This past weekend the Gamecocks’ coach has filled three vacancies on his staff; with two hires coming Friday and one more today:
* Joe Robinson – special teams coordinator and tight ends coach (replacing John Butler who left for Penn State)
* Everette Sands – running backs coach (replacing Jay Graham who left for Tennessee)
* Kirk Botkin – linebackers coach (replacing Ellis Johnson who left to become head coach at Southern Miss)
Johnson’s defensive coordinator position has been filled by the recently-promoted Lorenzo Ward. Botkin will handle his role with USC’s linebackers.
Robinson comes to South Carolina from North Carolina where he served as the Tar Heels’ special teams coach and defensive line coach. Prior to UNC, Robinson was on Les Miles’ staff at LSU.
Sands joins Spurrier’s staff from NC State. Before his one season in Raleigh, Sands worked at The Citadel from 2005 through 2010. He is also a Palmetto State native, so he should have good ties across the state.
Botkin is a former All-SEC player at Arkansas. He coached defensive ends and special teams at his alma maer in 2008 and 2009 under Bobby Petrino. The past two seasons he’s been coaching high school in Texarkana, Texas. (Sidenote — I hear there’s beer in Texarkana. And the boys are thirsty in Atlanta.)
Former Texas A&M running backs coach Randy Jordan was also on Spurrier’s radar before he landed at North Carolina with new coach Larry Fedora. From the looks of it, Spurrier — like most SEC coaches — is eager to find someone with recruiting ties to the Lone Star State with Texas A&M now giving the league a foothold in that state. Botkin fits that bill.
A total of 11 underclassmen have been set to leave the SEC for the NFL draft for the 2012 football season. This is the final list:
LB Dont’a Hightower
CB Dre Kirkpatrick
RB Trent Richardson
TE Orson Charles
DL Michael Brockers
CB Morris Claiborne
WR Reuben Randle
DL Fletcher Cox
OT Bobby Massie
CB Stephon Gilmore
WR Alshon Jeffery