Spurrier: We're Headed In The Right Direction
USC coach Steve Spurrier walked into the media room at Williams-Brice Stadium for Wednesday's signing day press conference at 5 p.m. The problem was the conference wasn't scheduled until 5:30 p.m.
But with a top 10 recruiting class in the bag, Spurrier was excited to take the microphone and sing the praises of what the Ol' Ball Coach saw as a highly successful offseason.
"We're making some progress around here. We're heading in the right direction," Spurrier said. "So we're trying to continue to move to be one of the best football programs in the SEC and if we can do that we'll be one of the best in the country."
Spurrier, whose class was ranked as high as No. 4 by ESPN, was pleased with the other schools his class was being compared to.
"It is sort of neat to see our name in there with Texas, Southern Cal, Florida, Notre Dame," Spurrier said "A friend of mine said I didn't think I'd ever see South Carolina with that group."
The group of newcomers mainly focused a class of wide receivers, defensive linemen and defensive backs, all needs the Gamecocks needed for the coming season.
"We're excited about all these defensive linemen, the wide receivers, defensive backs," Spurrier said. "We feel like we got a lot of good players with good attitudes that want to do well. That want to graduate from our school and want to be the best player they can be and help us win the SEC."
The make up of the recruiting class consisted of seven defensive linemen, wide receivers, and defensive backs. The remaining players included two running backs, tight ends, offensive linemen, and linebackers, as well as one quarterback and athlete. With names like Stephen Garcia, Mark Barnes, and Chris Culliver filling the class, Spurrier was ready to focus on one area that is key to his offensive style.
"We don't have a lot of returning wide receivers who have done much," Spurrier said. "We targeted wide receivers because we didn't sign but one last year. So that was targeted. We ended up getting a little more than we shot for."
Spurrier attributed many factors to the program's success at landing such a touted class, including the season finish with wins over Clemson and Houston, exposure from ESPN, the new facilities and even the fan support.
"I think the biggest reason we were able to put this class together was because of the crowd noise, what our fans do at the home football game," Spurrier said. "I think the atmosphere shown on television was as good as about anywhere in the nation of big time college football."
"Our assistant coaches did a super job. Everybody pitched in and did a super job," Spurrier said. "Our current guys were super and they continue to be super. We don't have any problems with guys right now. They're finally getting in a good habit of doing things the right way."
With seven players enrolling early, Spurrier expects the level of competition to be at an all time high when the team begins spring practice in March.
"We'll have a lot of players ready for spring practice, which should be interesting," Spurrier said. "When these players join the team hopefully we can coach them up as fast as possible. I don't know how many of these players will play this year. We'll let them compete with the players we have to find out."
- Spurrier also revealed upcoming plans for the team, which included his second nationally televised spring game in three years. The game will be carried on ESPNU on April 14 with Carolina grads Hootie and the Blowfish opening the game and playing the halftime show. "We're going to try to turn it into a little bit of a fundraiser to help get these facilities built," Spurrier said.
- The team has also signed a contract to have Under Armour as the team's official uniform supplier when the Russell contract ends. "They make cool stuff our players like. I think our fans are really going to like the uniform. We're going to add a little pizzazz to our uniform," Spurrier said.
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