Under another beautiful Columbia day, the South Carolina Gamecocks' spring session count reached double-digits. Whizzing around in helmets and shoulder pads, Steve Spurrier's group completed their 10th practice of spring football.
As usual, Spurrier spoke with the media after practice. He opened by discussing Dawn Staley, the South Carolina women's basketball team, and the test they have in front of them. Spurrier, as well as several USC officials, are heading to Tampa to cheer on Staley and the Lady Gamecocks.
After that discussion, Spurrier quickly dove into the play of his quarterbacks. "All three of (the quarterbacks) have really improved," Spurrier said. "Connor (Mitch) does a lot of good things here and there. Perry (Orth) and (Michael) Scarnecchia do some good things too. We'll keep them all competing and learning the offense and so forth." The Head Ball coach also somewhat revealed his plan for naming the starting quarterback. He said the team would get through the spring and summer, get Lorenzo Nunez in, and then decide the starter either the week before or two weeks before USC takes on North Carolina. Spurrier said that's likely the plan unless one of the quarterbacks just starts to blow away the competition.
While Spurrier is happy overall with his QBs thus far, he said they just did ok in yesterday's practice but noted it wasn't their fault. "We're at a point where the offensive line has a tough time blocking our D-line right now," Spurrier said. "We've got all the guys in there that have never played basically except Alan Knott at center. The rest of them are all freshman, redshirt freshman type guys. But that's good for them. So we don't get many passes off. But that's ok right now." The Gamecocks were without offensive lineman Mike Matulis, Cody Waldrop, Brandon Shell, and Clayton Stadnik today. Shell and Matulis are missing the entire spring session but Waldrop and Stadnik are just banged up and should return soon.
The Head Ball coach also gave notes on how his bunched up receivers behind Pharoh Cooper are doing. "Deebo (Samuel) is doing well," Spurrier said. "Deebo is going to play a lot. Terry Googer caught some balls today... Shaq Davidson... Shamier Jeffery catches most of them. He still drops a few here and there."
His son, wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. also met with the media and discussed his personnel group further, especially Terry Googer. "Not bad," Jr. said when asked how Googer has looked. "Not as fast as you want one of your wide receiver's to be but he's big, and he can play on that. When he runs routes and there's a guy all over him, he catches it, and there's value in that. He catches with people all over him. When the ball is in the air, he's done a good job of coming down with it. He's got a good attitude and a good personality, he'll be alright."
An unappropriated storyline is the band of wide receivers behind Pharoh Cooper. It's gotten some attention but not as much as one would think, probably because of the quarterback battle. Thinking back, there's been a number of years in a row with no uncertainty at the wide receiver position until now. Spurrier Jr. was asked if there is plenty of opportunity for guys to separate themselves this spring and summer. "I would say there is, I would say there is," Jr. said in response. "There's a big opportunity for all these guys." Spurrier Jr. went on to note that his group is an excited, fun, young bevy of talent and he has to keep reminding himself whenever he yells at them for a mistake that most of them have never been through anything like this before.
The Gamecocks practice again today and then scrimmage tomorrow morning at Williams-Brice Stadium. Both sessions are closed to the public.