Marcus Satterfield and Shane Beamer will be quick when talking about freshman Colten Gauthier to mention the freshman quarterback should still be in high school.
Instead, the four-star prospect out of Georgia was with the Gamecocks during spring practice, enrolling early to get a head start on learning the offense.
And while there were still some freshman moments likely, Gauthier showed some flashes over the team’s 15 practices.
“It’s great to see Colten starting to learn the offense,” Eric Douglas said. “Satt asked him about the play and the play wasn’t even up there or the words and he just spit it out. I was like, ‘He knows what he’s talking about. I like that. I like that.’”
Gauthier committed to South Carolina under the previous staff and stayed firm in his pledge during a coaching change, signing in December and enrolling in January.
The 6-foot-3 passer was the first quarterback off the bench in the team’s spring game, taking second-team snaps after Luke Doty handled all of the first-team reps.
He’s not a finished product but he showed some arm talent and knowledge of Satterfield’s offense.
“He’s been able to learn it, execute everything from the pre-snap run game, pre-snap MIKE points, pre-snap protection adjustments. We threw a ton on that kid and he’s done a really, really nice job,” Satterfield said. “He’s put on some weight and is almost 220 pounds. You can feel his presence out there. He has elite arm talent and I’m really excited about where his game is going.”
What’s next for him, Beamer said, is getting better about timing with receivers and going through his reads quickly because defense are going to get into the backfield within just a few seconds of the ball being snapped.
“I think Colten’s done a nice job. He’s got natural arm talent. He can throw the football, and that’s obvious. With him it’s not every play is 7-on-7 where you can just drop back with no pass rush and sit back there for five seconds and throw the football,” Beamer said. “Mentally he definitely knows what to do. If you ask him to draw up everything we’re doing offensively and explain it to you, he works at it.”
What Gauthier attributed some of his spring success to was delving headfirst into the Gamecocks’ playbook and working on his own to get better with the resources at his disposal.
“There are days where I’m in the indoor and it’s me and Connor Shaw and we’re just going through the script and going through it with every single play over and over again. That’s what it’s going to take,” Gauthier said. “It’s submerging yourself in the playbook and understanding what’s asked of you and being able to execute as best as you can.”
Going into the summer, Luke Doty is the team’s starter — Beamer did say competition will be ongoing — but Gauthier will be competing with transfer Jason Brown and Connor Jordan for the bulk of second-team reps.