Hamstring Injury Hampers Tight End Adams
COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) — The University of South Carolina football squad went under the lights at the football practice fields on Monday night as they practiced for two hours in preparation for Thursday night‘s season opener in Charlotte against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Head coach Steve Spurrier was more pleased with tonight‘s practice. “Guys are picking up the energy a little bit. I‘m sure North Carolina is also. It should be a heck of a game,” said the South Carolina coach. Coach Spurrier noted that linebacker Jonathan Walton was held out of practice due to a sore back. Tight end Jerell Adams (hamstring) and offensive lineman Cody Waldrop (right knee) remain sidelined as well. “I doubt that Jerell will start now,” said Coach Spurrier. “We‘ll see how he feels Thursday night, but he hasn‘t practiced the last three days. We‘ve got three tight ends (Hayden Hurst, Kyle Markway and Jacob August). All three of them are freshmen and two of them are walk-ons, and they‘re going to play the whole ballgame Thursday night. And they‘ll play their (butts) off. They‘re good ones. We‘re sort of young at tight end, but they‘re good players and they‘ll scrap.” Coach Spurrier wasn‘t fazed that two of the three tight ends were walk-ons. “It is unusual a little bit. Sometimes in recruiting I guess you make mistakes or some of those guys have gotten hurt or whatever. I think one thing is known is that we give walk-ons a chance. They know they can earn a scholarship here if they‘re good enough. We think they‘re good enough, so we‘ll find out,” said the Head Ball Coach. Coach Spurrier is confident in the abilities of redshirt sophomore quarterback Connor Mitch. “He was pretty good tonight,” noted Coach Spurrier of his starting signal-caller. “He made good decisions and that‘s what he‘s got to do. Just make good decisions, throw it where he‘s supposed to, get rid of it and hopefully the pass protection will hold up.” Wide receiver Jared Washington underwent successful surgery on his broken left leg Sunday. “Jared Washington is doing well,” said Coach Spurrier. “Dr. (Jeffrey) Guy said it was a clean break in the bone and fixed it up. A broken bone can heal very well. It was very unfortunate. He sort of got bumped and landed wrong. I wish he hadn‘t gotten bumped, but sometimes that happens out here. We‘ll probably redshirt him. He‘s a wonderful young man and tries as hard as he can and does everything we ask him.” “It was unfortunate,” reiterated wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. of Washington‘s injury. “He kind of got his foot caught in the ground and cracked his leg. They took him in last night and fixed him up. Dr. Guy called me this morning and said it went really well. He could be back in 10-12 weeks, but more than likely we‘ll redshirt him, but he‘s doing fine.” Offensive line coach Shawn Elliott knows that his unit will be tested by a North Carolina defense that surrendered big numbers a year ago. “You look at (the Tar Heel defense). They‘ve got to be hungry,” said Elliott. “They‘ve got to play with a chip on their shoulder. They‘re not proud of what they did a year ago, so you‘ve got to think they heard about that all spring and over the course of the summer and this whole fall camp. They‘ll come out with something to prove. I imagine they‘re going to be a fired up group.” In a uniform number change, cornerback Al Harris Jr. has switched from 31 to 7. The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. Head Coach Steve Spurrier will hold another “Carolina Calls” radio show from 7-8 p.m. Tuesday night at Wild Wing CafÃ© in the Vista.