Part of the growth process at South Carolina and the expectations surrounding the Gamecocks this year have to do with success in recruiting.
Steve Spurrier says he's been able to attract the best in-state talent to Columbia. This year, getting the No. 1 player in South Carolina meant getting the No. 1 player in the nation – defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
Rivals.com rated the Gamecocks' class No. 18 this year, but Spurrier went inside the team rankings to illustrate a key point.
“This is the first time according to the recruiting experts that a No. 1 guy picked a school that has not won a national championship,” he said. “In other words, he said he has confidence that his home state school can win big. Hopefully we can.”
Spurrier says Clowney (6-6, 247) will play a big role.
“With Devin Taylor at one end and Clowney coming from somewhere, hopefully we'll have a pass rush.”