COLUMBIA -- South Carolina did not offer a scholarship to former Northwestern High School star Justin Worley -- Tennessee's starting quarterback Saturday night against the Gamecocks.
Despite breaking nearly every passing record in South Carolina prep history, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said the Gamecocks never seriously considered signing Worley.
Worley finished his career with 13,385 passing yards and 157 touchdowns, including a state-record 64 TDs in 2010. Worley was named Gatorade National Player of the Year, while leading his team to the state's Class AAAA Division II State Championship a year ago.
"We went in another direction towards a quarterback," Spurrier said. "You'll have to ask (Gamecocks quarterback coach G.A.) Mangus more about it than me. I guess we went for (freshman) Tanner McEvoy. That was just a decision we made early."
When Spurrier was recruiting defensive tackle Gerald Dixon, Jr., a teammate of Worley's at Northwestern, he asked defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson about the record-setting quarterback. Johnson is the Gamecocks main recruiter for the Rock Hill area.
"I remember asking Ellis, 'How come we didn't go after this guy?'" Spurrier said. "Probably should have. I don't know. He's obviously a very talented young man. I don't know a lot about him, to tell you the truth."
Miles ready, Baker questionable
True freshman running back Brandon Wilds will have the unenviable task of trying to replace All-American running back Marcus Lattimore.
Lattimore suffered a season-ending knee injury two weeks ago against Mississippi State.
Wilds will have some help as junior tailback Kenny Miles appears to have almost fully recovered from a sprained wrist. Miles, who has three 100-yard games to his credit, rushed for 626 yards in 2009.
"Kenny practiced (Monday night)," Spurrier said. "Brandon Wilds is the starter. He's been healthy all season and is practicing more. We think he's a little bit better prepared to play than Kenny right now because of Kenny's wrist. Kenny should get a lot of playing time."
Eric Baker, who has been slowed by an ankle injury, could also play against the Volunteers.
"Eric ran around (Monday night)," Spurrier said. "He's not quite 100 percent, but maybe by Saturday he will be. He will be available for us also."
Spurrier said the players voted on team captains during their open date.
The captains for the rest of the season are defensive tackle Travian Robertson, defensive lineman Melvin Ingram, offensive lineman Terrence Campbell and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.
"We let the guys vote for the top four," Spurrier said. "They were the top four. If we had three on defense, one on offense, or vice versa, we'd have done it like that. Just the top four guys. They're our captains and I think our guys will do a good job. Have a lot of leadership and direction for the team as we make the stretch run the next three weeks."
Watkins said it.
USC offensive tackle Rokevious Watkins on who he'd come as to a Halloween party: "If we did have a Halloween party, I'd be (rapper) Rick Ross. I kind of look like him."
Notice about comments:
The Post and Courier is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point.