Rooster Report - 26 March 2004

Information from around the program that the fans have been asking about ...

Fran Person at tight end ... in my Rooster Report a few days ago I mentioned him being moved back to tight end but I also mentioned not knowing about his hands. Two days later I offer this observation. He has good hands. I mean really good hands. And he has the ability to run good routes, go after poorly thrown balls, and run over people after the catch. Couple this with the fact that Paul Lounseberry is now the tight ends coach (they did this because Coach Lounseberry has been given a mandate to get the tight ends ready to play ball), and I believe it is safe to say we might be seeing a new trend, if not a mind set, from Lou Holtz with regard to his tight end philosophy. It appears to me that there will be a greatly increased emphasis placed on using the tight end in this coming season's offensive game plan. You take this for what it is worth, but the Gamecocks, IMHO, are going to have a tight end attack this season the likes of which we have not seen since the 1980 season.

We've gotten a lot of emails concerning two off season changes that were made within the ranks of our coaching staff. (1) Was Clyde Wrenn dismissed because of some sort of recruiting violations he may have been involved in? (2) Was Dave Roberts demoted and replaced as Recruiting Coordinator because of some sort of recruiting violations he may have been involved in?

The answer to both is a resounding ... NO.

Clyde Wrenn was not fired. He resigned after learning that his position, one which had been, for all practical purposes phased out seven years ago, was being finally phased out. Clyde made a personal decision to go ahead and resign now and get on with his life. There were and are some opportunities out there for Coach Wrenn which he felt would be better pursued now rather than later. He was not having problems with Mike McGee. He committed no recruiting violations. He was not fired. His position was simply being phased out and those funds were redirected to the salaries of the new members of the coaching staff. It is as simple as that. It was a business decision based on economics and nothing else.

Dave Roberts on the other hand, is a man who likes to hit the road and recruit. Dave was not demoted. It was his decision as much or more than it was anyone else's, to have Rick Stockstill take over as Recruiting Coordinator, thus allowing Coach Roberts to hit the road free from the paperwork and coordinating worries that comes with the title. He did not receive a pay cut as some of you are suggesting in your emails. As a matter of fact his contract was extended and he received a pay raise during the off season. He turned down a very attractive and lucrative offer from Nebraska to stay in his beloved South Carolina and continue to coach under Lou Holtz. Rick Stockstill is perfect for the job and relishes the paperwork and increased time-workload. He is energetic and motivated to take over the duties and responsibilities of coordinating the staff in their recruiting endeavors. Dave Roberts enjoys being on the road and meeting with prospects in far away places like Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and beyond. The change had absolutely nothing to do with any alleged recruiting violation rumors being propagated by Clemson and Tennessee people.

Construction on the new weight training facility has begun. I was over there this morning. From the outside it appears that nothing has been done except to fence off the area around the south end zone. But I was taken on a private tour underneath and that is where the real construction has already begun. They already have all of the old concrete and pavement, some of it more than 70 years old I was told, torn up and removed. Only old and ancient dirt is showing in the shadows of the bleachers above. Those who are used to using the facilities underneath the south end zone will be surprised when they make their first trek back to Williams-Brice this coming season. Until this morning I had no idea how modified that area is going to look once construction is completed. The target date for completion is mid-October ... but do not be surprised to see it take a few weeks longer than planned.

We've been getting a lot of inquiries concerning two instate prospects that, at the moment at least, do not appear to have a lot of interest in the Gamecocks. They are C.J. Byrd and Hivera Greene. Here is what I have garnered with regards to both of these prospects and I'll paraphrase the various reponses in the order which they have been most often received from my sources.

(1) There is a long way to go before signing day. We will become more involved as the season progresses - but make no mistake about it. Our coaches know who they are and they are high on the prospect board.

(2) Byrd is slightly upset at not receiving more personal attention from Lou during his visit on Junior Day. Other head coaches singled-out Byrd and made him feel 'more welcomed.' Well, Lou was not ignoring Byrd, it's just that right now Lou is more concerned with Spring Practice and reconnecting with his current players. The time will come when Lou will devote his attention to the new prospects. Until that time comes the most important thing that can be done to help recruit for the next class ... is to win.

(3) Byrd's parents are Gamecock fans and they will be willing to give USC strong consideration during the course of his recruiting process.

(4) Greene grew up an Oklahoma fan and he loves Bob Stoops. However, as with most big time prospects, he is keeping his options wide open this early in the process and is not going to show his hand. He is being courted by, and offered by, so many of the big time names right now that he is relishing the spotlight. He has six or seven in mind that he likes. South Carolina is one of them and they are in the hunt. Clemson, Tennessee, Auburn, Michigan and N.C. State are the others and Georgia is expected to enter the hunt soon. He will camp at South Carolina among others if given the opportunity. Expect the Gamecock coaches to make huge inroads with him, and many other blue chip prospects, during the camps this summer.

- Rooster

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