Aug. 5, 2014
The University of South Carolina football team put on full pads for the first time this fall on Tuesday night, as the squad worked out at the Bluff Road “Proving Grounds.” It was the team’s fifth workout of the preseason camp.
With the full pads on, the Gamecocks went through the “Oklahoma” drill early in the practice. “I thought the D-line really came off the ball and showed that we could win our gap and beat the man in front of us,” said defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward. “We normally don’t do the Oklahoma drill in the fall camp, but Coach wanted us to get a little tougher. So we did it today and it was a good drill.”
Defensive backs coach Grady Brown is looking to replace two veteran cornerbacks. Several true freshmen are expected to make an immediate impact in the secondary. “It’s a part of the process,” noted Brown of the transition from veterans to newcomers. “We all know that at some point you have to replace your players. It’s not difficult at all. It just comes with the territory.”
There is a good chance that at least one freshmen will be starting at cornerback for the opener against Texas A&M. “It’s definitely possible,” said Brown. “We recruit those guys to come in and start. So it’s definitely possible. If they’re playing at a high level, one of them may get a chance to start. Two of them may get a chance to start. It’s about whoever is playing the best. My answer to that question won’t change all year,” continued Brown. “Whoever is playing the best, those are the guys that will start the game. Oftentimes it’s not about who starts, but who finishes the game; who makes the tackles during the game. Starting is just one play, so it’s about who is making the plays to help us play well on defense to help us win the ballgame.”
Those who wore yellow “no contact” jerseys on Tuesday included Rory Anderson (triceps), Shaq Davidson (knee), Alan Knott (knee), Kevin Crosby (foot), Blake McClain (foot), Brock Stadnik (knee), D.J. Smith (wisdom teeth), Terry Googer (hamstring), Ali Groves (hamstring), Marcquis Roberts (shoulder), Devin Washington (hamstring), and Michael Washington (back). Donell Stanley (wrist) was not at practice after undergoing surgery recently.
The SEC Network had a crew on campus, interviewing several players and coaches and gathering footage from practice and from the weight room on Tuesday, the first of two days they will be on the Columbia campus.
The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields on Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. This is a time change from the original schedule. The practice is open to the public.
The annual Colonial Life Fan Appreciation Day is set for Sunday at Colonial Life Arena. Doors will open at 1 p.m. Student-athletes from football, cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball will be on hand to autograph the official team posters.