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Recruiting Earlier And Earlier, South Carolina Coach Spurrier Jr. Points To Urban Meyer’s Influence At Florida

gfx - they said itIf it seems like things changed in college football recruiting in recent years, it’s because they have.  No longer content to focus on the upcoming high school senior class, there’s increased media attention on younger and younger players to the point where it’s not uncommon to see junior high kids getting offers.  South Carolina recruiting coordinator Steve Spurrier  Jr. says a seismic shift has occurred in recent years and points to Florida and former coach Urban Meyer for changing how the game is played.

 

 

“Seven, eight years ago, never in my life (did I) worry about a 10th grader. Ever. A coach would come in and (say), ‘Listen, I’ve got a 10th grader you need to see.’ No, I don’t. I’ll see him in two years. I don’t know where I’m going to be in two years, but I certainly am not going to evaluate this kid now. Now we’ve got guys (saying), ‘I’ve got a great eighth grader. You need to look at him.’ Well, let me see him. What number is he? Give me some tape, I’ll take it back and we’ll evaluate it. It’s changed and it’s pushed everybody back one, two, three years. Florida (with Urban Meyer) was one of the teams that started doing it. The word was out that people were offering people a lot earlier and that you need to do it, too. So that’s what we started doing.”

 

Spurrier Jr. explained why it’s so difficult to judge junior high talent.

 

“God, I don’t where I’m going to be in five years. I have a hard time with that, one. And two, you have a really hard time projecting what a kid will look like. What is he going to look like in five years? I saw a couple eighth graders that were 6-2, 210 pounds. Are you going to be 6-5 and 290? I don’t know what you’re going to look like in four or five years. That gets hard to project.

“More difficult than that, to me, is when I look at a 10th grader that I think is a really good player and now I need to project what they’ll look like. If he’s good enough to offer, I need to offer him. We have to guess what he’s going to look like in two years. But (with) an eighth grader, I’d hate to do that. I don’t want to guess what that kid’s going to look like, what he’s going to be, how fast he’ll be. That’s a long way away. I hope we don’t start offering eighth graders. I hope it doesn’t go that far. I think we’ve offered three ninth graders now (rising sophomores). That’s kind of risky, too.”

 

The Gamecocks currently have five commitments in the class of 2014 and three for the class of 2015.

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Wide Receiver Fuller Commits To South Carolina

Wide receiver Jody Fuller from Sun Valley High School in Monroe, N.C., has committed to South Carolina.

Fuller made the announcement during the Nike 7on tournament at The Opening in Beaverton, Ore.

“They were the first school to offer me,” Fuller said during a broadcast on ESPNU. “They just showed me so much love. Coach (Jay) Graham, Steve Spurrier Jr., they just made me feel at home from day one and I’m just so glad they’re going to be the school I go play with.”

Fuller, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 22 wide receiver by ESPN.com, chose South Carolina over Tennessee, Miami and Virginia Tech.

Fuller is the second receiver to commit to South Carolina this week. Kwinton Smith from Dillon (S.C.) gave his pledge to the Gamecocks on Wednesday.

Fuller is the 12th prospect to commit to South Carolina for the 2012 class.

Fuller credited South Carolina’s coaching staff for building the Gamecocks’ program to the level of an SEC championship contender. Fuller said his goal will be to win a national championship during his time in Columbia.

“We’re going to try to bring them one,” Fuller said.
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Carolina Hires Butler; Gives Lil’ Spurrier New Duties

While former Minnesota defensive line coach Tim Cross is interviewing at Auburn, another former Gopher aide is already signed, sealed and delivered to the SEC.

South Carolina has hired John Butler (left) to take over as the Gamecocks’ special teams coordinator, replacing Shane Beamer (who left to join his father’s staff at Virginia Tech earlier this month).  Butler served as Minnesota’s special teams coordinator and linebackers coach from 2007 through last season. 

Butler has also coached at Harvard and several small colleges.

The recruiting coordinator job — also left vacant by Beamer’s departure — will be filled by Steve Spurrier Jr.  Many had expected Jay Graham or GA Mangus to grab those duties, but they’ll go to the head coach’s son instead.

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