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Feb. 2, 2011


Signing Day Press Conference

South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier
Opening Statement
We think it’s a good bunch. We’re excited that we actually signed about 30 or 31 out of about 38 guys we went after. Percentage-wise it was pretty good this year. Coaches did a super job really recruiting these guys well over a year. As we all know, recruiting is not just a nine month but sometimes a one to two year process of hanging with these guys, getting to know them and developing relationships. Our assistant coaches did an excellent job, and our players on campus have to be good recruiters, especially the young guys. All those freshmen did a super job hosting and showing those guys around on their visits. I think it’s a well-balanced class with 15 on offense and 15 on defense. We did a good job on our in-state guys getting most that we were after in-state. Hopefully three or four years from now we’ll find out if this was an outstanding recruiting class or not. That’s the test down the road. We’re happy with the players that came with us, and we feel like we have a chance to continue doing some big things and bigger things in the next few years.

On if he thought the class finished strong
I think so. We got commitments and signed papers from the last three guys we were recruiting so that added our number up a little bit. As you know, recruiting is not an exact science. You can’t say we’ll sign 24. You may sign 22 or 26 and then you just have to work it out the best way you can. We felt pretty good about the class. Now it’s up to the players and us to coach them into being outstanding student-athletes and represent our school in championship-winner type fashion.

On Martay Mattox
Martay Mattox right now came with the defensive backs. We had a meeting yesterday and right now he’s with Coach Ward at defensive corner. Originally we thought he’d come in at quarterback and he still might, but right now he’s with the defensive backs.

On Tanner McEvoy
Tanner we think has a chance to be an outstanding player. He was the New Jersey state player of the year. He led his team; I don’t think they won the state championship but they were in the playoffs. His stats were very good this year. He can run and dodge guys. He’s a 4.5 40-type guy and 6’4″, so he has some height and throws the ball well. I’m looking forward to working with them.

On if winning the SEC East helped recruiting
It helps. I remember they asked (Georgia head coach) Mark Richt how much it helped, and he said most guys committed before the season started. Even our guys we felt like we had a pretty good relationship before the season started. But certainly the ability to prove you can win big games showed the guys we can win big here. We haven’t done it yet, we haven’t won big, but we did get the eastern division and made a little bit of promise, but we’re hoping for bigger years.

On the tight ends
We’re excited about all these tight ends. Jerell Adams and Rory Anderson, better known as Buster, and Drew Owens. We’re excited about all three of those guys. We think they have a chance to play some next year. We’ll see how it all plays out. I don’t like to put one ahead of the other. They’ll all come in and compete. Between Drew, Buster and Jerell, Buster could be sort of the wide reciever type too. He’s not as thick as Drew and we hope Jerell will be, but that gives us three guys to work with. We’re thin at that position. Justice Cunningham is the lone returning player at that position.

On the 28-signee rule
The 28 rule was put in this year. I think Ole Miss signed 35 and they knew they weren’t coming to their school, so the AD’s or Presidents got together and said you can only sign 28. It makes it a little different than in the past. (In the past) You could sign three, four or five guys that were questionable and it always worked out for us with the ones that didn’t make it. It makes it a little different now.

On surprises in the signing class
Going into today we felt like all these guys would sign and thus far we have. I think there’s one piece of paper across the country somewhere so there haven’t been that many surprises. This past week we got commitments from Jerell Adams, Phillip Dukes and Cedrick Cooper who was a late addition. We got our last three guys so that’s good.

On recruiting rankings
We all look at recruiting rankings. I think we were 24 on ESPNU. In all of them we’ll be around 25, which is OK. They were talking about Virginia Tech has never been high, but every year they’re competing for the ACC title. Urban Meyer said three years from now nobody will give a dang where you ranked in recruiting; everybody only cares today.

On Brandon Shell
We’re going to give Brandon Shell an opportunity to play left tackle this year. He’ll be getting coached real hard and we’ll coach real hard. Kyle Nunn is there right now. Hopefully Brandon will come in and compete for starting positions, playing time or whatever. Brandon is a big-time recruit and could have gone anywhere in the country. It’s neat to see the best in-state players staying in our state now.

On how they will tell apart the Dixon brothers
One of them went to Northwestern and one went to South Pointe. We call them South Pointe Dixon and Northwestern Dixon.

“You should call them North Dixon and South Dixon”
Yeah that might be simpler.

On Coach Mangus’s connections to the northeast
The New-Jersey-Philly area, Coach G.A. coached at Delaware Valley so he has a lot of connections. We were able to pull three players out of there we think will be great players.

South Carolina Recruiting Coordinator Shane Beamer
On differences between Shamier Jeffery and his brother, current Gamecock Alshon Jeffery
They’re great athletes and competitors. They’re shining out there and have been well-coached by Coach Wilson. Shamier has done a bit of everything. Alshon was receiver while Shamier played quarterback, wide receiver and everything. I’m looking forward to getting Shamier here and seeing how he fits.

On the signing class and situations where schools wait on prospects after signing day
We feel real good about this class at this point. It’s a new situation for me. I remember a couple of guys last year waited, but it’s a new one for me. At this point it would be a big impact on this class but its already a good class.

On recruiting in the state of South Carolina
We were fortunate that this year was a good year in the state of South Carolina for defensive linemen. That’s where it starts is the state of South Carolina. We want to solidify the situation in this state. There were 11 guys in this state we were actively recruiting and we signed nine of them. We were fortunate this year there were a lot of talented defensive linemen in this state. When you can sign those kind of defensive linemen out of your own state, that makes it a lot easier. It was a position of need for us. We didn’t have a lot of depth and lost Ladi Ajiboye and Cliff Matthews. I really like the way we finished things at that position.

On the ability for freshman to play right away
If they’re good enough to play, we’ll try to get them on the field from day one. We’ll try to get our best athletes out there. We have a lot of guys on this list that have size and can run. Those are two qualities you have to have, so certainly when we get them here in august we’ll keep an eye on a bunch of those guys.