#Gamecocks crank up spring practice Saturday morning

Gamecocks go to work on their first day of spring practice Saturday (Gamecock Athletics)

Shane Beamer ran his first official practice at South Carolina Saturday morning. The Gamecocks hit the practice field at 9:35 AM on a chilly first day of Spring. It was the first of 15 spring practices for the Gamecocks who will complete their spring work April 24th with the spring game.

The media was allowed to watch the first few minutes of the practice. Two of the players sidelined with lower leg injuries were defensive tackle Rick Sandidge and offensive tackle Jakai Moore. Also, transfer quarterback Jason Brown missed practice with an illnest.

The USC release on spring practice #1

The Shane Beaner Era of South Carolina Football began in earnest today with the first official day of spring football practice held at the Gamecock practice facility. The Gamecocks were dressed in helmets and shorts in unseasonably cool weather conditions for the first of their 15 allotted spring practices.

“First of all, the energy was great,” said Coach Beamer. “It was awesome being out here. Having a chance to get back out on the field with the guys and doing what we love was awesome. And honestly, I was really impressed with – and it’s a credit to our staff – the efficiency and organization. It didn’t look like we didn’t know what we were doing. It was really crisp and the effort was good. Obviously, there’s a lot to clean up, but we’re excited to be back out here.”

For Beamer, it marked his first official practice as a head coach. Several family members, including his wife, Emily, three children, and parents, Frank and Cheryl Beamer, were on hand to share in the moment.

“Surreal,” said Coach Beamer. “I could hardly sleep last night. I was excited this morning. To walk out here as the head coach at my dream job was really awesome. Obviously, there was a task to be done, so I was certainly focused on that, but a lot of emotions. Having my family out here was pretty cool as well.”

Coach Beamer confirmed the addition of former Gamecock and NFL Pro Bowler Patrick DiMarco to the football staff. DiMarco will serve as Football Analyst and Assistant Director of Football Relations.

“Obviously, what he did as a player speaks for itself,” said Coach Beamer. “We told our team this – here’s a guy who was somewhat under recruited coming into Carolina, to have the career that he had here, and then to have a 10- or 11-year career in the NFL, make two Pro Bowls, play in a Super Bowl. He’s got a fantastic story. He’ll be a great resource for us as a staff. He’ll be here to help our offense and special teams as an analyst and assist Connor Shaw and Derrick Moore in their roles. He can’t coach on the field, but he will be a great resource for us.

“It’s a credit to him,” Beamer continued. “He finished his career and knew this was what he wanted to do and only wanted to do it at one place, and that’s Carolina – a place that he loves.”

In player notes, transfer quarterback Jason Brown was not in attendance due to an illness. Freshman defensive lineman Nick Barrett is now wearing number 93.

The Gamecocks will take Sunday off before returning to the Long Family Football Operations Facility on Monday for meetings. The next scheduled practice is set for Tuesday, March 23.

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