Spurrier, Clowney set bar high at Media Days
South Carolina is preparing for another successful season, and head coach Steve Spurrier and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney spoke about that preparation and last year’s 11-win season last Thursday at the Southeastern Conference Media Days.
“Our message this year about South Carolina football is pretty simple,” Spurrier said, “We believe we’re capable of winning the SEC … Win the division, and win our first ever SEC Championship, that’s the goal,”
This upcoming season for the Gamecocks is centered on hype, potential and a more favorable schedule then in recent seasons. Gamecock fans enjoyed watching Jadeveon Clowney’s helmet-popping hit on Michigan’s Vincent Smith on repeat and South Carolina hoisting another bowl trophy for the second season, but this year Gamecocks believe more can be accomplished especially with a superstar defensive end like Clowney.
Clowney, a potential Heisman Trophy candidate, is getting ready to add on to already impressive two seasons as a Gamecock. His goal this year is simple: win an SEC Championship to end his career at South Carolina at the top of the toughest conference in college football.
“That is one of goals, to win a SEC Championship,” Clowney said, “We were two games away the last two years from winning it, couple plays away,” Clowney said, “We just know we have to work harder, harder working, hoping this season is a good season for us.”
Clowney is a player on many defensive award watch-lists and has everyone talking about South Carolina football. Gamecock fans jump out of their seats when they hear their star defensive end, standing at 6 feet 6 inches and 274 pounds, ran a 4.46 second 40-yard dash in the off-season. His talent level exceeds that of a typical college player and he is projected by many as the future first overall pick. It is unknown what he can accomplish this season, but it is known Gamecock fans are excited to watch and see.
In addition to Spurrier and Clowney, wide receiver Bruce Ellington and quarterback Connor Shaw were at Media Days talking about the hype and some personal goals they believe they can accomplish.
Shaw had a tough physical year, dealing with his foot injury for the majority of the season. This off-season he has done well to prepare for the physical grind he is about to encounter.
“The main thing is preparing for it,” Shaw said, “I’ve put on 10 pounds., my spring coach has done a great job trying to get my body ready for the gauntlet of the SEC week in week out.”
Shaw has recorded a quiet 17-3 record as a starter for the Gamecocks and will strive to continue his success with his hard work ethic and motivation to become a better quarterback every week.
The Gamecocks two-sport athlete Bruce Ellington will be Shaw’s main target come August with Ace Sanders’ departure to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Ellington has played well as a wide receiver and will be featured more on kick and punt returns this upcoming season.
“I’m just concentrated on doing the same thing I’ve been doing the last two years, just going out and giving it all I got,” Ellington said.