Spurrier pleased with 2008 signing class

Steve Spurrier introduced the 2008 South Carolina signing class at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. Despite this year's class not receiving the same level of acclaim as last year, Spurrier expressed satisfaction with the 2008 freshman class.

"This is a good, solid bunch of guys to add to the players we brought in last year," said Spurrier. "We were able to redshirt quite a few last year, so we have a strong nucleus of players with anywhere from three to four years of eligibility ready to go. This is a good, solid group, probably ranked similar to the other two years, between 21 and 25. We think we got a bunch of good guys that eventually are going to help us and really play well."

As with last year's class, Spurrier hopes to redshirt as many of the incoming players as possible. He refused to specify which or how many of the players he planned to redshirt, saying coaches do not really know until they get the players on campus.

"There is a good chance we will redshirt a lot of them," he said. "That's what you hope to do. You hope to play with a lot of fourth and fifth year players."

Spurrier acknowledged that this year in-state rival Clemson won the recruiting "battle." However, he did not seem to see any reason to be discouraged. He also refuted the notion that the off-season coaching changes the Gamecocks experienced had a negative effect on recruiting.

"No, I don't think it did at all," Spurrier said when asked if the turnover hurt recruiting. Then he turned his focus toward Clemson. "We try to sign the best players we can sign from in-state to the surrounding states to wherever we have a connection. Maybe we should focus a little more in-state, but we did focus in-state, too. I don't think winning or losing the last game mattered a whole bunch. Now losing all five of them may have mattered a little bit."

Spurrier went on to say he was comfortable with the makeup of the class. He feels that the Gamecocks are a well-balanced team, with talent and depth at every position. However, as he talked, he decided there is one position Carolina could be in need of an extra body or two.

"Tight ends, we may be a little thin there with Nick Prochak breaking his leg on a scooter," Spurrier said. "If you look at our overall team, we are fairly well-balanced."

As he concluded the press conference, it was evident that Spurrier is already done thinking about recruiting, and is thinking about coaching. He is already thinking about spring practice, and what needs to be accomplished. With the returning nucleus from Spurrier's first three recruiting classes, it is time for the coaches to start making some strides with the team.

"We just need to do a good job coaching this spring," said Spurrier. "We are excited about coach Ellis Johnson and Ray Rychleski. We got some new direction here, we will do some things a little bit different offensively also, and see if we can become a better team. We need to be near the top on offense and defense and we have not done that very well."

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