Practice Report: Gamecocks special teams set

South Carolina continued its preparations for Vanderbilt Monday evening. It was a long practice lasting over two hours for the Gamecocks as they work to finalize every little detail as the season opener draw nears.

Special Teams Set

New special teams coach Joe Robinson spoke after practice on Monday night and provide an update on several special teams positions.

Adam Yates was listed as the starter for the place-kicker position and Robinson felt like his experience and consistency helped him win the job.

"He showed the most consistency. He's handled the job very well. They've all done really well. It's been a solid competition which they've all helped each other get better. He's just an older guy with some experience and been very consistent."

Robinson also spoke highly of redshirt freshman Landon Ard this evening. Ard has given Robinson something to look forward to in the future but he's a guy that pushed Yates for the place-kicker position.

"Landon is also very accurate. He's very accurate today. Over time, Yates did a good job and Landon has been very accurate as well."

The kick returner position is also solidified for the Gamecocks right now with Ellington listed as the top kick returner.

"Bruce Ellington is back there as kickoff returner with great experience. Two guys who should see reps behind him before we get to far in the season are Damiere Byrd and Victor Hampton."

When asked about whether punter Tyler Hull would start off punting for the Gamecocks and the possibility of seeing Patrick Fish on Thursday, Coach Robinson had this to say:

"I'm not sure we're gonna punt. We've got a plan and a couple of guys battling it out and it's up to the last minute. I don't know right now who will go out there but they've put themselves in position to play."

Mangus speaks on departure of McEvoy and Royster:

Coach GA Mangus spoke this evening in regards to the recent transfers of New Jersey products Tanner McEvoy and Sheldon Royster. Mangus felt like it was merely a coincidence and sometimes these things happen.

"It happens all the time. It's just coincidence. It happens that guys leave all the time around college football. We wish them well. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't."

Mangus also went on to say that the departure of these two players won't keep him from recruiting the New Jersey area.

Elliott excited for offensive line:

Shawn Elliott seems amped up for this Thursday's game when it comes to his offensive line. Elliott was asked about Brandon Shell specifically and had this to say:

This has nothing to do with Brandon Shell. Y'all act like he's the second coming. We're excited to get out there and play some football. I want those five starting guys to be excited to go out there and play together. I'm glad he's on our team but I'm excited for this whole team to play.

Coach Elliott also mentioned that there is no set rotation between Mike Matulis and Cody Gibson at the right tackle spot.

"I have no idea. Matulis may walk out there and trip over a rock and we'll have to get Gibson in there. If Mike is playing well, he'll probably go. If he's not, we'll make substitutions.

The center position is an extremely important position and Coach Elliott says that there is no added pressure for senior T.J. Johnson. He states that the center position has pressure already regardless of the whether they are a freshman or a senior.

Kenny Miles ready for the season to start

Miles returned for his fifth year at South Carolina and is certainly getting excited for the start of the season.

"I'm excited to get on the field and help our guys out. We've been working real hard."

Miles was asked about whether he is expecting a ton of carries or not but says he'll leave that up to the coaching staff.

"I'm not a coach. I'm just a player out here working and whatever happens, happens.

Miles went on to talk about how great of a player Mike Davis is and how they've been helping him with the play calls and so forth. He says he likes opening up on Thursday night and knows that the nation will be watching since it's The Opening game of the season.

The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. Head coach Steve Spurrier will host his weekly radio show on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. from Wild Wings Café in the Vista.

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