The Gamecocks are fleeing the coop.
Defensive lineman Blake McClain became the latest South Carolina player to leave the team, becoming the 10th defection since the end of the season, GoGamecocks.com reported.
If you combine those losses with 31 new players, it means that “at least 36 percent of the Gamecocks scholarship roster will be first-year players” in 2015, the article stated.
Those are the things that happen when a team picked by many to win the SEC East finishes 7-6 and 3-5 in the SEC.
Five of those players are from the defense, which was next to last in the SEC in total defense (432.7 yards), rushing defense (212.2) and pass efficiency defense, third from the bottom in points allowed (30.4) and last in sacks in 2014.
“I think it’s important that we sort of learn to play football a little bit more like we used to around here as far as full speed effort, passion, intensity, tackling, blocking,” Steve Spurrier said in the article. “We have got to go at each other a little bit more than we have in the past. That was obvious. I don’t think I did a very good job of going full speed as much as we needed as it turned out. We have to practice faster and more physical through the spring.”
Spurrier also hired Jon Hoke to help Lorenzo Ward coordinate South Carolina’s defense.
“As everyone knows, we had a difficult year on defense, and we needed to do something a little different,” Spurrier said when Hoke was hired earlier this month.