Gamecocks prepare for scrimmage

After Thursday's practice was rained out, South Carolina returned to the Bluff Rd. practices fields Friday for a light workout in preparations for the final scrimmage before next week's Garnet and Black spring game. The pads and shorts workout lasted a little less than two hours. Tomorrow's scrimmage is scheduled for 10:30 at Williams-Brice and is open to the public.

"Good," running backs Jay Graham said of the practice. "Guys are moving around with energy. We've just got to keep working. We've got a couple of practices left, so keep working on getting better."

South Carolina faced breezy conditions in what was a light workout on a crisp Columbia day. While the quarterbacks have struggled in windy conditions at other times this spring, it didn't seem to affect them as much Friday. Stephen Garcia, in particular, had one of his best practices of the spring.

"I don't think it affected many [passes] at all," Garcia said of the wind. "We were downwind most of the time, so I don't think it really affected too many passes."

While there's been no indication how the snaps at quarterback will be split in Saturday's scrimmage, Garcia does have some specific things he's working on this spring and hopes to demonstrate in the scrimmage.

"Getting the ball out of my hands a little bit faster, a little bit more accurate," he said. "That's the main thing we've been working on in practice so far is just getting the ball out of the hand to where receivers can get their hands on it."

Wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier, Jr.'s goals for the team and those receivers were much more general.

"We're still trying to polish up, execute assignments, learn defenses on offense, just really trying to improve," he said. "But nothing special, nothing majorly day-to-day we need to focus on. We kind of install some different things week by week. Just make sure we can go out there and snap the ball, block and tackle - execute."

Spurrier, Jr. also responded to rumors that he may have recruited Bruce Ellington to join the football team once the freshman point guard arrived on campus to play basketball.

"That's been made very clear, I have not said a word to him [during basketball]. I talked to him in August; I saw him preseason at a training table and I (had) not talked to him until last week."

"I did send him a text. I sent him a few texts during the year [of] congratulations on how well he played basketball [or] 'good game' but never talked any kind of football at all."

All of that aside, he's excited to add Ellington to what is a wide receiver corp that has already had a positive spring as a whole.

"Obviously, I recruited him [in high school] and I saw him play and I know what he can do," Spurrier, Jr. said. "I've watched him play basketball and I know what kind of explosion and toughness and talent he's got. But, heck, I can't do anything with him until August. ... But look forward to seeing what he can do and we have every intention of putting him on the field and letting him play."

Ellington will join a receiving corps that already has six or seven players Spurrier, Jr. says he is comfortable with playing.

"There's been a few drops but other than that I think the younger guys are learning the offense a lot more," Garcia said of the receivers. "That comes with reps. But I think guys like Lamar (Scruggs) and DeDe (DeAngelo Smith) are coming along well."

Even with that depth, Spurrier, Jr. is hoping the cream will rise to the top eventually.

"Still at the end of the day, you want to have one, two or three great players," he says. "That kind of determines what kind of group that you have."

Saturday's scrimmage will take place inside Williams-Brice Stadium and will start around 10:30. It is open to the public.

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