“We had, I thought, a very productive spring. We really wanted to work on the fundamentals and techniques that we were going to need, especially in a new defensive scheme. We wanted to continue developing depth in our offensive line and defensive line and at other positions so that we could have some good competition, and I'd say for the most part, we got all those things accomplished.”
Just wanted to ask you about quarterback Marquise Williams, his rehab, where he's at, kind of how everything is going with him as he progresses forward.
“Yeah, I'd say things are going very well. They tell us that he's ahead of schedule, and I think when he had his last checkup in Nashville, they told him that these next four weeks was a very crucial time because he feels like he's 100 percent, and so this is when they see most of the recurring injuries, and so we have to be very careful with him right now. He's got to stick to the plan. But we anticipate him being back here full speed in just a few weeks.”
What was it like for you to go through spring without him? Were you able to assess a lot about the offense despite the fact that he wasn't there?
“Oh, yeah, yeah. I mean, what we did was Mitch Trubisky ran with the ones so he got a lot of reps, a lot of meaningful reps, and then you have Caleb Henderson and Anthony Ratliff that were there that also got reps with the twos. So I thought it was beneficial. We made the most of it. I would have loved for Quise to be there so he could have gotten a bunch of reps, but he has the most reps of anybody in the offense, and so if it had to happen to anybody, I think it was good for him.”
Was Marquise's situation something that happened during the season or was it something that occurred after the season was over? And given the fact that Trubisky has gotten so much more work in spring practice, do you anticipate the quarterback situation being similar to last year or do you see Mitch getting a little bit more reps during game situations?
“Yeah, it did happen to him at a point in the season. I couldn't tell you exactly the time that it happened, but as you watched his production as the season went on, I think the wear and tear of the injury, it hampered him a little bit. I think right now we've got some great competition right there, which we're trying to establish, and we are. We've got some depth there. Marquise is our starting quarterback, and I'm looking forward to watching those guys compete in fall camp, but I anticipate Marquise taking that first snap against South Carolina and getting after it.”
I know you guys, when it comes to recruiting, have been affected by all the uncertainty with the NCAA investigation. Wondering what you've been telling kids, just kind of about that in terms of the timeline of it, and are you familiar with any kind of timeline?
“No. To be honest with you, all we do is try to tell kids that we're at the mercy of the NCAA. Whenever it happens, it happens. We don't have a timeline. No one has given us any information. I feel confident in what we're doing since we've been here, so right now, we'll just have to wait and see what they say.”
What, if anything, can you glean in terms of the season opener from the game two years ago in Columbia. Can you really evaluate any of it just because there's been so many changes on both sides of the ball for the Gamecocks?
“Well, they're still a very strong football team, there's no doubt about it, and we'll find out where we match up and how much improvement we've made as a football team and in recruiting and in developing and all those things. There will be some guys that play in the game that played in it a couple years ago because we played a lot of young guys in that game, and so hopefully those guys have grown up and they're better football players at this time.”
With Gene Chizik obviously coming aboard as defensive coordinator, what has this spring told you about the impact he's going to have on your defense, both him and his scheme?
“Well, obviously Gene is going to have a tremendous impact on our defense. He's running it. We have a completely new scheme, and I would say with the additions of John Papuchis and Charlton Warren and the things that they've brought also from Nebraska, it's a great mixture between the two.”
But Gene is in charge of it. I mean, he's installing his style of coaching, his style of way, the way he wants those guys to play.
“Yeah, I'm just excited about seeing the end result once the season gets here.”
You've got a great core coming back, but one place where you've got a little gap are your two kickers. I wonder if you can tell us what you saw in spring, who looked good, and how you see that going forward.
“Well, I thought both of them progressed. I mean, we’ve got three guys really competing for that job at placekicking. I think [Nick] Weiler will definitely be our kickoff guy this next year. He did a tremendous job last year, and he'll continue to do that this next year. But he is competing with the other two guys this spring. I thought they all made progress. I thought they were all better than we were during the season, so you know, I anticipate us getting much more production out of that position.”
Is there one particular area on defense you think you made the most improvement this spring looking at it from last year?
“Yeah, I would say our secondary. You know, just the things that we've changed in our secondary. Also those guys have they've all got a year of experience in, and also as far as just playing and being out there, but they've adapted well to the new scheme and the new techniques that Gene and Charlton want them to play back there, so I would say coming out of spring, I'd say that would have been the most productive area.”
Wednesday Larry Fedora Quotes
Inside Carolina Top Stories
First Report: UNC Throttles Virginia, 35-14UNC won its 700th game in school history.
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Pinson Out IndefinitelyThere is no current timetable for his return.
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Washington Meets with UNC, Changes TimelineFive-star P.J. Washington met with North Carolina and Kentucky this past week. Washington, who will make an early decision, also made a shift in his visit plans.
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