Was South Carolina a one trick pony last season? Maybe not.
The Gamecocks, who won their first SEC East Division title and played in their first conference championship game last season, just landed the No. 1 recruit in the country: Jadeveon Clowney.
Even in the uncertain world of recruiting, Clowney is viewed as a difference-maker. He’s a 6-5 defensive end — I’ve seen his weight listed at anywhere from 235 to 252 pounds — who joins a program that generally has had solid defenses. He had 57 sacks in his last two seasons. His arrival follows last year’s addition of running back Marcus Lattimore, who was the biggest key to Steve Spurrier’s offense.
It’s noteworthy that Clowney picked South Carolina over several schools, including Alabama and Clemson.
Granted, it was a down season in the SEC East. South Carolina was the only school with a winning conference record at 5-3. But Clowney’s arrival seemingly affirms the Gamecocks aren’t going anywhere.
Do you agree? Will Georgia bounce back with freshman running back Isaiah Crowell – possibly their version of Lattimore — or will Florida return to the top with new head coach Will Muschamp and Charlie Weis running the offense?
I think we can leave Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt out of this debate.
By Jeff Schultz