Black Magic name adds intrigue to a top recruiting day

dmclemore@thestate.comJuly 25, 2013 

— South Carolina on Friday took a page from its past as it recruited the Gamecocks of the future at the school's annual premier camp.

Black Magic - previously known as the Showcase Camp - took place at Williams-Brice Stadium and other spots on campus and drew as many as 40 or 50 targets from the 2014, 2015 and 2016 classes.

The event was more of a meet-and-greet and less of a typical camp.

"We want to make it the best camp we can have with some of our best prospects there," said Steve Spurrier Jr., the team's recruiting coordinator. "It's a little more personal than a big camp. We want it to be a formal day and just a little bit of a camp. It's more of a recruiting day than a camp."

Spurrier Jr., offensive line coach Shawn Elliott and others on South Carolina's staff met earlier this year and decided to rebrand the event. The staff chose Black Magic, a name that harkens back to South Carolina's historic 1984 team that finished 10-2.

Coaches hope the Black Magic camp becomes a tradition in the increasingly competitive and ever-changing recruiting landscape.

Auburn has a similar event known as Big Cat Weekend. Clemson has its All In Cookout. Tennessee just had its first Foundation Day.

"We're constantly trying to push the envelope, trying to make it better and more creative and more exciting and mean something more each year," Spurrier Jr. said. "Every year something new comes up and something different happens. There's a new way to recruit and a better way to recruit. We're trying to get better every year with everything we do. Hopefully it's a good day for us."

Georgia holds Dawg Night and Florida has Friday Night Lights, but both are larger camp settings with workouts, evaluations and competitions.

The Steve Spurrier Football Camp takes place on Saturday and is more of an evaluation and instructional day.

Black Magic, just as the Showcase Camp did in previous years, is designed to give recruits and their families a better chance to interact with coaches and get a closer look at the campus and the school's academic offerings.

It's also an opportunity to get uncommitted prospects, such as Latta's Donell Stanley and Orangeburg-Wilkinson's Albert Huggins, in the same setting as USC's commitments, including Kalan Ritchie, Malik Young and Darin Smalls.

"It's a big day for us," Spurrier Jr. said. "We're going to try to remind them of what it meant back in 1984. It can mean something new and bring back that past. Hopefully we can teach this new generation and give it a new special meaning."

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