Receiver rotation nearly set

Steve Spurrier Jr. met with the media following Thursday's practice to discuss the receiving rotation for next week's season opener against East Carolina.

Just over a week before and one of the hottest topics of the fall is starting to become a little more clearer.

"I have seven or eight I like and it will be week to week," receiver coach Steve Spurrier Jr. said following Thursday's practice. "This isn't like the NFL where you declare the four you keep and cut the rest of them. They've all had a pretty good camp."

Spurrier Jr. trimmed down his top four receivers and the four guys behind them, but the group does not appear to include freshmen K.J. Brent and Shamier Jeffery, who Spurrier Jr. hopes to redshirt.

"Right now I'd like to (redshirt Brent and Jeffery)," Spurrier Jr. said. "Guys have stayed healthy and I have seven or eight guys that I think we can get to this year and do well. Both of those guys have had a great camp and both are going to be really good players for us."

Brent has had a strong camp and drew a lot of attention with his knack for going up and catching the ball, but in the scrimmages hasn't had quite the impact he had during practices. He had a big day in the second scrimmage with 58 yards and a touchdown on three receptions, but only had a 12-yard reception in the other three scrimmages.

Shamier Jeffery hasn't caught the eyes of the public as much as Brent has, but has had a pretty good fall. Spurrier Jr. sees a lot of Alshon Jeffery in his younger brother's first fall, but like Brent, there's just too many guys in front of him.

"I've told Shamier he's got a lot of qualities Alshon has, except Alshon happened to come here when we didn't have six other receivers that were really good," Spurrier Jr. said. "He's got a lot of good qualities and if Shamier had to play he'd be ready to go in three or four weeks. Right now we think his best opportunity will be next year."

The top four according to Spurrier Jr. are no huge surprise. Alshon Jeffery and D.L. Moore will be the outside receivers with Jason Barnes and Ace Sanders on the inside. Barnes and Sanders has had the biggest battle in the slot, both bringing something different to the table. Barnes brings the height at 6-4 and Sanders brings the speed.

"Jason can play anywhere and you'll see him at some other positions," Spurrier Jr. said. "Ace has had an excellent camp and I expect him to hopefully become a big part of this offense. He's going to play a lot in that position. Jason will play at that other B-position with D.L. Moore as well."

Part of the youth movement at the receiver position will make up the second four. Freshman Damiere Byrd, redshirt freshmen Bruce Ellington and Nick Jones, and redshirt sophomore DeAngelo Smith will also see a lot of playing time this season.

"Those guys will all play and hopefully they will get a bunch of snaps in the first game," Spurrier Jr. said. "Hopefully we can evaluate them more as we get moving and kind of pick out the guys that we think is going to have the biggest impact on our offense this year."

Notes

- Jason Barnes will be making his homecoming next week when the Gamecocks play East Carolina in Charlotte. The senior from Independence High is looking forward to playing in front of his hometown crowd.

"I'm looking forward to it," Barnes said. "I haven't played in Charlotte in a while so I'm really looking forward to the opportunity. A lot of people from Charlotte want to come see me play so it's a good chance for me."

After 53 receptions for 633 yards and two touchdowns in his first two seasons, Barnes got lost in the mix in 2010. Despite playing in all 14 games, Barnes only recorded six receptions for 63 yards.

"Last year I didn't have a good camp, but this year I had a great camp," Barnes said. "I was real focused."

- Rory Anderson said that he is number two on the depth chart at tight end behind Justice Cunningham, beating out Drew Owens and Corey Simmons.

- D.J. Swearinger suffered a minor hamstring injury and was in yellow on Thursday. It is not considered serious.


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