Enjoy the Medal of Honor Bowl show

  • Posted: Friday, January 10, 2014 12:01 a.m.

Our state's two major-college football teams achieved unprecedented combined success in the 2013 season: South Carolina was No. 4 in the final Associated Press poll this week - the highest closing ranking in school history. Clemson was No. 8 - its first top 10 finish since 1990.

But while experience has taught most Gamecock and Tiger fans that all good things must come to an end, that doesn't preclude South Carolinians from still seeing some outstanding college football players in action before spring practice.

Nearly 100 of them will try to impress assorted pro scouts in the first Medal of Honor Bowl starting at 2 p.m. at Johnson Hagood Stadium.

While USC guard Ronald Patrick will be the only member of the Gamecocks or Tigers on the field, the Medal of Honor Bowl will feature 14 other players from USC's Southeastern Conference and 12 from Clemson's Atlantic Coast Conference.

It also will feature distinguished coaches: Former Maryland head coach (and Citadel assistant) Ralph Friedgen will lead the American team, while ex-Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and Georgia Tech head coach Chan Gailey will lead the National team.

And the event will pay tribute to Medal of Honor recipients - and financially benefit the Medal of Honor Museum Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project,

The game's potential pros don't include any projected first-round draft picks. Remember, though, that Clemson (and ex-Berkeley High) running back Andre Ellington and USC linebacker DeVonte Holloman both had impressive 2013 rookie seasons despite not being drafted until the sixth round last year.

Remember, too, that Saturday's all-star spectacle at Johnson Hagood is your last chance to see college football players in live game action in our state until next season's Texas A&M-USC opener on Aug. 28 in Columbia.

And if you want to cheer for a home-turf all-star, root for Citadel cornerback Brandon McCladdie to intercept a pass - or two.

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