Let's get this question out of the way and put it to rest. Where do your loyalties lie in your heart?
:::::::::::::::: loud long laugh ::::::::::::::::::::
"That's straight to the point. Good job."
Thanks - but given the article out of Charlotte a month or so ago - it's a question we have to ask for the fans.
"I never read the article. But let me think here. Better yet, let me put it this way so that we can end all that speculation out there once and for all. My loyalties are here at South Carolina with the Gamecocks and not anywhere else. I am a Gamecock all the way. Make no mistake about that. Never doubt that. My loyalties are right here 100%. I mean I'm here to win and to help this team win and to achieve the goals we have set here at South Carolina. This is where I want to be and this is where I decided to be and this is where I am going to put all my heart and soul and effort into. If there are any doubts now there will not be once this season gets going."
Is there a team you want to beat more than any other?
"I want to win the first one, then the second one then the third one and so on, and yes .... when we get to the eleventh one, I want to beat them too. No one wants to win that one more than I do. Believe me. But we've got ten games before that one and I want to win all of those, too. No one needs to doubt my loyalties or my desire to win certain games. I want to win them all and at the same time I am very in-tune with our fans about certain games. I am a Gamecock. We're all on the same side here believe me."
Beyond Whiteside, Williamson and Thomas - after those three how are your wide receivers looking?
"After those three we've still got a long way to go to get some solid depth. Right now it looks like Michael Flint can help us there in a back up role. I think Sidney Rice, if he can keep coming on he has a chance - but it is awful tough to depend on a freshman. If he'll keep working and learning these next two weeks he's got a chance to help us. I think Kris Clark can be a solid back up player for us. We really need to find a couple more."
Where are you going to find them? Who are they going to be?
"Well, we've gotta get it out of D'Von (Hill) maybe or Austin LeSeine or one of those guys but time is running out on them, there's really only a few days left."
Is there any chance at all of Syvelle Newton seeing time at wide receiver?
"You know ... I don't think, he'll ever be the quarterback he is capable of being if he splits time between quaterback and wide receiver. To me he's gotta make a decision that either he is a quarterback full time or he is a receiver full time. I just don't think that he can do both. Not at that position. If it was wide receiver and running back - then yeah, maybe. But you cannot be a quarterback and anything else."
Do the slot receivers fall under your control?
"No. When they're in the slot position then Coach Roberts is still their coach."
Does having guys like Gonzie and Andrea in the slot help take pressure off your wide receivers?
"No. I don't think it affects them one way or the other. I don't think it's a factor."
So basically you have six receivers to work with this fall?
"We've gotta feel good about Noah and Troy and Matt, and behind them we've just gotta find three guys that can get in there and give us some minutes long enough to rest some legs. We have to find three that will give us some productive time because Noah, Matt and Troy cannot go a whole game - they've gotta have some time to get their legs back."
Can you get through the upcoming season and be productive with what you've got?
"Obviously Noah, Troy and Matt have got to stay healthy. I mean those guys - I mean you can't predict that but if they can stay healthy and those other guys keep coming then I'll feel good about those five or six guys we put out there."
Then you do believe you have enough receivers to have a viable passing game this season?
"Oh sure. But like I said we need those first three to stay healthy and be productive and we need a few of the others to come on strong here real soon."
An Interview With Rick Stockstill
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