Gamecocks return to practice

After enjoying an off day on Sunday, the South Carolina Gamecock football team returned to the Bluff Road practice fields Monday night for a two-hour workout in shoulder pads and shorts.

Defensive line coach Brad Lawing has answered a slew of media questions this fall about coaching highly-recruited defensive end Jadaveon Clowney.

"I'm going to play the best players," said Lawing when asked if Clowney would start the opener. "There's a bunch of them that are going to play in that opening game. (Clowney) is getting better. He's learned how to use his hands. Most kids coming out of high school, that's the one thing they don't know how to do. He's gotten better and better with it. He's very coachable. The three things about him that you would never know ... No. 1 - he is very humble. No. 2 - tremendous competitor. Then No. 3 - he wants to be coached. He wants to learn and I've been very impressed by that. He has tremendous acceleration. He can really accelerate to the football. That's something that is God-given. He'll play physical too."

There is still an on-going battle at the defensive tackle position next to Travian Robertson.

"We're building a lot of depth," said Lawing. "All those guys bring different things to the table. They've impressed me with different things."

In other news, sophomore quarterback Connor Shaw was back taking snaps with the offensive unit. Shaw had been sidelined for a few days after injuring his thumb in last Wednesday's scrimmage. Freshman defensive tackle Phillip Dukes also returned to practice on Monday. He had been sidelined since suffering a high ankle sprain on August 11.

The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields Tuesday afternoon at 4:15 p.m.

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