The University of South Carolina football team avoided the showers that lingered throughout the day in Columbia and opened fall camp Friday night with a two-hour session at the Bluff Road practice fields in front of a few hundred fans.
“We had a pretty good workout,” said head coach Steve Spurrier. “The guys are in excellent shape. Joe Connolly and our strength staff have done a super job as usual during the summer. Our players seemed to have worked very hard and conditioning-wise we’re in pretty good shape.
“It was a decent practice,” continued the Head Ball Coach, “but our centers can’t throw the ball back to the quarterbacks very well yet. Whoever can do it will be the starting center, because right now both of them (Cody Waldrop and Clayton Stadnik) were a little bit erratic.”
Coach Spurrier was pleased with his quarterback play after the squad’s first workout. “Dylan (Thompson) looks good,” noted the Gamecocks’ 10th-year head coach. “Connor Mitch looked much improved tonight. Perry Orth threw some good ones in there. Brendan Nosovitch actually played a little tight end and quarterback tonight. He’s a very good athlete and we’re trying to find a place where he can get on the field and help us.”
Coach Spurrier likes this team’s attitude entering the season. “We’ve got good team chemistry,” he noted. “That means they all get along with each other. We’ll find out if they can all play very well. They players all like each other. Attitude-wise we’re in good shape.”
Junior tailback Mike Davis headlined a list of several players who were held out of Friday’s practice due to injury. Davis has been nursing a sore hamstring. “I don’t think he’ll practice until next week some time,” said Coach Spurrier. However, the head coach did not seem to be overly concerned due to the stable of running backs on the roster. “Those other three backs looked awfully good. Shon Carson, Brandon Wilds and David Williams were fast, flying around. Sometimes those hamstrings linger, but we’ve got good running backs. We’re in good shape there.”
In addition to Davis, others who were in yellow jerseys and did not practice tonight included Rory Anderson (triceps), Shaq Davidson (knee), Jacob August (foot), Alan Knott (knee), Kevin Crosby (foot), Blake McClain (foot), Brock Stadnik (knee), and Donell Stanley (wrist). The only player on the active roster who was not on hand Friday was freshman defensive back D.J. Smith, who recently had his wisdom teeth removed.
The Gamecocks will return to the Bluff Road practice fields Saturday night at 7:15 p.m. The practice is open to the public.