Spurrier Hails Speed A Strength

Steve Spurrier claimed it was a "typical first practice." But in the eyes of many in attendance it was anything but that ...

"This is probably the largest crowd I have ever had for a practice in my college career," Spurrier said Tuesday night after officially getting the season underway with practice number 1.

"At least just regular practices ... not talking about scrimmages or anything."

And the Spurrier era is underway.

Coach Spurrier is a man in control as the crowd of near, or over, 1000 loyal Gamecock fans watched on and listened to Spurrier bark commands over a megaphone - even for breaks.

"I like to control the flow of things during practice - especially during these first ones," Spurrier remarked afterwards.

There is no doubt who is in charge on this football team.

But micromanage he does not.

This team looked like a team who had been 'doing it' for weeks. Unlike past 'first day' teams who were tentative, this team seemed to move in schools, the unison found in large groups of anything that travels in the same direction at the same time. No one looked confused, no one looked out of place. Even the new kids were right on time and moving with a purpose out there. Their coaches not bothering to limit themselves to the normal first day basics.

"Its pretty impressive," said Na'Shan Goddard afterwards. "I mean, yeah, it's different. It's like everything is like clockwork or something. Nobody is yelling and screaming. Nobody is worried about doing something wrong or anything either ... nothing like that. It's just real smooth out there. Not relaxed. I wouldn't say that, but more like sort of quiet intense."

That was about as good a way of putting it as any.

Yet Spurrier didn't notice any real change in practice attitude. He probably just expected it to be that way and has never been a part of anything any other way.

Instead, what Spurrier noticed was speed.

"One thing that jumped out at me tonight was the speed we have on this team," Spurrier exclaimed right from the get go.

"We may be the fastest team they have ever had around here."

"We've got a lot of talent out there". A comment that will make Gamecock fans breathe easier. If he believes there is talent out there, then there is hope - Spurrier has something to work with.

"We do have some speed out there ... some guys who can run," Spurrier continued. "O.J., Carlos, Kenny Mac, they can all run. Yeah, speed you need but a lot of other things factor into it ..."

There you go. He throttled the over-enthusiasm. He caught himself before it was too late and decided to finish on another note.

"James Scott ... he's graduated," Spurrier said. Meaning Scott was gone and has moved on to bigger and better things in life. Something we had been saying was going to happen since last season when we had an asterik by his name on the hotsheet.

Spurrier made it official.

"... and there are a few players who were out here tonight who maybe weren't supposed to be. And there are a couple under appeal ... still appealing things."

Coach Spurrier wasn't specific. He left everyone guessing as usual - but with a promise.

"We won't know for sure about some of them until a couple days before summer practice ends, before the season starts probably. You never know."

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