The University of South Carolina football team persevered through the rising morning temperatures and high humidity as they practiced at the Bluff Road "Proving Grounds" for about two hours Monday morning. The squad worked out in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts during its first morning practice of the preseason.
"This was the first hot day," said head coach Steve Spurrier. "I think we did ok. You always watch the big guys. They were fine and we kept a very good eye on all of them."
Coach Spurrier confirmed that freshman cornerback Rico McWilliams is out for the season. "Rico probably will have to have surgery, so it looks like he will be out this year. It's an unfortunate injury, but no way we could have prevented that. Just two guys running down the field and he accidentally stepped on Shaq (Roland) a little bit and twisted his knee up real good."
Coach Spurrier was positive about the improvement that Andrew Clifford has made. "Andrew's a lot better. He had a good summer I think. If he is the third guy right now? It might be him, might be Seth Strickland. For consistency and knowledge, Clifford and Seth are probably ahead of Tanner (McEvoy). Connor (Shaw) and Dylan (Thompson) are ahead of the guys. (True freshman Brendan) Nosovitch has got a ways to go, which is expected. There's probably a good chance he will be redshirted."
Coach Spurrier confirmed that both Seth Strickland and Walker Inabinet have been placed on scholarship. "We had room to put those guys on scholarship. We're really fortunate this year we have 85 (scholarships to give). We always give out the maximum."
The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. That practice is open to the public.