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WIR: Spurrier sounds off

11/3/2006 - College Football

The head rooster at South Carolina crowed this week, rebuffing reports that he isn't involved in recruiting.

Coach Steve Spurrier made it clear at his weekly news conference that indeed he is -- and always has been.

"I've always been personally involved in recruiting," he said. "That's what you do during the season, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, make recruiting calls and so forth. Some guy started writing that I didn't like recruiting, which wasn't true. But he started writing it, and all you other guys started writing it, too, I guess. I don't know why."

It was easy for him to like recruiting at Florida, where he often had his pick of the best players in and around the talent-rich state. Now at South Carolina, which obviously has a much smaller in-state base to pull from, the sledding has been tougher.

He lost ESPN 150 cornerback and one-time commit Gary Gray (Columbia, S.C./Richland Northeast) to Notre Dame, and ESPN 150 wide receiver J.R. Hemingway (Conway, S.C.) opted for Michigan.

However, Brian Maddox (Anderson, S.C./Hanna), the country's No. 4 running back, is a solid commit, and ESPN 150 wide receiver/safety Mark Barnes (Columbia, S.C./Richland Northeast), Gray's high school teammate, reportedly has narrowed his choices down to South Carolina and Louisville.

Spurrier still likes to recruit Florida; his top prospect last year was Leonard High defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis (Lake Worth, Fla.) But it was in-state rival Clemson that pulled the biggest prospect out Florida, Union County High running back C.J. Spiller (Lake Butler, Fla.).

This year, Spurrier already landed ESPN 150 cornerback Jamire Williams (Jacksonville/First Coast), and he's hoping to lure ESPN 150 quarterback Stephen Garcia (Tampa/Jefferson), another top prospect from his old stomping grounds. South Carolina ranks among Garcia's favorites, along with Oklahoma, Florida, Auburn and Ole Miss.

So, he's involved in recruiting. But does he like it?

"Yeah," he said. "Some guys I'm not particularly fond of recruiting, but most of them are fun to recruit."

T-Bob headed to LSU

"You know what's interesting. The quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons is Bobby Hebert. No "r" which I find fascinating… "Hebert" it's a fun name to pronounce. Try and say it -- Hebert. Take a shot."

-- George Costanza in the 1994 Seinfeld episode "The Big Salad"

A new generation will get to pronounce "Hebert" the Louisiana way, thanks to the verbal commitment Bobby's son T-Bob gave to LSU on Monday.

"My father told [T-Bob], if you go to Georgia, Auburn or Florida, you'll be called 'Ebert' or 'Herbert,' " Bobby Hebert told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "At LSU, you'll be Hebert [pronounced Ay-bare]."

T-Bob, whose nickname is short for "Petite Bobby," common Cajun for a third namesake, plays at Greater Atlanta Christian in Georgia, but his family plans to move back to Louisiana after he graduates high school.

Etc.

Speaking of famous NFL fathers, Matt Singletary (San Jose, Calif./Valley Christian), son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Singletary, currently assistant head coach and linebackers coach with the San Francisco 49ers, gave a verbal commitment to Baylor, his father's alma mater.

The younger Singletary won't be peering into the backfield from the middle of the defense, though. He's projected as an offensive tackle or defensive end.

Henry Gola is the recruiting editor for ESPN.com