November 21, 2014

#STRecruiting: McIlwain plans to have decision by the early part of 2015

Brandon McIlwain

Brandon McIlwain

USC could find out as early as January or February whether junior QB Brandon McIlwain of Newtown, PA will be its quarterback for the 2016 class.  McIlwain is planning to announce his decision this winter with the first two months of the new year the target period.

McIlwain has been working with a final six of USC, Auburn, Florida, Penn State, Virginia Tech and Duke.   He visited USC for the Georgia game and was at Auburn for the LSU game.  He has also visited Penn State.

His next visit will be to Florida Saturday.  When asked about the impending coaching change there and how it affects this trip, he said, “I already had it planned. I’m mostly going to maintain relationships with all of their coaches.  It doesn’t impact my opinion on the school.  I’m going to interact with whoever the new coach ends up being.  I have a lot of respect for the coaching staff.  I’ve liked them since the beginning and that’s why I’m continuing my relationship with them.”

G.A. Mangus visited McIlwain recently and the two remain in touch.  “He was at my last playoff game,” he said. “I talk to him pretty often and I like South Carolina a lot.”

McIlwain said it’s possible he could make another trip to USC but nothing is definite on that.  He does not think he will be able to visit Duke or Virginia Tech before he makes his decision.  He does not yet have any favorites from his final six.

McIlwain finished his junior season with over 2,100 yards passing and 1,100 rushing. He threw for 18 scores and added 20 more on the ground.

Coastal Carolina QB Alex Ross joins SportsTalk (AUDIO)

Chanticleer QB Alex Ross and LB Mike McClure

Chanticleer QB Alex Ross and LB Mike McClure

For two weeks now Coastal Carolina sits atop the FCS rankings with a perfect 11-0 record, only one of two remaining programs in the country that have yet to take a defeat (along with 11th ranked Harvard).

The man signal caller for head coach Joe Moglia’s offense for the Chanticleers is Alex Ross.  Wednesday night Alex was kind enough to join SportsTalk for a couple of minutes to discuss the 2014 campaign thus far, and also look ahead to Saturday’s matchup with Liberty, and beyond.

The Chanticleer offense is putting up some huge numbers this season, and is a big reason for their overall success.  Ross’ accomplishements and records are abundant and almost too many to list, and three times in the past seven weeks Ross has been named the Big South offensive player of the week.

Coastal Carolina and Liberty will kick things off Saturday in Conway at 1:00.

AUDIO: Alex Ross [9:41]



The M&M Boys 11.19.14 (AUDIO)

WACH FOX's Corey Miller is one half of the M&M Boys on SportsTalk.

WACH FOX’s Corey Miller is one half of the M&M Boys on SportsTalk.

For tonight’s rendition of our M&M Boy’s segment, featuring former USC linebacker and current WACH Fox sports anchor Corey Miller, and former Clemson offensive lineman and radio color man Will Merritt, we kept this weekend’s football forecast to a minimum and pretty much jumped straight to the big one between the two programs on November 29th.

Clemson is coming off of a disappointing loss to Georgia Tech and lost their starting quarterback, DeShaun Watson, in the game as well.  Now that DeShaun Watson’s diagnosis is less severe than originally feared, the biggest sports question in the state has since taken form:  Will DeShaun be healthy enough to play against the Gamecocks?  Tonight Will provides his thoughts to that very question, and more.

USC was on the right side of a fourth quarter thriller for the first time in a long time this past weekend in Gainesville.  The Gamecocks were the beneficiaries of two unlikely special teams plays to pull off a 23-20 stunner in the Swamp.  Miller has been critical of USC’s defense in the past, but he tells us where they improved the most last weekend, if he sees the Florida performance sticking moving forward, and more.

AUDIO: Corey Miller and Will Merritt [15:00]




Dabo Swinney updates Deshaun Watson, addresses Florida rumors (VIDEO)

Dabo Swinney

Dabo Swinney

After putting Wednesday’s practice to bed Dabo Swinney was asked if he wanted to put to bed the speculation that he could be high on Florida’s wish list to replace Will Muschamp. Swinney gave the standard “I love my job at Clemson” line and pretty much left it at that. That is standard operating procedure for coaches when they get linked to vacancies at other schools.

Swinney also updated quarterback Deshaun Watson’s injured left knee. According to Dabo, Watson has progressed enough to do some work on a treadmill and running underwater in a pool.

Watch what Dabo had to say below:


USC seniors and (most likely) Mike Davis prepare for final home game (AUDIO)

Junior running back Mike Davis will be honored with the seniors Saturday.

Junior running back Mike Davis will be honored with the seniors Saturday.

The University of South Carolina football team (5-5, 3-5 SEC) worked out at the Bluff Road practice fields on a cool Wednesday afternoon in Columbia. The Gamecocks are preparing for their final home game of the 2014 season, a Saturday noon start against the South Alabama Jaguars (6-4, 5-3 Sun Belt). A win would make the Gamecocks bowl-eligible for an 11th-straight season.

Saturday will be Senior Day, with 22 players expected to take part in the festivities. The list includes seniors Rory Anderson, Damiere Byrd, A.J. Cann, Ryland Culbertson, Jordan Diaz, Patrick Fish, Cody Gibson, Sharrod Golightly, Tyler Hull, Nick Jones, Kadetrix Marcus, Connor McLaurin, Sidney Rhodes, Corey Robinson, J.T Surratt, Dylan Thompson and Brison Williams. In addition, Mike Davis, Austin Hails, Coleman Harley, Matthew Harvey and Drew Owens, will also participate despite having a year of eligibility remaining. This year’s senior class has been part of 38 wins, tying for the second-most in school history, including three bowl victories.

The Gamecocks still have a lot to play for this season. “We want to get bowl-eligible,” said senior quarterback Dylan Thompson. “And just have a good time doing it. South Alabama is a good team. We’ve got to come out and play hard, play fast. They play fast and we have to be ready for them. It’s going to be a good day to play. Hopefully we’ll finish strong at home. We want to give the home crowd a good show because we haven’t done that the past few times at home.”

“I think it’s gone by pretty fast to tell you the truth,” said senior offensive guard A.J. Cann of his time at Carolina. “I’ve enjoyed it. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but I know it’s Senior Day this Saturday and I’m going to enjoy that. Hopefully we’ll come out with the win, which will be even better for us.”

Saturday’s game will be televised on the Fox Sports Net, with Fox Sport South picking it up in the Columbia area. Bob Rathbun will have the play-by-play with Tim Couch providing the color commentary. Olivia Harlan is the sideline announcer.

The Gamecocks will practice again on Thursday afternoon.