The Old Ball Coach's Corner 2012 finished with a bang and some disappointment... The South Carolina Gamecocks were leapfrogged from a potential SEC/SEC National Championship matchup with Auburn by Troy, but were rewarded for an outstanding season with an invite to the Nokia Sugar Bowl. After the Sugar Bowl win, several key members have left, but overall, the outlook for the 2013 season looks promising. Key losses: WR Alshon Jeffrey Holds every SC receiving record imaginable and finished with an All-American 1st team honor. RB Jarvis Giles RB Latavious Murray Giles/Murray were SC's "thunder/lightning" combination for the last two seasons... A lot of yards on the ground and short yard TD's graduate. CB Stephon Gilmore SS Corey Addison Losing both of these guys will definitely hurt, however, SC's secondary is stacked for the next couple of years. SS Bolden will step right in, but Addison's ball hawking skills will be missed... As for the loss of Gilmore, heralded recruit from 2011, CB M. Daniels will finally get his shot as Gilmore left as one of the school's greatest CB's of all time. MLB Devonte Holloman His Senior leadership will be greatly missed, but again, the Old Ball Coach saw this coming and had recruited some solid MLB's to fill his spot. Key Returns: CB Chris Payne - Looking to cap off his career with a 3rd All-SEC honor and All-American DE - David Reed - Returning Lombardi and Tom Hendricks Award Winner OL - Entire OL returns Question marks: 1) How will true freshman QB Alfred Carey handle the starting job? Stealing the reigns from RS freshman Joe Taylor, expectations are high in Columbia, and the media is picking SC for the SEC Championship. Carey will have to perform at a high level or hope the running game is better than typical at SC to meet expectations. 2) WR - Alshon Jeffrey graduated... Top recruit Charles Moore will step in at the #2WR and Scruggs will be the #1, but who will separate from the pack as Carey's go to guy? 3) How will the RS Freshman RB tandem perform with the graduation of Giles/Murray? Heralded RB recruit from 2012, Allen Norton appears to be the lead candidate to get the bulk of the carries, and with this years OL finally coming into its own, Norton could be a candidate for the Breakout Gamecock of the Year Award at the SC awards banquet. 2013 Recruiting Focus: Returning still a very young team, South Carolina is looking to only sign a couple recruits for 2014. 1) DL - Both starting DT's are seniors and there is not a lot of depth. The Old Ball Coach needs to sign a couple DT's and make sure one of them is an impact freshman that can start from day 1. 2) WR - Still looking for that big play threat that Jeffrey brought to the table every day. 3) TE - Sean Perry will graduate and the Old Ball Coach wants to find a project to redshirt and establish as Carey's future "emergency valve". 4) OLB - Marvin Moore is a Junior and depth could be added with a marquis recruit. 5) C - Senior starter will graduate, have a solid back up, but need to look to the future. 6) Athletes - can never have too many Season Outlook: Brutal SEC schedule (vs. LSU and Ole Miss on top of SEC East) and regularly tough non-conference schedule are always a challenge that the fans in Columbia openly accept. The real question marks lie in how everything will play out with the reason coaching carousel that has taken place in the SEC. New coaches in Alabama, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, and Florida should make for an extremely interesting season.