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Focus On In-State Recruits Pays Off For Cocks

Steve Spurrier has finally accomplished one of the most important challenges he faced when he took over the South Carolina program in late-2004 — he’s luring the state’s top talent to Columbia.

Since joining the SEC, Carolina has seen Palmetto State prospects head in droves to Clemson (in-state, too, of course), Georgia and Tennessee.  But Spurrier has helped to build up a wall around the state’s Western border.  The Dawgs and Vols don’t go into Carolina like they used to… and Clemson is no longer landing the state’s A-1 top prospects.

Sorry Tiger fans, but you know you’d have loved to have gotten Marcus Lattimore last year and Jadeveon Clowney his past signing day.

Carolina AD Eric Hyman told Travis Haney of The Charleston Post & Courier that “five or six years ago you could not have imagined South Carolina signing the top-ranked player in the country.”  No, you couldn’t have.  Five or six years ago, Clowney would have gone to Clemson, if he’d stayed in state at all.

Departing recruiting coordinator Shane Beamer said, “We’ve been trying to tell guys they don’t have to leave the state to win championships.”  At long last, that message is being heard.

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SEC Headlines – 2/18/11 Part Two

1.  Florida’s Chandler Parsons is “rehabbing three times a day to get ready for LSU” on Sunday…

2.  But his status is still listed as day-to-day.

3.  Georgia has made its hiring of inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti official.

4.  UGA’s collapse against Vanderbilt on Wednesday made Kentucky’s path to an SEC Tournament bye tougher.

5.  DeAndre Liggins has joined the “Society of Character.”  Next stop: The Justice League of America.

6.  This writer is hearing that several big-name coaches are recommending former Miami Dolphins special teams coach John Bonamego to Steve Spurrier.  (As a replacement for Shane Beamer.)

7.  Tennessee defensive end underwent surgery on his right Achilles on Wednesday.  He injured his left Achilles last August.

8.  UT big man Brian Williams jokes that he’s “the best guard in the country.”

9.  Yet another sensible, must-read piece from Seth Emerson of The Macon Telegraph.  “Are we covering/working/rooting at schools that happen to have football teams, or creeping dangerously close to European soccer?”

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SEC Headlines – 1/31/11 Part Two

1.  Their weekend loss in Starkville has knocked Florida back out of the AP Top 25.

2.  Chandler Parsons has been making a difference for the Gators on the glass.

3.  Georgia has officially posted the job of offensive line coach on its website… following Stacy Searels’ departure for Texas.

4.  Mark Richt is getting credit for putting together what could turn out to be his best recruiting class.

5.  Kentucky is back inside the Top 10 today.

6.  Andy Kennedy needs his Mississippi team to shoot better against the Wildcats tomorrow night.

7.  South Carolina recruiting coordinator Shane Beamer — who’s no longer believed to be on Alabama’s short list — opened up about the Gamecocks’ recruiting message yesterday.

8.   Freshman Tobias Harris is playing with a lot of composure.

9.  Tennessee plans to retire Allan Houston’s jersey prior to the Vols home game against Kentucky on March 6th. 

10.  That’s probably why Harris was named the SEC’s Freshman of the Week.

11.  Vanderbilt’s James Franklin will officially announce his defensive assistants this afternoon.

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