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Lance Thompson updates Shameik Blackshear status, details plans for South Carolina DL, and more practice notes

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The DL coach sits down with the media after Wednesday’s session.

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Gamecocks DL coach Lance Thompson met with the media after the Gamecocks’ practice session today. Here’s just a little bit of what he had to say:

—The team plans on rotating players up front, and Thompson “would love to“ have a total of 10 players he can count on to figure into that rotation by opening day. In other words, despite Qua Lewis, Kelsey Griffin, Taylor Stallworth and Daniel Fennell holding the top spots along the front four, expect to see guys like Keir Thomas, Darius English, Abu Lamin and Ulric Jones (coming off a redshirt year) see some time at different points of the year if things go as planned.

—On the pass rush: Thompson did mention that the number one priority for the DL was stopping the run, but “effectively affecting the quarterback” - either by hurries, forcing him to move around, or sacks. “We still have a long way to go in that.”

—One player Thompson mentioned was Shameik Blackshear. Blackshear, who is recovering from gunshot wounds suffered back in December, continues “rebuilding strength” and is “working very hard” to get back to game shape. Going off my gut feeling, I wouldn’t expect him to be ready by September 1, but he should come along well enough to contribute closer to the midpoint of the season.

—Dennis “D.J.” Wonnum got some high praise from Thompson after the session: “For a true freshman, he’s got the mind of a senior. He sees the game, is natural, is reactive. We’re all very encouraged and very happy with (him).” The DE has to figure heavily into that DL rotation as a true freshman if he continues his strong camp.

—Marquavius Lewis will be used at multiple positions, not just at end, but inside as well.

Video from Gamecock Central: