SEC: Garrett Chisolm

SEC lunch links

February, 24, 2011
A check of what's making news around the SEC:

Chick-fil-A Bowl: Did you know?

December, 31, 2010
A little bit of this and a little bit of that heading into Friday night's Chick-fil-A Bowl matchup between Florida State and South Carolina:
  • South Carolina changed up its bowl preparation this season and went first-team offense against first-team defense for at least 20 minutes in every practice leading up to the bowl game.
  • South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier was 5-8-1 against Florida State during his tenure at Florida. During the stretch where the Gators won four straight SEC championships from 1993-96, Florida won only once over Florida State during the regular season.
  • The Gamecocks are trying to win 10 games in a season for only the second time in school history. They finished 10-2 in 1984 under Joe Morrison, but lost two of their last three games. One of those losses was to Navy when the Gamecocks were unbeaten, ranked No. 2 nationally and in line to play for the national championship. It's a loss that still haunts South Carolina fans to this day.
  • This is the 29th consecutive bowl game for Florida State, the longest streak in the country among FBS teams. It's a streak that goes back to the 1982 Gator Bowl.
  • Freshman running back Marcus Lattimore is South Carolina’s all-time leader in single-season touchdowns with 19. He needs just one more score to tie Tennessee’s Reggie Cobb (1987) for the SEC freshman scoring record.
  • The Gamecocks are 4-6 under Spurrier in games matching nationally ranked teams. That includes a 3-3 mark this season.
  • Florida State first-year coach Jimbo Fisher and Spurrier meet as head coaches for the first time. However, they have been on opposite sidelines on numerous occasions. While the quarterbacks coach at Auburn (1993-98) and offensive coordinator at LSU (2000-06), Fisher faced Spurrier’s Gators (1990-01) eight times with Florida winning six times.
  • South Carolina junior Terrence Campbell will fill in for the injured Garrett Chisolm at right offensive guard. Jarriel King could also be an option there.
  • Florida State leads the country with 46 sacks, while South Carolina is fifth with 39.
South Carolina returns to the Georgia Dome for the second time in less than a month after losing to Auburn in the SEC championship game and will face Florida State on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Here’s a quick preview of the Chick-fil-A Bowl:

WHO TO WATCH: The Gamecocks have an impressive array of young talent, but freshman running back Marcus Lattimore proved to be one of those difference-makers that comes around only so often. He has 1,198 rushing yards to lead all SEC running backs and also has 19 touchdowns, one away from tying the SEC single-season record for a freshman. Lattimore has been at his best on the biggest stages, too, and is one of those guys who can carry the ball as many times as you want to give it to him. The Gamecocks were looking for somebody to come in and jump-start their running game this season, and Lattimore was just exactly what they ordered.

WHAT TO WATCH: First-year offensive line coach Shawn Elliott was able to bring some stability to a South Carolina offensive line this season that had taken its lumps the past two years. The Gamecocks were far from dominant up front, but they battled and were much improved. They face a steep challenge against a Florida State defense that leads the country with 46 sacks. Moreover, it looks like the Gamecocks will be without their top lineman. Elliott said he doesn’t expect senior left guard Garrett Chisolm to be able to play after re-injuring his knee in practice. Senior Terrence Campbell will likely start in Chisolm’s place.

WHY WATCH: Bowl games and the Gamecocks haven’t been a good mix. They’re just 4-11 all-time in the postseason, and that includes a couple of miserable performances in their past two bowl outings – a 20-7 loss to Connecticut in the Bowl last season and a 31-10 loss to Iowa two years ago in the Outback Bowl. South Carolina needs to play well to get that bowl monkey off its back, and the Gamecocks also don’t want to end an otherwise historic season with back-to-back losses.

PREDICTION: Florida State 28, South Carolina 21. The Gamecocks’ lousy bowl history is one thing, but the big thing working against them is losing their best offensive lineman for this game. The Seminoles will come after South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia more than ever, and with Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder back in the lineup, the Seminoles should be able to take advantage of a South Carolina secondary that has struggled in pass coverage this season.

Six SEC players nominated as top scholars

September, 30, 2010
Six SEC players have been selected as semifinalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, college football's premier scholar-athlete award.

Making the list were South Carolina offensive guard Garrett Chisolm, Georgia receiver Kris Durham, Tennessee kicker Daniel Lincoln, Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy, Mississippi State offensive tackle Derek Sherrod and Vanderbilt linebacker John Stokes.

Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, semifinalists must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first-team player or significant contributor and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.

The award was formerly known as the Draddy Trophy and has been referred to as the Academic Heisman. Florida's Tim Tebow was the recipient last year.

Video: Walk-on impact at South Carolina

September, 21, 2010

Chris Low looks at former South Carolina walk-ons Garrett Chisolm and Spencer Lanning who have become big contributors.

Walking on to success in the SEC

September, 2, 2010
Hey, we can’t kick off the season without acknowledging the walk-ons.

Even in a league like the SEC, where teams spend an obscene amount of money to go all over the country and recruit players, occasionally a few guys slip through the cracks and make big impacts as walk-ons.

South Carolina’s Spencer Lanning is a prime example.

He enters his third season as the Gamecocks’ punter. In fact, he punted his sophomore season without a scholarship before later earning one.

It’s one of the best investments the Gamecocks could have made. Lanning is now their place-kicker and punter, the only player in the league last season to handle both roles, and is an All-SEC candidate at both spots as he enters his senior season.

He’s also emerged as one of the most respected leaders on the team, and his head coach no longer has trouble remembering his name. When Lanning first showed up, Steve Spurrier was prone to refer to him as "Lanning Spencer."

Now, Spurrier simply refers to him as clutch.

“Spencer Lanning may be one of the toughest kickers you’ll ever see,” Spurrier said. “In the weight room, he’s one of the best lifters (strength coach Craig Fitzgerald) has seen. He’s kicked beautifully. He’s at the top of his game right now. Hopefully, he didn’t peak in preseason, but he makes virtually everything in practice each day.”

Lanning was 17-of-20 on field-goal attempts last season and also averaged 41.9 yards a punt. He made 12 straight field goals at one point without a miss.

He’s not the only former walk-on in the league poised to have a big impact this season.

Kentucky has had an incredible run of success with walk-ons, at least one regular starter for seven years in a row. Junior Luke McDermott is slated to start at defensive tackle this season. Nick Melillo was the Wildcats’ starting tight end until he was injured.

At Mississippi State, Patrick Hanrahan is listed as the starting fullback, and Emmanuel Gatling is pushing for a starting job at outside linebacker.

Nick Reveiz is Tennessee’s starting middle linebacker and one of the Vols’ most inspirational leaders. Garrett Chisolm is penciled in to start at offensive guard for South Carolina, while James Stampley is LSU’s starting fullback.

Here’s a sampling of walk-ons around the league who’ve gone on to become starters or will play key roles as backups or special teams players this season:
  • Seth Armbrust, DB, Arkansas
  • Garrett Chisolm, OG, South Carolina
  • John Fairbanks, DS, Florida
  • Reuben Faloughi, OLB, Georgia
  • Ty Frix, DS, Georgia
  • Emmanuel Gatling, OLB, Mississippi State
  • Daniel Graff, DB, LSU
  • Patrick Hanrahan, FB, Mississippi State
  • Richard Kent, P, Vanderbilt
  • Will Lowery, S, Alabama
  • Luke McDermott, DT, Kentucky
  • Craig McIntosh, K, Kentucky
  • Nick Melillo, TE, Kentucky
  • Spencer Lanning, PK, South Carolina
  • Nick Reveiz, LB, Tennessee
  • James Stampley, FB, LSU
  • Carson Tinker, DS, Alabama
  • Jay Wisner, WR, Auburn