No. 39 Demetrius Smalls
This walk-on defensive back joined the squad earlier this year. He attended the University of South Carolina last fall but did not participate in football. Graduating from Bluffton in Bluffton, S.C., the all-star turned away a scholarship offer from Army.
Head coach Steve Spurrier holds a 77-39 record at Carolina, making him the winningest coach in the school’s history.
All together, the Old Ball Coach has compiled a 219-79-2 record over his coaching career. He’s coached a national championship team, taken seven SEC titles, and gathered nine conference Coach of the Year awards.
This will be his tenth season with the Gamecocks, and South Carolina has certainly turned tables with Spurrier on board.
The garnet and black have gone 11-2 the past three seasons, but it wasn’t always this way. Lou Holtz 2004 season left the Gamecocks at a 6-5 record and a dead 4-4 in the SEC.
”It was a school, you could probably describe their football tradition as mediocre, they had a losing record overall, way under .500 in SEC games. Nowhere to go but up,” stated Spurrier at SEC Media Days this year.
During his first season, the Gamecocks set a 7-5 record and placed second in the SEC Eastern Division. South Carolina even gained ground over Tennessee, taking its first win ever at Rocky Top, and a win over Florida since the first time in the 1930’s.
Since then, Spurrier has lead the Gamecocks to three bowl victories in a row and even established elite talent in the program.
Jadeveon Clowney has become a household name after this year’s NFL Draft. Spurrier continues on his quest for elite talent with the best help.
“Right now we have a great group of assistant coaches. They can go recruit, coach their position, wonderful president, athletic director. It’s a wonderful group to work for an be around,”
With playoff hopes in the future and adding one more finger to the Clemson wins, Spurrier has a bright outlook on Carolina’s horizons.
“As far as the playoff, who knows. Shoot, yeah, we would have a chance.”
GamecockPride.com will keep you updated on South Carolina’s 2014 season ahead.