March 21, 2008
The South Carolina Gamecock football team took to the Bluff Road practice fields for the first time in 2008, working out for over two hours under sunny skies and pleasant conditions Friday afternoon. It was the first of 15 spring practice sessions for the Gamecocks, who return 54 lettermen in Head Coach Steve Spurrier’s fourth campaign in Columbia.
Several players were held out of the drills due to injury, including Captain Munnerlyn, Nathan Pepper, Gurminder Thind, Kenny McKinley, Marvin Sapp, Dustin Lindsey and Nick Prochak.
The Gamecocks will practice again on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. All spring practices are open to the public.
Following Friday’s workout, Coach Spurrier addressed the media:
On the quarterback situation: “I thought maybe (Tommy) Beecher threw the ball a little bit sharper. Chris Smelley still has a little bit of a sore shoulder – he had some surgery in January. Stephen (Garcia) threw a few good ones here and there. He’s coming around. They all did some good things.”
On any position changes: “(Eric) Norwood is going to that outside linebacker with Cliff Matthews playing defensive end. I think it will be a real good position for Eric. I think he’s better standing up and rushing the passer obviously is what he does very well, but he can cover some guys if need be.”
On Jasper Brinkley getting some reps: “He won’t practice a lot when we start scrimmaging and falling on legs. We tried to stay up and avoid hard contact today. He won’t do a lot of the contact stuff.”
On the offensive line: “Obviously our line hasn’t played all that well. We all know that. Coach (John) Hunt is trying as hard as he can to get them to play. We just have to coach the heck out of them. We have some players who can play. Garrett Anderson and Kevin Young – he’s a big strong guy, (Justin) Sorensen, Jamon Meredith. Jamon Meredith ought to be an all-conference player this year. We’ve just got to get it out of them. We need to coach a lot better.”