Spurrier Encouraged by First Practice
COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) — The 2015 edition of South Carolina Football worked out at its practice fields for about two hours Tuesday morning in helmets and shorts as the preseason fall camp officially got underway in Columbia. “I thought it was very encouraging,” said head coach Steve Spurrier following the first practice. “I know all the defensive coaches are really happy with the new players – a lot of these freshmen and junior college players. So it‘s going to be a different defense, we all know that. What‘s sort of neat is that nobody knows much about our players right now. “We‘ll have some different offensive players (as well),” continued the Head Ball Coach, who is beginning his 11th season in Columbia. “The young wide receivers, nobody knows much about them yet, but they can catch and they can run, so we‘ll see if we can protect the quarterback and throw some at them, as well as run. Overall, it was fun to see the new guys. That‘s sort of the thrilling part of coaching in college. It was a good morning.” All four of the Gamecock quarterbacks took an even amount of snaps on the first day. “The quarterback battle is going on,” said Coach Spurrier. “Like I told them, we‘re charting everything. A lot of jobs are up for grabs. We had two huddles – two offenses and two defenses going rapid fire. Hopefully we‘ll be doing that all week. We had more guys getting snaps. We didn‘t have a lot of “watchers” here today,” noted the HBC. “We got one behind us,” said co-defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward. “We‘ve got a lot of new guys out here, but we saw some guys move around that we‘re excited about. We‘ve got high expectations for them. We recruited them and all of those (new) guys are guys who can come in and help, especially up front. They are athletic, can move around and had a good summer with (strength coach) Joe (Connolly). It will be interesting when we get into pads.” Four players wore yellow “no contact” shirts at the first practice, including defensive end Gerald Dixon (lower leg), defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth (pec), cornerback Rico McWilliams (hamstring) and tight end Connor Redmond (back). Offensive lineman Brock Stadnik will not take part in preseason camp while rehabbing from shoulder surgery. The squad will return to the practice fields Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. The practice is closed.