Monday, February 2, 2009

Gamecocks scramble for a quarterback

South Carolina has added a 28th member to its highly rated recruiting class with the addition of quarterback Andrew Clifford of Wharton High in Tampa. Clifford had received no other BCS offers, but some observers believe that is because he was a pro-style QB in a run-first high school offense.

And the Gamecocks, after both occasional starter Chris Smelley and reserve Tommy Beecher decided not to return in 2009, are willing to gamble that Clifford is better than most schools apparently believe he is.

Clifford's senior numbers are respectable; he threw for over 2,000 yards and 20 TDs, and ran for 10 more scores. At 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, he has good QB size. And the bottom line is that South Carolina's borderline Top Ten recruiting class was bereft of quarterbacks. Why not give Clifford, whose dad played the position at Florida, a closer look?--Stan Olson