Beamer on recruiting: 'We're not slowing down anytime soon'

Sports 20 July, 2021 - 08:14am 7 views

When is SEC Media Days?

SEC Media Days start Monday, July 19, and run through Thursday, July 22. The event will be live streamed on fuboTV. The event certainly will have its fair share of talk about the College Football Playoff expansion as well as name, image and likeness. There will also be a number of first-time SEC coaches at the podium. al.comSEC Media Days 2021 live stream: How to watch online for free, TV, time, full schedule

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“On a scale of 10, an 11, just to be able to,” Beamer said, before a reporter interrupted.

“Maybe 15, need some time to think about it,” Beamer said. “We didn’t get everybody that we had campus on visits, but just the response, and regardless of what happened, just being able to get young men and their families on campus was pretty cool and exciting. But then the amount of guys that decided they wanted to become Gamecocks or guys that we feel like are very close to becoming Gamecocks, based off the visits in June, it was pretty awesome also.

“Ask me again here in about a month and it may be 15.”

According to the 247Sports Composite, South Carolina’s 2022 recruiting class is ranked No. 19 in the country. The Gamecocks are currently seventh among SEC teams.

“Recruiting-wise, things are going great right now. … I don’t think things could have gone any better for us in the month of June, from a recruiting standpoint,” Beamer said. We had prospects on campus 26 of 27 possible days. The only day that we didn’t have prospects on campus was Father’s Day. They may have come that day. I don’t know, I was out of town.

“I just said, ‘We need to get the heck out of town for one day.’ So I went to Charleston for the day. It was great to be able to have prospects visit our campus, see our facility and see the people - more importantly - that we have at South Carolina.”

Beamer added, “We’ve had 12 commits since June 1 and we’re not slowing down anytime soon.”

It took a little while for things to get cranked up for South Carolina's 2022 class. The staff hosted more than 100 virtual recruiting visits in the months leading up to the start of June.

“And that’s not just getting on a call and play some cookie-cutter video for an hour, then we’ll get back on,” Beamer said. “We’re interactive on all of these. We were doing all these visits and it was frustrating, because you didn’t have a lot of guys committing and then they hadn’t been on campus and it was like man, we’re working our tails off, like everybody. I hope once they get on campus, we’ll see the benefit from that, and we did.

“To be able to have those young men and their families come on campus for official visits, unofficial visits, not just for the. Class of 2022. I’m really, really, really, really pumped about the headway that we’ve made in the class of 2023 and the class of 2024. It’s a fantastic year in South Carolina for those classes. We’ve gotten ahead in those groups as well.

“Excited for it to open back up here in a week or so, before we crank back up with football practice, to get guys on campus as well. It’s just a testament to the people we have in our program and what South Carolina is about. We’re real. We’re genuine. It’s not an act. … That’s what we’re going to be about.”

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SEC notebook: Beamer, who has famous dad, eager to leave his own legacy 20 July, 2021 - 07:00pm

Shane Beamer now has a head-coaching job after taking a long path that includes having been an assistant to his father, longtime Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, right.

HOOVER, Ala. — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer made his SEC media days debut Monday, but he’s not the first person in his family to be part of the annual gala in suburban Birmingham. As Beamer pointed out during his lengthy opening statement, his wife, Emily, worked at past SEC media days while an undergraduate at Mississippi State.

“She actually was here in this room as one of the persons back in the day who would pass the microphone around to reporters to ask questions,” Beamer said.

Of course, Beamer has another family member who’s more famous across the sport. His father, College Football Hall of Famer Frank Beamer, won 238 games at Virginia Tech from 1987-2015 and retired from the sport as one of the modern game’s most successful coaches.

As a young coach in the industry, Shane Beamer could have settled for the comfort of working for his father. But after playing at Virginia Tech from 1995-99 he went elsewhere to make his own way.

Beamer worked as an assistant at Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Mississippi State and South Carolina before reuniting with Frank for his final four seasons at Virginia Tech, from 2011-15. Beamer continued to sharpen his coaching chops at two of the nation’s best programs the last five years, Georgia and Oklahoma, before landing his first head-coaching job in December.

“It was important for me to go out and develop my own reputation and contacts,” Beamer, 44, said. “I did that, and I was thankful to be part of fantastic programs during that time and places I coached.”

Now in its 30th season since joining the SEC along with Arkansas in 1992, South Carolina must dig itself out of the rubble from the Will Muschamp coaching era. The Gamecocks won just six games combined the last two seasons.

Beamer’s team features 14 returning starters with sound depth and experience along the offensive and defensive lines. He’s more bullish on the returning talent than most around the SEC — the Gamecocks figure to be picked sixth in the SEC East when the media’s preseason selections are released Friday. But Beamer’s belief is based on personal experience. He was part of the only South Carolina team to appear in the SEC championship game, serving as coach Steve Spurrier’s special teams coordinator in 2010.

“We beat Alabama when they were No. 1 in the country at Williams-Brice Stadium,” he said. “We beat Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and our in-state rival (Clemson) all in the same season. Within the last 10 years, we’ve been in the midst of consecutive 11-win seasons. Within the last 10 years, we were in the midst of beating our in-state rival five years ago.“We’re not talking about something that was 40 years ago,” he said. “It was recently done here in South Carolina. We’re not far from getting back there and doing it again.”

LSU rebuilds staffImagine hiring an assistant coach and giving him one of the game’s highest salaries without ever interviewing him in person. That’s what Louisiana State’s Ed Orgeron did after the 2019 season when be made Bo Pelini his defensive coordinator, giving the former Nebraska head coach a three-year deal with a $2.3 million contract without having a face-to-face meeting.

Pelini was a flop last fall. Orgeron fired him after the Tigers’ 5-5 season, along with two more defensive assistants and passing game coordinator Scott Linehan, who has resurfaced as an analyst at Mizzou.

Orgeron said Monday that he doesn’t regret hiring Pelini, but he learned his lesson with the hiring process when he revamped his staff this offseason.

“Every one of these guys, I interviewed them in person,” he said. “I had a long interview with them, specific questions that I asked, things that I maybe should have asked (last year) or shouldn’t have.”

One of those new assistants is offensive line coach Brad Davis, Mizzou’s O-line coach from 2018-19 who followed Barry Odom to Arkansas but left the Razorbacks this offseason.

“Brad Davis is a guy from Baton Rouge, a tremendous recruiter, up-and-coming offensive line coach,” Orgeron said. “You always have a group of coaches on a list in case something happens. Something did happen and he became available, and we’re very happy to have him. He’s happy to be home in Baton Rouge.”

Finebaum returnsESPN announced Monday it reached a multiyear contract extension with SEC Network and ESPN Radio personality Paul Finebaum, who is hosting his TV show live on site during SEC media days.

He’ll return this fall as co-host for “SEC Nation,” SEC Network’s live pregame show that travels to a different SEC town each week.“Paul is entrenched in the SEC, and his connection to the conference and its fan base, as well as with the media who cover college sports, is unmistakable,” ESPN senior vice president of production Lee Fitting said.

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Shane Beamer now has a head-coaching job after taking a long path that includes having been an assistant to his father, longtime Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, right.

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