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Aug. 7, 2015

An overcast and cooler morning greeted the South Carolina football team on Friday as the squad went through its fourth workout of the fall camp at the new practice fields.

The quarterback position remains one of the biggest questions four days into the preseason camp. “They’re all getting reps right now,” said quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus of his quartet of signal-callers. “They’re doing some good things. They all got a bunch of reps today. Actually, (true freshman Lorenzo) Nunez got a bunch here with the young guys at the end. He’s not overwhelmed. There’s just a lot of info early. The computer’s got to slow down. Right now, sometimes it goes good and sometimes it doesn’t. Now is the time to make mistakes and learn. We’re letting the guys compete,” continued Mangus. “We’ve got multiple lines going with multiple receivers, trying to find guys who can play.”

Mangus is optimistic that tight end Jerell Adams can be a key factor to a productive offense. “He should (have a big season). He’s been here a long time. He made a really nice play today on a catch for a touchdown here in the scrimmage situation. I think Jerell is ready to play and this is going to be his time to step out and be a weapon. He’s got a lot of talent.”

One of the challenges for wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. is finding a balance for Pharoh Cooper so that he gets through the fall camp healthy and is ready to go on September 3 when the Gamecocks play North Carolina in Charlotte in the season opener. “We’re limiting him a little bit but when he’s in there, we’re coaching him. He works hard and wants to be better. He wants to be a better player than he was last year. We’re coaching him as hard as anybody right now.” Spurrier Jr. indicated that Cooper will participate in the fall scrimmages “a little bit, but not a lot.”

Spurrier Jr. is excited about his group of young receivers behind Cooper. “It’s a good group. They’re all doing a good job. D.J. Neal and Jalen Christian are both doing good. Jared Washington is doing well. It’s a young group, but they’re doing well, I like them a lot.”

Spurrier Jr. also had high praise for redshirt freshman Deebo Samuel. “He’s still learning. Every day he’s out here he learns something new. I like the way he’s playing — explosive, he moves fast, a little more confident in what he sees. He’s a talented young man and we expect good things from him.”

Spurrier Jr. also noted that senior wide receiver Shamier Jeffery would receive his degree on Saturday. “I’d like to congratulate him on that,” said Spurrier. Jr. “He came in with a bunch of guys that didn’t particularly survive here. It’s not easy. He’s going to graduate tomorrow and I’m particularly proud of him, I really am. He’ll certainly get his opportunities (to play) and hopefully he can make the most of them.”

Those players who were held out of Friday’s practice included cornerback Wesley Green (left knee), Spur T.J. Gurley (right hamstring), linebacker Jonathan Walton (right knee), defensive end Gerald Dixon (lower leg), defensive end Boosie Whitlow (right hamstring), tight end Connor Redmond (back) and defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth (pec muscle).

The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields on Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. That practice will be open to the media and to the public. Those with cameras will be allowed to shoot the first 30 minutes of practice. However, periscoping the practice session will not be permitted.