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Quarterback Connor Shaw Will Start Against Kentucky

Connor ShawThe diagnosis over the weekend for South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw was that he would miss two to three weeks.  It turns out he won’t miss a game.

Coach Steve Spurrier announced Wednesday that Shaw will get the start against Kentucky Saturday.

Shaw was knocked out of the game against UCF Saturday in the first quarter with a shoulder injury. He’s thrown for 665 yards and six touchdowns with no interceptions this season.  South Carolina is a 21-point favorite against Kentucky Saturday.


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Carolina Loses Jeffery, Gilmore To The NFL

On Monday, South Carolina fans were reveling in a rump-kicking of traditional power Nebraska and the school’s first-ever 11-win season.  This morning, a little cold water got tossed onto the celebration.

Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery — the MVP of the Capital One Bowl — and cornerback Stephon Gilmore announced that they would be leaving Carolina early for the NFL.  Gilmore informed USC’s coaches of his decision yesterday by phone.  Jeffery released a statement through’s Joe Schad:

“I would like to thank the fans, my teammates, Coach (Steve) Spurrier, everyone involved for all the opportunities South Carolina has provided me.  I am proud to say I will always be a Gamecock.  I’m ready for the next step.  I’m physical and can make plays in the red zone.  I can make big plays in big games.  I can work on my speed and get quicker.  I want to be like Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson and Andre Johnson.”

Jeffery is Carolina’s all-time receiving yardage leader with 3,042.  He is also tied with for Gamecock Sidney Rice for the school lead in TD catches with 23.

Gilmore was a freshman All-American and a third-team All-American as a sophomore.  He finishes his USC career with eight interceptions.

The Cocks are still waiting on a stay-or-go decision from junior defensive end Devin Taylor.

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Mangus Apologizes For Arrest; What’s The Appropriate Response?

Following his arrest early Tuesday morning, South Carolina quarterbacks coach GA Mangus put out a brief statement last evening:

“Last night I acted irresponsibly and I deeply regret my actions.  I take full responsibility.  I would like to publicly apologize to Coach (Steve) Spurrier, (athletic director) Eric Hyman, the entire team and everyone associated with the University of South Carolina.”

Upon suspending his QB coach, Spurrier said: “We are all disappointed in his actions and will handle it accordingly.”  But what is accordingly?

There are several possibilities here.

1.  Spurrier might know that keeping Mangus will bring bad press to the program — it will be mentioned during televised Carolina games this fall — and could impact recruiting.  For that reason, he may decide to dismiss Mangus, who he coached as a player at Florida.

2.  Spurrier might realize that now is not the time to upset the apple cart.  He has built and built and built and now has what looks to be his best-ever team in Columbia.  With Stephen Garcia still technically on suspension and likely facing a quarterback duel with Connor Shaw in August, would it be wise to nuke the team’s quarterbacks coach now?  Spurrier could, of course, jump in and handle the QBs himself, but the fact that Mangus remains employed today suggests that he will survive.

3.  And who’s to say he shouldn’t survive?  People make mistakes and Mangus’ alcohol-fueled mistake was not made behind the wheel of a car at least.  Have his coaching and recruiting abilities earned him a second chance at USC?  Does the good outweigh the bad?  That’s something only people inside the program know.  Those screaming for blood on messageboards have no clue of what Mangus has done — good or bad — behind the scenes in Columbia.

4.  This could all be moot if the decision is made above Spurrier’s head.  If Carolina president Harris Pastides or AD Hyman feel Mangus’ actions are impossible to overcome, then he’ll be jettisoned regardless of Spurrier’s feelings.  It certainly seemed this spring that Spurrier wasn’t 100% onboard with the school’s decision to suspend Garcia for a fifth time.  Come to think of it, maybe Hyman’s wife will play a role in the final decision.

A day into this, we at suspect Mangus will be kept onboard but told to find other work.  He’ll be a part of the Carolina coaching staff for the remainder of 2011, but he won’t be around come spring.

But that’s just a guess.  Stay tuned…

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SEC Weekend Commitment News

Here is the news regarding commitments and SEC prospects from the weekend.

-Arkansas received a commitment from wide receiver Kane Whitehurst from Chattahoochee High School in Alpharetta, Ga.

Whitehurst is the 28th commitment in the class of 2011 for Arkansas.

-South Carolina picked up a commitment from athlete Ahmad Christian from Trinity Christian High School in Jacksonville, Fla. Christian committed during an official visit to South Carolina this weekend.

They treated me very well on my visit,” he said. “They’re giving me my number next year. I’m glad to be a Gamecock and have Coach (Steve) Spurrier take me under his wing. It feels great.”

South Carolina has 31 commitments for the 2011 class.

-Linebacker Demarius Rancifer from Pensacola (Fla.) Catholic High School committed to Kentucky during the weekend.

“I just decided it was time to do it,” Rancifer told “Kentucky was the school I knew for quite some time that I wanted to attend. I was just making sure I took a look at all my options before I made it official.”

Kentucky has 20 commitments for 2011.

-Tennessee received a commitment from defensive back Geraldo Orta from Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Ga.

The Vols have 22 commitments for 2011.

-Ole Miss received a commitment from defensive tackle Uriah Grant from Fullerton (Calif.) Community College. Grant, who’s originally from Miramar, Fla., chose the Rebels over Washington, according to

Ole Miss has 26 commitments for 2011.

-Vanderbilt received commitments from three prospects: defensive backs Jacquese Kirk and Jahmel McIntosh and tight end Steven Scheu.

Kirk had been committed to Louisville.

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