The University of South Carolina football squad added shoulder pads to its workout attire for the first time during fall camp as the squad practiced for a little over two hours at the Bluff Road practice fields on Thursday night.
“We had a good practice tonight,” said head coach Steve Spurrier following the workout. “Good spirits, a lot of energy amongst our guys, so I think we made some improvements tonight – offense, defense and on special teams. The guys are really hustling, hustling a lot more than maybe we used to around here, so it was encouraging. Tonight’s practice was very encouraging.”
The competition for the running back position continues to heat up. “Brian Maddox had some beautiful runs tonight, he and Marcus (Lattimore). Jarvis (Giles) had a few here and there but Brian Maddox may have had the most good runs,” noted Coach Spurrier. “Marcus had his usual two or three good ones too. And the O-line blocked a little bit better than we’ve been doing, so that was encouraging.”
Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery was on the practice fields for the first time this fall after having his wisdom teeth removed. Cornerback Chris Culliver returned to full go after sitting out Wednesday’s practice. Several of the players who sat out Wednesday’s practice, including Kenny Miles, Qua Gilchrist and Shaq Wilson, remained sidelined with hamstring issues.
Coach Spurrier confirmed that wide receiver/holder Stephen Flint has quit the squad. Ace Sanders and Seth Strickland figure to be the likely candidates to replace Flint as the holder for Spencer Lanning. “Ace Sanders is an excellent holder. He can catch that ball, spin it and put it down there as quickly as anybody we’ve got. Seth’s good at it too. We’re in good shape at the holder position.”
One of the former Gamecocks spotted at Thursday’s practice was signal-caller Blake Mitchell. Mitchell is the answer to the trivia question of which Carolina quarterback defeated Clemson, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee during his career.
The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields on Friday night at 7:30. The practice is open to the public. As noted following Tuesday’s practice, the schedule has been adjusted for next week. The practices from Monday, August 9 through Friday, August 13, will be held at 8:30 a.m., rather than in the evening as previously announced.
Post practice audio:
RB Jarvis Giles
QB coach GA Mangus