COLUMBIA – While the conditions for South Carolina’s return to spring practice were perfect on Tuesday, the forecast does not look as promising for Thursday, according to head coach Steve Spurrier.
“On Thursday a rain storm is expected, so we will not be practicing out here,” the Gamecocks’ head coach said. “Fans don’t need to worry about coming out Thursday.” The team had tentatively scheduled a scrimmage for Thursday afternoon. Spurrier indicated the team may still practice but would move into the indoor facility to get their work in.
“Guys were hustling today,” Spurrier said. “Shaq Roland made some nice catches. The defensive guys made some good plays. It was a pretty decent practice.”
• Spurrier was sporting a Boston Red Sox cap during the workout. “I played in a charity golf event back in February in Fort Myers, Florida and the Red Sox were there. They sent me a hat today. (Former Gamecock) Jackie Bradley Jr. was the star of the show yesterday. He played well.”
• Spurrier said Connor Shaw should be 100 percent by June.
• Chaz Elder said he has been working strictly at free safety this spring.
• USC was back in shorts and shells for the first of four practices this week.
• Bruce Ellington, Victor Hampton and Brandon Wilds did some light work at kickoff return. The first two did the returning and Wilds was blocking. Roland also got a few reps at return late in the drill.
• Hampton had two interceptions in pass skeletons.
• Sharrod Golightly had an interception returned for a touchdown in 11-on-11 drills.
• Ellington had an outstanding day catching the ball during pass drills. He seems to have already taken the mantle of the team’s leading returning receiver and wants to prove he’s worthy, even in the spring.
• Players who didn’t practice or who were in yellow jerseys were: Ronnie Martin (hamstring), Damiere Byrd (hamstring), Kane Whitehurst, Cody Gibson (knee), Cedrick Cooper (knee), Shaw (foot), Mike Matulis (shoulder), T.J. Gurley (knee), Rico McWilliams (knee), Ahmad Christian (baseball) and Shon Carson (baseball).
Alshon on Shamier
Wide receiver and St. Matthews native Shamier Jeffery continues, along with Shaq Roland, to establish himself as a front-runner for major playing time in the fall.
Jeffery said he has relied on the council of his older brother. Alshon has advised patience but says it’s Shamier’s time.
“He’s got to motivate himself,” Alshon said. “I can tell him, but I can’t go out there and catch the ball for him. I told him, ‘You just have to work hard and put in your time and it will come to you. You just have to be patient. If you’re good enough and stick with it, it’s going to show. Your time will come, and when it does, you have to take off with it.’ ”
The USC athletics department is inviting all former South Carolina football players to attend a special event on April 9. They are asked to attend the team’s spring practice at the Bluff Road “Proving Grounds” across the street from Williams-Brice Stadium, beginning at 4 p.m. Following practice, the former players are invited to a dinner in the Zone at Williams-Brice Stadium.