The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Gamecocks' Beamer continues with 'viral' confidence

18 days ago
Kevin Scarbinsky
Photo: AP Photo/John Bazemore

Shane Beamer has been an SEC head coach for one season and two Media Days and already he leads the league in intentionally viral videos.

Last summer, on his way out of Hoover after the event, the rookie boss paid tribute to a legend by re-enacting Steve Spurrier's iconic post-Media Days stop at an Arby's, complete with undone tie and one thumb up.

Beamer and the South Carolina creative team, led by Associate Athletics Director Justin King, upped the ante before his Tuesday visit to the College Football Hall of Fame, filming and releasing a social media short that featured the head coach prepping to Soulja Boy's "Turn My Swag On."

"Knocked it out in three takes," Beamer said.

You don't earn a permanent place in the Hall of Fame like Beamer's father, Frank - "no pressure," his son joked one floor below Dad's exhibit - by starring in viral videos or by getting bonked by a five-gallon tub of mayonnaise after winning the Duke's Mayo Bowl.

The real reward for Beamer has been the growing buzz about the Gamecocks for their on-field performance in 2021, improving from 2-8 to 7-6, tying the school record for victories by a first-year head coach. Having a little fun on social media is the dessert, not the main course.

When they took the Arby's photo en route to the airport after Media Days 2021, Beamer said, "there was very little talk about our football team. That's different this year."

It's different because the Gamecocks knocked off both Florida and Auburn in the regular season a year ago and took down cross-state rival North Carolina in the Duke's Mayo Bowl for their first winning season in three years and first bowl win in four years.

It's different because a year after injuries forced them to play four quarterbacks, including a graduate assistant, they attracted one of the biggest names in the transfer portal in former elite high school recruit and Oklahoma starter Spencer Rattler.

Beamer was asked about the pressure on Rattler, as the highest-ranked recruit South Carolina has ever signed at quarterback, to perform at a high level and put the Gamecocks in contention to be the second-best SEC East program behind national champion Georgia. That race appears to be wide open.

Beamer downplayed the notion of pressure, noting that Rattler started as a redshirt freshman at Oklahoma as next in line behind Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts. While Rattler didn't win the Heisman or lead the Sooners to the College Football Playoff, he did start all 11 games in 2020 on a team that won the Big 12 and the Cotton Bowl. He was voted Most Outstanding Player of the Big 12 Championship Game and Big 12 Player of the Year.

Rattler hit those heights after losing his first two games as a starter. He may have lost that job the next season, but he never lost another game as the OU starting quarterback, finishing 15-2 over the last two years.

"I don't worry about Spencer," Beamer said. "There may be some outside pressure with him. He's been through the fire. With Spencer, nobody is asking him to go out there and be Superman, just go be you, and (I'm) confident that he will."

Beamer's confidence is more than contagious. You might even call it viral.