Shane Beamer

USC football coach Shane Beamer at Thursday's press conference  at Cobblestone Park in Blythewood SC. (Photo Credit: Phil Kornblut)

The boys and girls are back in town and ready to go to work preparing for their upcoming seasons. USC athletes are back on campus, and the fall sports teams are gearing up for competition. The first contest is set for Aug. 12, when the women’s soccer team plays an exhibition at Duke. The next day the men’s soccer team hosts Duke in an exhibition, and volleyball holds their Garnet & Black scrimmage.

Football coach Shane Beamer held his second annual golf tournament Thursday, then met with the media and shared the news that veteran defensive tackle Rick Sandidge would be hanging up his cleats, the result of an ankle injury suffered last fall that has not resolved itself. Otherwise, Beamer said, his team is healthy and ready for the start of fall camp Friday.

Beamer also hosted several recruits for visits during the week and picked up a 2024 commitment from CB Karson Hobbs (6-1 180) of Cincinnati Friday and a 2023 commitment from DE Monteque Rhames (6-6 240) of Sumter. Beamer could land a third commitment Sunday afternoon when Dorman OT Markee Anderson announces his choice. He’s down to USC, Clemson, North Carolina and LSU.

Several more preseason watch lists were released during the week and included a handful of Gamecocks: QB Spencer Rattler for the Walter Camp Player of the Year; RB Marshawn Lloyd for the Wuerffel Trophy; Punter Kai Kroger for the Ray Guy Award; CB Cam Smith for the Bronko Nagurski Award and the Jim Thorpe Award; OT Dylan Wonnum for the Outland Trophy; and LB Sherrod Greene for the Butkus Award.

The men’s basketball team officially announced the signing of 6-10 GG Jackson of Ridge View this week. The former North Carolina commitment switched to the Gamecocks and to the 2022 class earlier this month. He participated in his first practice with head coach Lamont Paris and the staff Thursday afternoon.

The Gamecocks will be playing in the Charleston Classic this Nov., and the tournament’s schedule was announced during the week. USC will face Colorado State in the opening round. The other opening-round matchups will be Furman vs Penn State, Old Dominion vs Virginia Tech, and The College of Charleston vs Davidson.

Women’s basketball star Aliyah Boston was named 2021-22 CoSIDA Academic All-America Team Member of the Year for Division I, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). The honor caps a season in which numerous organizations have recognized Boston as the best at her position, in her sport, in women’s sports and across all sports.

The equestrian team released this season’s schedule during the week and will open the competition Sept. 23 at Delaware State. The Gamecocks will also face Minnesota-Crookston that weekend. The home opener will come against Baylor Sept. 29. The SEC opener will be at Texas A&M Oct. 8, and the first SEC home competition will come against Auburn Nov. 4. The Gamecocks will also host the SEC Championships March 23 and 24.

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