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Aug. 16, 2016

The South Carolina Gamecock football team practiced Tuesday night at their new practice fields, located at the west end of Gamecock Park. It was the second of three-consecutive evening practices open to the public.

Following Tuesday’s practice, outside linebackers coach Mike Peterson said he believes his background of playing 14 years in the NFL catches his players’ attention. “I think it’s a natural thing,” said the first-year coach. “A lot of these kids grew up watching me play on Sunday. Maybe they listen to me a different way. I have to use that in the right way and show them the way. Show them how it’s done. Show them there are things you do – how to take care of your body, how to watch tape, things to do away from the game. I think I get their ear a little different than a lot of guys, but it comes with the territory.”

Coach Peterson says his coaching style is pretty straight-forward. “I shoot them straight. I don’t sugarcoat it with the guys,” he said. “I’m hard on them at times. I love them up when it’s time to love them up. I kind of use what I would have wanted when I was a player, the type of coach I would have wanted coaching me when I was a player. I try to translate that now into coaching.”

Peterson knows what he’s looking for at the BUCK position. “First of all, you’ve got to be a tough kid. Super tough,” noted Peterson. “You’ve got to have thick skin because I’m going to coach them really tough and get on them really hard. A tough kid, a kid who can do a lot of things – play the run, play the pass, be physical, do a lot of things for us,” he continued. “And there’s a lot of things expected from the position. Right now, we’re trying to get that combination of guys we’re going to use there. We’re still in the evaluation process.”

The Gamecocks will return to Williams-Brice Stadium for Wednesday’s practice. That practice will be open to the public and begin at 6:30 pm. Fans can park for free in Quad 1 of Gamecock Park (turn at the light by the old Bojangles’ site) and sit in sections 1-9 on the lower west side of the stadium. The parking lot will open at 4:30 pm and Gate 20 at the stadium will open at 6 pm. Bags will be checked at the gate and one concession stand will be open on the west main concourse.

Should inclement weather arise and the team is forced to move to the indoor facility, the practice will be closed.

Those unable to attend Wednesday’s practice are reminded that the second episode of “Gamecock Confidential: Forever to Thee,” a five-part mini-series documenting the dawn of a new era of Gamecock Football under head coach Will Muschamp, will air at 8 pm on Facebook LIVE on Wednesday.