In this weekly feature, GamecockCentral.com gives USC fans an in-depth summary of everything that took place in the world of Gamecock athletics over the past week. At GamecockCentral.com, we provide fans with in-depth, insider coverage. Whether it's press conferences, games, breaking news, analysis, answering your questions, or delivering inside information you will not find elsewhere, we work hard to keep your finger on the pulse of of your Gamecocks.
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Here's the latest on Carolina athletics...
*** Landon Ard and TJ Gurley represented South Carolina as selections to the 2016 National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) Hampshire Honor Society. The group, 868 athletes this year from 275 schools, is comprised of those that maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or better throughout their college career. Ard graduated from USC in May 2015, while Gurley will graduate next week.
*** Steve Spurrier and Sterling Sharpe will be paired with Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer and Cam Young in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge golf tournament from May 1-3. The first place prize will be $100,000 in scholarships and charity, with Spurrier and Sharpe playing for the HBC Foundation.
*** Which one prospect should be the biggest priority on the recruiting trail, and what was Steve Spurrier's biggest mistake at USC? Chris Clark and Wes Mitchell discuss both topics here.
*** What was Spurrier's best move at the helm of the program? And what about Will Muschamp's efforts to put things back on course - when will we have a better idea of how it's going?
*** USC has question marks on the 2016 roster, but one position with talent and experience is linebacker. Why does this corps carry confidence heading into the season?
*** Will Muschamp has coached 21 draft picks at the defensive back positions during his lengthy college coaching career. They've combined for about $220 million in NFL contracts and over 100 years of service time in the league.
*** With his degree now in hand, Marcus Lattimore is ready to make an impact in the business world.
*** A respected NFL Draft pundit has ranked Jerell Adams in the top 50 best available prospects.
*** Another stop on Will Muschamp's "Spurs Up" spring tour took place in Sumter on Thursday night; he talked about Shameik Blackshear, satellite camps, and more...
*** USC offered in-state quarterback Jay Urich recently. What's the scoop on the 6-foot-3 passer? Wes Mitchell broke down his game, what he brings to the table, and more on USC's chances in Carolina Confidential a week ago.
*** With Carolina looking to sign a pair of talented running backs in the 2017 class, North Carolina's Javon Leake is one of the main names to watch on the board. Where do things stand between him and South Carolina? He broke it down in this interview.
*** An in-state 2018 DT from Saluda recently picked up a Gamecock offer, but he's not the only prospect at the school drawing interest. Running back Malik Brooks is also on the radar.
*** Perhaps the most important position on the recruiting trail for USC in the 2017 class is defensive back, with the Gamecock staff looking to load up with a handful of good ones. Georgia's Yusuf Corker was on campus for a two day visit and the Gamecocks took the lead. How did it happen? He provides further details on his thought process.
*** Under the radar wide receiver MJ Jarrell plays in a run-based offense at the high school level, but that has not slowed the pursuit of multiple programs including South Carolina. What's the latest?
*** USC could land a visit from a five-star wide receiver out of California? That could be the case, according to him. Get the scoop on that, plus more on JUCO placement Javon Kinlaw and other recruiting scoop in this recent Insider Report.
*** T.L. Hanna in the Upstate holds three prospects that USC has offered, but one player from the program will be walking on to the program. Find out more about him here.
*** USC continues dipping into other talent-rich states away from the Southeast, with the latest offer to a quarterback coming from the state of Texas. Spencer Sanders discusses what he knows about the program in this interview.
*** Chavis Dawkins signed with South Carolina in the 2016 class after picking up a late Gamecock offer. Could another wideout hailing from the Byrnes program nab an offer soon?
*** Who are some of the other talented defensive back prospects that USC could turn to fill a huge need in the 2017 class? We break that down, plus more, in another Insider Report.
*** USC was the first to offer 2018 Georgia wide receiver Sam James last week.
*** One of the best prospects in USC's 2016 class, Jamarcus King, is set to enroll at the end of May and make a substantial early impact.
*** In-state 2018 recruit Xavier Thomas is a national-level prospect at the defensive end position and has been the subject of a battle between Clemson and USC. He'll be back on campus this weekend along with others.
*** That's also the case for the aforementioned Jay Urich, plus more recruiting talk coming from another edition of Carolina Confidential.
*** The full list, constantly updated, of weekend recruiting visitors in a Friday Insider Report...
*** USC swept Missouri last weekend, with game one's win fueled by a big sixth inning and key Tiger defensive miscues. Chad Holbrook discussed how Clarke Schmidt could not be expected to be perfect in every situation following an atypical start by Schmidt. USC followed on Saturday by securing a series win with a 5-1 victory on Saturday over Mizzou. Alex Destino led the way with four RBIs. The sweep was in order on Sunday, with Gene Cone continuing his torrid hitting pace and the top half of the order having a big day overall.
*** Cone earned two awards: National Player of the Week honors from Collegiate Baseball and SEC Player of the Week after going 10-12 in the sweep over Missouri. The junior went 5-5 on Sunday and also set a school record with a 27-game hitting streak. Cone's streak is the longest active one in Division I baseball. For the season, Cone is hitting .377 (49-for-130) with two homers, two triples, nine doubles, 18 RBI and 37 runs scored.
*** T.J. Hopkins believes USC has a great locker room that has helped shape this team for success. We look back at the season thus far and ahead to the remainder of the campaign.
*** USC has leaned on strong pitching and defense to rise to the top of the SEC standings ahead of a big weekend series with Florida. Could USC's bats also be heating up ahead of that top 10 showdown? Chad Holbrook previewed the series during a press conference on Thursday and our https://southcarolina.n.rivals.com/news/preview-gamecocks-hope-home-field-advantage-helps-against-gatorsfull preview is right here.
*** A few Gamecocks also won midseason honors from the SEC. Get the list here.
*** Head coach Frank Martin was honored by his hometown on Wednesday, being presented with the key to the city of Miami and the key to Miami Dade County. Martin was formerly a high school teacher and coach in Miami for 15 years, spending time at Miami Senior High, North Miami Senior High, and Booker T. Washington.
*** 6-foot-7 North Carolina forward Jairus Hamilton, a four-star prospect, picked up a USC offer last week. He gave his thoughts on the coaches and the program to GCC here.
*** Frank Martin picked up a key commitment from one of the top players on the transfer wire, Delaware's Kory Holden. Find out more here on the impact.
*** USC was honored on Thursday morning at the State House in both chambers of the South Carolina Legislature.
*** USC suffered a close loss in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals to no. 13 Texas A&M, falling 4-3. The Gamecocks finished the season 14-15, one match shy of eligibility for selection to the NCAA Tournament.
*** The Gamecocks lost in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals to no. 12 Auburn by a score of 4-0, finishing the season 19-7 and 9-4 in the conference. Next up for USC is learning its NCAA Regional fate, which will be revealed on May 3.
*** Freshman Ingrid Gamarra Martins was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team, becoming the first Gamecock rookie to be named to a conference team since 2007.
*** USC's season ended with a loss at the CCSA Conference Tournament in Georgia. The Gamecocks went 2-3 over the weekend, knocking off both UAB and No. 10 Florida International. USC fell to No. 9 Georgia State and No. 3 Florida State, twice. USC finished the season 20-15, the first 20-win season in the program's short history. The win over no. 10 FIU was USC's first over a top ten opponent in program history.
*** USC alumnus Wesley Bryan won the Web.com Tour’s El Bosque Mexico Championship presented by INNOVA on Sunday. It was his second Web.com Tour victory of the 2016 season. Bryan posted a four-round total of 269 (-19) to win the tournament by four strokes.
*** USC was swept in a weekend series at no. 14/15 LSU, losing the three games by scores of 7-2, 8-0, and 2-0. The losses took USC's SEC mark on the season to 5-13.
*** Junior Kaylea Snaer captured the SEC single-season doubles record in a 4-1 win over Furman on Tuesday, knocking her 24th in the category. Junior pitcher Nicki Blue posted a complete game in the victory, which took USC to 33-16 on the season. USC hosts no. 4 Alabama beginning on Friday, with first pitch set for 6:00 p.m. at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
*** USC's women's golf team was selected to its 18th straight NCAA postseason berth on Monday night. The Gamecocks are set to compete in the Baton Rouge Regional from May 5-7. USC, ranked no. 24, is a six seed in the regional. The top six teams at each regional site will advance to the NCAA Championships.
*** Asa Kryst signed a deal with the USL's Charlotte Independence, marking USC's 62nd former player to move onto professional soccer. Kryst played over 3,000 minutes in his career and started 14 matches during his final season in 2015.
*** USC held its annual Gamecock Gala on Monday night, and several awards were handed out. The Garnet Award (symbolizing passion and devotion for USC athletics) was presented this year to Jim and Rebecca Shaper. Jim is a former track and field All-American at USC, and he and his wife are continued financial supporters of athletics in Columbia.
Student-athlete award winners in other categories are listed below, per USC:
SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Award: Stevi Parker (women’s soccer), Kevin Leithold (men’s swimming and diving)
SEC Brad Davis Community Service Award: Olivia Hassler (women’s track and field), Bobby Bittner (men’s swimming and diving)
New Student-Athletes of the Year: Emma Barksdale (women’s swimming and diving), David Winters (men’s track and field)
Scholar-Athletes of the Year: Steve Parker (women’s soccer)/Lauren Lamendola (women’s swimming and diving), Sean Kelly (men’s golf)
Community Outreach Team of the Year: Indoor Volleyball
Athletes of the Year: A’ja Wilson (women’s basketball), Akaram Mahmoud (men’s swimming and diving)/Matt NeSmith (men’s golf)
Gamecock Inspiration Award: Emily Ball (women’s soccer)
The Garnet Award: Jim and Rebecca Shaper
President’s Award: Tiffany Mitchell (women’s basketball)
Men’s Basketball: Michael Carrera
Women’s Basketball: A’ja Wilson
Beach Volleyball: Macie Tendrich and Katie Reilly
Cross Country: Mary Reiser
Equestrian: Abigail Pait
Football: Pharoh Cooper
Men’s Golf: Matt NeSmith
Women’s Golf: Katelyn Dambaugh
Men’s Soccer: Danny Deakin
Women’s Soccer: Stevi Parker
Softball (2015 season): Alaynie Page
Men’s Swim/dive: Akaram Mahmoud
Women’s Swim/dive: Julia Vincent
Men’s Tennis: Harrison O’Keefe
Women’s Tennis: Hadley Berg
Men’s Track/field (indoor): Dondre Echols
Men’s Track/field (outdoor/2015): Jussi Kanervo
Women’s Track/field (indoor): Natasha Dicks
Women’s Track/field (outdoor/2015): Jeannelle Scheper
Volleyball: Sarah Blomgren
Carolina Girls Dance Team: Taylor DuPree
Cheerleading : Megan Kunkel
*** USC also placed 75 student athletes on the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll, the league announced.
*** USC also held its annual ring ceremony celebrating the graduation of 78 student athletes.
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