Gurley Focused On One Thing

Rumors and speculation of Tori Gurley's future at South Carolina have been swirling for a week. Gurley answered that speculation Friday following the team's second workout in preparations for the Chick-fil-A Bowl against Florida State.

For now, Tori Gurley is still a South Carolina Gamecock. Nothing more, nothing less. Like many other third-year players across the nation, Gurley sent in his paper work to be evaluated by the NFL.

"I just sent in my papers just to get an evaluation," Gurley said Friday morning following an early practice. "Coach Spurrier encourages us all to send in our papers to see where we stand at and I'm just waiting on my grade to get back."

Rumors have been swirling that Gurley is leaning towards entering the draft and forgoing his final two years of eligibility at Carolina. Gurley says that's not the case.

"I'm not leaning towards anything," Gurley said. "I'm just waiting to get my grades back. The coaches do a great job of coaching me up and showing me things but I just wanted to get a scout's evaluation."

Gurley, who has 42 catches for 416 yards and four touchdowns so far in the 2010 season, has the body to be an NFL wide receiver. At 6'5, 230 pounds, Gurley fits the mold of the typical NFL receiver. However, many feel that he could use at least another season at the collegiate level before making the jump to the NFL. As of now, Gurley is just worried about one thing.

"As of right now I'm doing everything it takes to win this game in the Chick-fil-A Bowl," Gurley said.

The Gamecock football staff is taking a different approach to this year's bowl game than they did in the last two bowl games. After a 31-10 loss to Iowa in the 2009 Outback Bowl and a 20-7 loss in last year's Bowl, who could blame them? While the Gamecocks only have 11 practices scheduled before the December 31st Chick-fil-A Bowl against Florida State, they're going to be a lot different than head coach Steve Spurrier's normal approach to bowl games.

"We're going a lot good on good," quarterback coach G.A. Mangus said. "We went good on good today in team (practice) the entire time. That part of it is a little change up - a little more physical. I think getting out there and doing good on good is really a big help for us right now."

That is a stark contrast from Spurrier's approach of taking things easy and not have a lot of contact. That certainly hasn't gone unnoticed by the players.

"(We're) more focused," Gurley said. "They're (coaches) a lot more hands-on and we're just going out here and trying to execute. Our offense kind of struggled a little bit in the past two years of bowl play, but now we're trying to come out and excel."

Running back coach Jay Graham says that mindset has already started to rub off on the players.

"We're trying to have high intensity and have a lot of effort in practice and guys are doing that," Graham said. "They understand how important it is to get after and try and win this game."

Mangus believes that the team has to focus on Florida State, but they must remember what happened the last two seasons in order to not repeat it this season.

"It's in the past but surely we're not going to forget the last couple of bowl games here," Mangus said. "We've got to play better so I think it's something you never forget about. But on the other hand you've got to have the ability to move on. We're playing Florida State so we've got to think about that and forget about last year's game."

Mangus - like Gurley - has been rumored to possibly be leaving the program after this season. Mangus, who spent four seasons at Widener University in Philadelphia, has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the head coaching job at Temple University. Mangus says his time spent at Widener is the only reason he's in the conversation for the head coaching job.

"If I never would have coached up in that area - I think that's just natural - I got ties to that area and all that," Mangus said. "(I'm) getting ready for Florida State."

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