Uncertainty Continues To Test Gamecock Nation

By Jarrett Davis 12/17/2014 | jarrett@blockcblog.com

Photo Courtesy of Gregg Martin

It is a gut-wrenching time for the Carolina faithful, and neither Rolaids nor bourbon is going to provide relief to our fan base.  You might be mourning the loss off Will Muschamp or enduring a dizzy bout of vertigo as you watched five recruits disappear from the Gamecock 2015 recruiting class.  Many have taken to the message boards to painfully lament the lack of coaching changes, the belief that Spurrier has lost the team, or the fear that mediocrity waits as the HBC nears the encore portion of his career. 

I found myself thinking, what happened to “New Carolina”? Somehow after the drubbing of Wisconsin last January, we lost ourselves.  The identity of the program that enjoyed thirty three wins in the last three years disappeared.  We no longer have undersized players like Antonio Allen defy the limitations of the measuring tape.  Nor do we have completely unheralded recruits find roles despite the depth chart, like Kenny Miles.   We can’t claim to do more with less talented players anymore. A mainstay like Garrett Chisolm isn’t stepping out of walk-on oblivion these days.  The unshakable leadership cell of Connor Shaw, Marcus Lattimore, and TJ Johnson is gone. 

“We need players that really want to be Gamecocks.” - SOS

I don’t care who your coach is, you’re only as good as the players on the field.  There is a real lack of heart and leadership in the Carolina locker room.  We have scholarships vacated; personally, I would be looking at unheralded in state at players who are former team captains with upside.  We are still an SEC school. We should be able to go to the JUCO ranks for help, fixing recruiting mistakes quickly. Just go get the guys that really want to strap on the garnet and black. 

I hope that Ellis Johnson is back on staff at Carolina as soon as the bowl game concludes.  Who knows more about football in South Carolina than EJ? He is a great recruiter, a problem solver, and he has proven he can be successful with a lot of people around our program.  He is a great teacher and we would have seen our 2014 defense improve under his watch.  I believe that we have had enough success to build from our own fruits.  I would love to see Shaq Wilson and Devonte Holloman prosper under EJ. 

I have heard SOS sing the praises of Deke Adams, but I would love to have Brad Lawing return.  The man belongs at Carolina. He weathered the storm in Columbia when the biscuit shack was hot, before and after tally ho, before we joined the SEC, and before we fired Sparky Woods.  Rumor is he is open to returning, and our Defensive line would immediately benefit from it. 

In 2015, an exit plan needs to come into focus.  Just as companies plan for the departure of a CEO, we should be planning for the departure of the HBC.  I don’t see an assistant on staff prepared to take over.  I am pulling for Connor Shaw in Cleveland but I would sleep better if he were in Columbia as an offensive graduate assistant.  The uncertainty surrounding the program is troubling but the pieces needed to win are not complicated and they are within reach.

By Jarrett Davis 12/17/2014