South Carolina Gamecocks Biggest Mistake this Offseason


Last season was arguably the South Carolina Gamecocks worst defensive performance ever since joining the SEC; giving up 34 or more points in seven games and finishing second to last in the SEC in total defense, giving up 432.7 yards per game. Fast forward to present day and here we are three games into the season with our defense playing no different than last year.

So what’s the problem? Last year we rationalized that it was because we lost Clowney and so many other great talents on defense. Now we have a new Co-Defensive Coordinator and talented returning players but still seem to be headed towards being the worst defense in our division.

Some might say the reason we are struggling is because we are not talented enough and that the coaches are dealing with what they have. Well let’s look at the players starting on defense currently and how they were ranked when being recruited:

DE – C. COOPER- 3 Star


NT – DIXON JR. – 3 Star

DE – LEWIS – 4 Star

MLB – MOORE – 4 Star

WLB – WALTON – 3 Star

SLB – BRYANT – 4 Star

SPUR – GURLEY – 3 Star

LCB – ELDER – 4 Star

FS – I. JOHNSON – 3 Star(Transfer)

SS – DIGGS – 3 Star

RCB – HARRIS – 3 Star

Now I’m one to believe regardless of the rankings these players get, the one thing that truly matters dealing with their success in college is the coaches ability to develop them. This is something that I think South Carolina’s defensive staff has done a horrible job with and the reason why we need to make changes somewhere on the that side of the staff.

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You might argue that the same coaching staff was there when we were dominating teams on defense with players like Clowney, Ingram, Allen, Holloman, Swearinger and so forth. My argument to that is these are players that any NFL team would take on any given Sunday, and that maybe this coaching staff just requires those types of rare talented players to have success.

Now back to what I truly believe could end up being the biggest mistake made this offseason if we continue to struggle on defense this season, the passing up of now current Texas A&M Defensive Coordinator John Chavis. Chavis is from South Carolina and a great recruiter and defensive coach; as we all know with his success at LSU and now, making Texas A&M one of the best defensive teams in the Nation.

According to, this offseason Chavis pursued a job to be the New Defensive coordinator for our Gamecocks. If it is true that Steve Spurrier gave up Chavis so he could bring in Jon Hoke and this defense crashes and burns for another year then this is all on Spurrier.

Last year Spurrier put it on Ward and the staff but with his guy Hoke not making our defense even close to being any better so far this year, we will deserve some kind of explanation other than a simple  “we will try to tackle better” and “move some guys around” nonsense that we have been told repeatedly since last year.

Hopefully I am wrong, and Hoke shows me something different soon with the meat of our SEC schedule coming up. Our Gamecocks must find a way to win games we won’t be favored in to make sure we have a winning season. As of right now there hasn’t been much of anything that shows me we made the right choice passing up on a great college defensive coach and recruiter in John Chavis for Jon Hoke.

Next: 5 Games the Gamecocks Can Still Win

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