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VIP Room: Great time in USC sports

Welcome to the VIP Room, a comprehensive report brought to you by the staff of designed to take you behind the scenes of South Carolina athletics.

South Carolina returned to the practice field on Saturday afternoon to begin Outback Bowl preparation. After a few weeks off, one would think the team would be rusty upon its return to the field. Get an inside look at how the first couple of days of practice has gone and how Connor Shaw (foot) has performed.

Also on the injury front, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has endured some foot problems this year. He recently saw a specialist who gave him a different prognosis than what we’ve heard so far. Get the latest scoop on the consensus All-American and how it impacts his future with the Gamecocks.

This is a big time for recruiting as coaches have just come off of the road and a dead period begins. We have tons of scoop on how visits went over the last few weeks and more on big-time visitors who have come to campus. Get the scoop on six different four-star prospects, a new potential walk-on, and more on the latest offer, 2014 defensive tackle Poona Ford (Hilton Head/Hilton Head).

If there’s one knock on 2013 quarterback Connor Mitch (Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield), it’s that he doesn’t have the greatest arm strength. We spoke to a well-respected coach in North Carolina who has had the opportunity to work with Mitch in the past about Mitch’s arm strength and whether he can make the throws or not at the college level.

On the basketball front, the Gamecocks have their eyes set on two players to cap the 2013 class. Villanova transfer Tyrone Johnson has a decision date in mind, so you can read about that and the Gamecocks’ chances, and get the latest on target Demetrius Henry.

Two players currently on the basketball squad have really elevated their play as the pre-exam games concluded. In practice, the coaching staff is very happy with the way some of the guys have developed. Find out which players are making a jump and also get the latest on Carlton Geathers and how he’s progressing from his injury.

Three football players are looking to make their mark on the 2013 baseball team. Get the latest on Shon Carson, Ahmad Christian, and Kwinton Smith in their quest to return to the diamond. Also, get the latest from the recruiting trail as the Gamecocks recently tabled an offer to one of the top players in the 2015 class.

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