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Tuesday Tidbits: Will Muschamp updates Gamecocks’ injuries and more

Shi Smith at defensive back? It could happen.

Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina coach Will Muschamp met with the media for his weekly press conference this afternoon, updating us on the team’s lengthy injury report and how some players are developing. The highlights:

On the rash of injuries after Ole Miss

Javon Charleston and Jam Williams are both having surgery this week. Nick Harvey and J.T. Ibe will be out. Everybody practiced except for Bryson Allen-Williams, Rico [Dowdle], and Aaron [Sterling], and I’ll know more about them as the week goes. They’re day-to-day at this time. Hope to get them back out there tomorrow and Thursday. We’ll see how it goes. At this time of the year, everybody’s banged up. That’s part of the deal. Man down, man up.”

On how the defense’s depth will be handled with said injuries

“Rashad Fenton gives us a lot of flexibility. He can play nickel, he can go back and play safety if he needs to. He repped with me today in individual and we’re going to have him mentally prepared to go in the game. Shi Smith is a guy that can go in at corner for us if we need some snaps there. We’ll have a plan ready. ... Shameik’s [Blackshear] played really well, big third down stop in the game Saturday. Dennis Wonnum can play at the end. Danny Fennell, Brad Johnson, Keir Thomas, JJ Enagbare can play end.”

More on Shi Smith as a defensive back

“He was a really good defensive back at Union. Good coverage skills, really good ball skills down the field. He’s tough, he can tackle, he’s on special teams for us. We just met with him to mentally prepare him. It’s not as much about repping, it’s more about getting him to our sideline and if we get into a jam, being able to communicate with him on the things he needs to do. He’ll be fine.”

On playing man coverage more often

“If they run a deep ball, whether you’re in zone or man, you’re going to get tired. That’s part of it. We’ll figure out what we need to do to give us the best chance.”

On the running back rotation for Saturday

“[Mon Denson] and A.J. Ty’Son’s going to be fine. We’re going to cut back on the cast. All three of those guys, they’re all No. 1.”

On what’s different about this trip back to the Swamp

“We’re an older team, number one. We have more experience on our football team. For me, it’s another SEC East opponent. I know y’all have a hard time believing that, but it really is. We spend as much time at the office this week as we do every single week. It’s another great opportunity for our team on the road. If you want to continue to move the program forward, you’ve gotta win tough road games, and this will be a tough road game.”

On R.J. Roderick’s development

“I think he has a high ceiling. He was an option quarterback at Cane Bay High School. He played situationally on third down as a man-to-man cover guy or a deep safety. That’s all he’s ever really understood and known as a defensive back. You ever seen that movie 50 First Dates? There’s multiple firsts. He hasn’t been exposed to these things because he hasn’t been taught as a defensive back. But he’s extremely bright and so he retains information extremely well. He’s able to transfer those things very well because he’s so intelligent.”

On Josh Belk visiting Clemson last weekend

“Josh and I had a conversation. We’re fine. We’re moving on.”


Banged-up offensive linemen Malik Young and Dennis Daley practiced today and looked good, according to Muschamp. ... Muschamp is fully committed to Dakereon Joyner playing quarterback and won’t consider inserting him as a safety. ... Muschamp claims he’s the best dancer on the team, but refuses to submit video evidence to prove it.