll return to the team for the 2017 season. Meanwhile, longtime director of football operations Jamie Speronis is expected to leave the program soon, a source told The State.

Moore’s return will be a boost for South Carolina. The Florida native led the Gamecocks in tackles from 2013-2015. His best year was his junior campaign, in which he had 110 tackles. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder was named second-team All-SEC in 2015. He briefly intended to turn pro after that season, but decided to return for his senior year before learning a disc injury would require season-ending neck surgery.

Moore appeared with several returning members of the football team at halftime of South Carolina’s basketball game against Ole Miss on Saturday night in Colonial Life Arena. He confirmed to The State he intends to play his senior season with the team and that his injury feels completely healed.

Moore is three interceptions short of Bo Davies’ career school record of 14. He’s the first player to lead the team in tackles three consecutive seasons since Tony Watkins did it from 1992-1994. He has 260 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks in his career.

Speronis’ pending exit won’t make an impact on the field, but is the end of an era at South Carolina. Speronis was Steve Spurrier’s longtime aide and director of football operations, working for Spurrier at Florida, with the Washington Redskins and then at South Carolina for 12 seasons.

Speronis organized and oversaw South Carolina’s football travel, coordinated the team’s walk-on program and served as a liason to NFL personnel and the school’s compliance office.

Gamecocks football coach Will Muschamp appeared on the court at the basketball game to present the school’s 10th Rhodes Scholar – autistic student Jory Fleming – with a helmet signed by members of the football team. Muschamp declined to speak to the media after his appearance.