Giles to transfer, Gamecocks continue prep

The South Carolina football team continued its preparations for Saturday night's key SEC match-up with the Auburn Tigers in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Coach Spurrier met with the media following practice to discuss the game, the transfer of Jarvis Giles, and what the team is planning on doing Saturday night to honor Kenny McKinley.

The biggest news coming out today is the decision of running back Jarvis Giles to transfer from the university.

"Jarvis has decided he'd like to transfer so we certainly wish Jarvis the best and he'll have a release to go where he wants to," Gamecock head coach Steve Spurrier said. "Jarvis is a fine young man and we wish him the best."

The sophomore was a highly-rated speedster out of Tampa, Fla. that had many Gamecock fans excited about what he could do for the Gamecocks. However, due to a preseason injury he found himself deep down on the depth chart behind Marcus Lattimore, Brian Maddox, and Kenny Miles. Spurrier said he won't limit where Giles can transfer, even inside the SEC.

"He can go anywhere he wants to," Spurrier said. "I don't think it's fair to limit a player if he wants to go play somewhere. He wants to go play. I encourage guys that want to enjoy college football, if it's not working out where you are and that's one of your big goals, then I encourage them to transfer and go play. Now, if graduating from your state university is important, then that's another side that may keep you here, even if you're not playing. There are all kinds of reasons in life we do things, and Jarvis wants to play."

Spurrier said the team had a pretty good practice on Wednesday and is excited to see how his team will react to its first road challenge of the season.

"We had a good practice today," Spurrier said. "(We) threw some good balls here and there, some errant throws. Anyways, it was a decent practice and look forward to Saturday night - big game, big crowd, big stadium, and we'll see how we can handle it."

Many are concerned about the play of the offensive line after last Saturday night's game against Furman. Guard Garrett Chisolm missed the game due to the death of his father, guard Rokevious Watkins was injured during the game, and tackle Hutch Eckerson was out with an ankle injury. Most will be back Saturday night.

"They were bouncing around a little bit today," Spurrier said of the line. "Rokevious was back, Garrett Chisolm was back, Campbell was back today. He (Campbell) took yesterday off. He and Kenny were very close. He took yesterday off but seemed to be OK today."

Eckerson practiced today, but Spurrier says he didn't look that good.

"He was trying, but he was gimping around all day," Spurrier said. "He didn't have much in him today. You never know for sure, but he didn't do much today."

Spurrier says he is expecting teams to start trying to stop the run and make his team throw. The Gamecocks have ran the ball 127 times against 72 pass attempts. A lot of that has to do with the emergence of Marcus Lattimore, but Spurrier says someone has to step up in the passing game.

"I hope so, but I don't know until we play some games if we got a lot of chemistry," Spurrier said. "I'm sure they're going to try and stop the run. I know that's what I'd do if I was playing South Carolina. I'd try and make them throw to try and beat us."

Sophomore Alshon Jeffery has been the leading receiver all year. He has 19 receptions for 306 yards while the rest of the team has a combined 30 receptions for 276 yards. Receiver coach Steve Spurrier, Jr. isn't too concerned about Jeffery's numbers compared to the other receivers.

"If he catches 10 a game that'd be fine for me," Spurrier, Jr. said. "The reason he's got most of our catches is he's got that screen pass down on the side more than anyone else. We need some other guys to play well but they're all playing pretty good. We haven't thrown the ball a lot, but we're doing well as a group."

Spurrier, Jr. said he hasn't seen teams begin to shade over towards Jeffery's side of the field yet, but he says that may change this week. That should give other receiver's a chance to step up and make big plays, something Spurrier, Jr. believes Carolina has plenty of.

"They all want a shot at it," Spurrier, Jr. said. "We got a viable second, viable third, viable fourth - they're just waiting for their shot. Hopefully a second or third will step up this week."

When Jeffery was told what Spurrier said about making the team throw, he says he'd like to see that happen at the end of the game.

"It's going to be a great game," Jeffery said. "If it's gonna come down to it (receiver's getting the ball) we're gonna come out on top. If the ball's in our hands when it comes down to the last drive South Carolina's gonna win the game - receiver's gonna make big plays, running backs, whatever. We want this game real bad."

Of course Spurrier, Jr. and the receivers were heavily effected by the death of Kenny McKinley. Spurrier, Jr. - obviously choked up talking about it - says he and McKinley were very close.

"I'm very similar to my father's," Spurrier, Jr. said of his reaction to the news. "It's a tough moment. Sad day for Carolina football. One of my favorites, easily. But we'll take a couple of days and try and get ready for Auburn. He meant a lot. He was a special guy to me and meant a lot to this team. We're doing all we can to try and get ready for Auburn."

Jeffery echoed Spurrier, Jr.'s thoughts.

"Kenny was a great guy," Jeffery said. "I met him, I hung out with him - me and Terrance Campbell. It was a sad day. In my opinion he's the best receiver here. He told me that one day I was going to break his record, we'll see about that. I really looked up to him and what he did here."

Jeffery says the receivers watch Kenny every day and that Spurrier, Jr. wants them to try and emulate what McKinley did.

"We watch film on Kenny every day - what he did, how he got open," Jeffery said. "I think he's one of Coach Spurrier Jr.'s best players."

The team will wear No. 11 stickers on their helmets Saturday night.

C.C. Whitlock, who is dealing with the loss of his brother, was at home today and not at practice, but is expected to play

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