The final Tuesday practice of spring football wrapped up yesterday afternoon. After the 13th of 15 spring practices ended, head coach Steve Spurrier spoke with the media, giving perspective to this year's round of spring workouts.
"We've seen a lot from a lot of these players that haven't played much at all, especially on offense," Spurrier said when asked to give his assessment of the spring. "The defense has a lot of the players, especially the linebackers that are going to play next year. We've got a lot of players coming in this summer and got a lot of players hurt, so this is not our team by any means. The spring game will be a lot of players who have not played very much out there having a go at it. Hopefully no one will get hurt, we'll score a couple touchdowns and keep everything pretty simple. That's the goal there. Spring practice is only four weeks, but the summer is two and a half months," continued Spurrier. "So that's more important probably time-wise than just the four weeks of spring ball. But we've gotten quite a bit done. I think it's been productive."
Yesterday's practice began the final week of spring football and it wasn't until this week that the media heard from linebackers coach Kirk Botkin. While Spurrier said that the linebackers were a lot of the players the Gamecocks had out there doing well this spring, Botkin still seeks more consistency from his group. "It's been kind of up-and-down this spring," admitted Botkin. "Some guys have done some good things. They've all done good things, they've all done bad things. We just need a little more consistency out of them."
"I think we're still a work in progress," Botkin said of the defense as a whole. "We're trying to get better each and every day. We're concentrating on fundamentals, which is the biggest thing. I know we've got a bunch of guys (injured) right now, but we're going out there and trying to coach our best with the guys we've got."
This final week of spring practice culminates in the annual Garnet & Black Spring Game this Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium. Coach Botkin gave the criteria of what he wants to see Saturday afternoon. "Guys playing hard, doing their assignment, making plays when the opportunity arises," Botkin said. "The biggest thing, I call the little things - alignment, stance, technique and where your eyes are, reading your keys, doing your job. That's the biggest thing we're trying to do with these kids in the spring."
South Carolina will have one more workout, this Thursday, before wrapping up the spring with the spring game on Saturday. The annual scrimmage is scheduled for noon and admission is free. The game will be broadcast live on SEC Network + with Dave Lamont and Booger McFarland in the booth and Kaylee Hartung working the sidelines.