Checking in on South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- I'm in the Palmetto State today visiting with South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier and catching up with a few players.

The Gamecocks will conclude spring practice this Saturday with their annual spring game, and whether you talk to Spurrier or one of the backups, it's obvious what the goal is in 2012.

"Our goal is to win an SEC championship, and we're not going to stop until we get there," said junior quarterback Connor Shaw, who's both stronger and bigger than he was a year ago.

Shaw has beefed up to 212 pounds. He was right around 200 last season. Getting bigger and stronger was a priority this offseason to be able to better handle the pounding. A big part of the Gamecocks' offense is the zone read, and Shaw carried the ball 135 times last season, which was more than everybody on the team other than Marcus Lattimore.

Similar to a year ago, Spurrier likes this team, likes its work ethic and likes the way it's gone about its business.

"We feel like we have a shot to win now pretty much any time we step out there to play," Spurrier said. "We have good players, and we have a little taste of (winning) now. We'll see if we can keep it going."

On his offensive staff, Spurrier has promoted both Shawn Elliott and Steve Spurrier, Jr. Both now share the co-offensive coordinator title. Elliott, who also coaches the offensive line, is over the running game, while Spurrier Jr., who coaches receivers, is overseeing the passing game.

Spurrier said he will still call the plays, although he'll get input from both Elliott and Spurrier Jr.

We'll have a lot more on the Gamecocks the next day or so in the SEC blog.