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May 21, 2009

Spurrier: Kiffin whiffed on South Carolina pledges

Scott Hood
Rivals.com College Football
Staff Writer
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Tuesday night, South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier declined the opportunity to throw a jab at Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin.

Twenty-four hours later, Spurrier threw a right cross to the jaw of Kiffin and ex-South Carolina recruiting coordinator David Reaves, who left the Gamecocks to join his brother-in-law in Knoxville.

While Tennessee may have signed the top running back prospect in the nation, Kiffin and Reaves struck out when it came to convincing South Carolina pledges to switch their commitments to the Vols in the final stages of the recruiting cycle, Spurrier told a boisterous crowd attending the Lower State Region Gamecock Club meeting on Wednesday night.

"We had 20 commitments when we fizzled out at the end of the year," Spurrier said. "We didn't lose any of them. Our former recruiting coordinator went to Tennessee with his brother-in-law and they tried to recruit just about every one of the kids that were committed to us. They got zero."

Instead, it was South Carolina reaped the benefits of Kiffin's hiring. Running back Jarvis Giles (Tampa, Fla.) and defensive back D.J. Swearinger (Greenwood, S.C.) both decommitted from Tennessee after former coach Phil Fulmer was fired and ended up signing with South Carolina.

AJIBOYE BACK ON TEAM: Prior to the start of the meeting, Spurrier said DT Ladi Ajiboye, indefinitely suspended in March, had been reinstated to the team but will face additional penalties. The most likely sanction he faces is a suspension from one or more regular-season games.

Scott Hood is the team beat reporter for GamecockCentral.com and covers South Carolina football, basketball and baseball. He joined GamecockCentral.com in January 2005.
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