COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – As of Monday’s open practice at Williams-Brice Stadium, Stephen Davis Jr. was not present on the field with the Gamecocks, nor listed on their roster.

The former Dutch Fork star has departed from Carolina’s program.

Davis had joined the Gamecocks following their spring program, transferring from Auburn after a season with the Tigers. His status with USC was as a walk-on.

The former Silver Fox is the son of the Spartanburg resident, former 11-year NFL veteran, and three-time Pro Bowl running back Stephen Davis.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – The Gamecocks held their first open practice for their supporters on “Fan Appreciation Night” at Williams-Brice Stadium Monday night.

It was Carolina’s 18th practice of fall camp. USC opens the season September 2 against NC State in Charlotte.

(WOLO) – The reigning national champions at Clemson will start their title defense ranked fifth in the preseason AP poll.

Despite finishing on top of the sport in last year’s College Football Playoff, the Tigers did not receive a single first-place vote in the opening set of rankings for 2017.

Alabama, who Clemson defeated for the crown in Tampa back in January, is on top of the poll, receiving 52 of 61 first place votes.

The Tigers were also ranked fifth by the preseason Coaches Poll.

AP Preseason Top 25

  1. Alabama
  2. Ohio St.
  3. Florida St.
  4. Southern California
  5. Clemson
  6. Penn St.
  7. Oklahoma
  8. Washington
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Oklahoma St.
  11. Michigan
  12. Auburn
  13. LSU
  14. Stanford
  15. Georgia
  16. Louisville
  17. Florida
  18. Miami
  19. South Florida
  20. Kansas St.
  21. Virginia Tech
  22. West Virginia
  23. Texas
  24. Washington St.
  25. Tennessee

CLEMSON, S.C. (WOLO) – The first phase of Clemson’s quarterback is over. Kelly Bryant will be leaving fall camp as the new leader of the Tigers’ offense.

Bryant has been the first-team QB for the defending national champions since the spring season, following Deshaun Watson’s graduation and elevation to the NFL’s ranks. Watson, the back-to-back O’Brien award winner for top quarterback in the country, was selected with the No. 12 pick April’s draft by the Houston Texans.

“Kelly Bryant is the starter,” said Swinney.  “He has earned it and I am proud of him.  It has been a great competition, but this part is over. Zerrick Cooper is the number-two quarterback, but Hunter Johnson is right there. We hope to get all three quarterbacks experience in the first part of the season.”  The plan at this time is to red-shirt freshman Chase Brice.

Bryant is a junior from Calhoun Falls, S.C. and Wren High School.  He has played 12 games and an even 100 snaps so far in his career.  He has completed 13-18 passes for 75 yards and a touchdown. He has 35 rushes for 178 yards and three scores, giving him 253 yards of total offense on 53 plays for his career. His first two years he served as a reserve behind Deshaun Watson and Nick Schuessler, who were both seniors on Clemson’s 2016 National Championship team.

Bryant played well in the two most recent scrimmages. He was 10-17 for 186 yards and a score in the August 16 scrimmage, then connected on 14 of 20 for 177 yards and a score this past Saturday.

Swinney said that Will Spiers had won the punting position and will be on the field for the season opener against Kent State. His father, Bill Spiers, was Clemson’s starting punter in 1986 and went on to a 13-year Major League Baseball career. Swinney also said that the right tackle competition between Sean Pollard and Tremayne Anchrum continues.

Swinney also mentioned some of the true freshmen that he expects to see action this year. Travis Etienne, Justin Foster, Tee Higgins, Hunter Johnson, Amari Rodgers and A.J. Terrell are freshmen he expects to play this year. There are other players who are on the bubble at this point in preseason.

Swinney was pleased with today’s practice overall.  “We turned the page today and started our preparation for Kent State.  Everyone was happy to see that.  This team is ready to play someone else.  The defense responded today.  There was attention to detail on that side of the ball and they put in a good day’s work.  I could sense the energy today.”

Clemson Athletics contributed to this article.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – A record 9,629 fans filled Spirit Communications Monday afternoon to witness the total solar eclipse pass over the Midlands, all while taking in the series finale of the Fireflies second-to-last home set.

The game was paused after top of the fourth inning came to a close as fans, coaches, players, umpires, and all in attendance put themselves in position to witness the once-in-a-lifetime event.

Once the eclipse passed, the game resumed, as the Fireflies went on to win on an Andres Gimenez walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth, beating the Rome Braves 6-5.

Here’s a sequence of eclipse photos taken by Michael Crowder from today’s eclipse. Fabulous!

This one was taken by Louise Keiner.

This one was taken by Kris Lemoins.

The hottest ticket in town was the Total Eclipse of the Park at the home of the Columbia Fireflies, Spirit Communications Park.

At the game fans were keeping one eye on the ball while, keeping their other eye on the sky.

As the darkness took over the field, fans say it was an out of this “park” experience.

Team officials say they sold more 9,000 pre-sale tickets to the game and had more than 10,000 eclipse glasses to hand out.

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