Gamecocks work through first two-a-day

After working through a light practice in just shells on Sunday night, the Gamecocks went through their first two-a-day of fall camp on Monday. Read inside as South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier weighs in on the two practices.

Facing the rigors of the first two-a-day, the Gamecocks were inconsistent from one practice to the next, according to Spurrier.

"This morning's was a little crisper," Spurrier said after the evening session. "It was crisp this morning, and it was real sloppy this afternoon. I don't know, our guys were a little tired maybe with two-a-days today. We're just going one tomorrow, and actually Wednesday we'll go a little bit in the morning and Wednesday night also."

Wednesday night's 8 p.m. scrimmage was originally scheduled to be closed to the public, but after some thought Spurrier decided to open it up to the public.

"We're going to do a scrimmage with the young guys again, and we would like for the Carolina fans to be able to come, just don't bring any video cameras," Spurrier said. "We don't want to tape it and send it all over the country. If we can get some people in the stands, I like that better than an empty stadium to tell you the truth. Last week when we had a scrimmage and nobody there, it just didn't seem right. I like to see the people in the stands, see some sportswriters, and see how the players play with a crowd around them."

While seniors like Kenny McKinley and Mike Davis, who is still day-to-day, won't play, Spurrier said most of the other healthy players will participate.

"Our quarterbacks will all play," Spurrier said. "Most of the guys will play, but those senior guys don't need to go out there and practice and get hit a lot."

Davis returned to practice Monday, but was in a yellow jersey and limited, while tight end Jared Cook was back near full speed for the first time since the opening day of practice.

"(Davis) was running around today with a gold shirt, but I doubt that he will scrimmage Wednesday night. But he should be fine in a week or so; he was running okay," Spurrier said. "Jared's close to 100 percent; he was back running around today."

The defense had a good day of work, but the offense still has a long way to go, according to Spurrier. The starting five on the offensive line is still not known, as Spurrier said only two spots are settled.

"I'll tell you who has really done well is Quintin Richardson, a local Spring Valley High School product," Spurrier said. "But Jarriel King is doing some good things in there, so I don't know who's going to start. Garrett [Anderson] and Seaver [Brown] are battling it out for the center spot. (Heath Batchelor) has probably nailed down one spot. [Justin] Sorenson has probably nailed down one, so I guess two out of five is pretty solid."

South Carolina will practice again Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday at 9 a.m. before scrimmaging Wednesday night in Williams-Brice Stadium at 8 p.m.

Pepper ready to play

Redshirt junior defensive tackle Nathan Pepper, who has not played a live game snap since injuring his ACL against S.C. State last season, has waited about as long as about anyone on the Gamecock football team to go under the lights of Williams-Brice Stadium Aug. 28th.

After suffering the season-ending injury, Pepper also missed all of spring practice. He says he is just happy to be back close to 100 percent and practicing with his teammates.

"It's feeling pretty good," Pepper said. "It's just feeling good to come out here and start playing full speed and cutting off of it. So that's going pretty good."

Pepper is trying to put any thoughts that the injury could linger this season out of mind, despite the fact his former roommate and fellow defensive tackle Marque Hall was unable to come back full speed last year after suffering a similar injury in 2006.

"It's a different injury for different guys, so it's hard to tell right now [if the injury will linger like Hall's]," Pepper said. "But hopefully I can get through it and keep battling through it. His was an ACL with a little more tears in other places."

Pepper says he feels close to 100 percent physically and now just has to get back into football shape.

"It's just getting back out here and playing full speed against some guys," Pepper said. "I'm just trying to get my strength back, get back to playing the game, and getting myself in shape for the game."

The optimistic Pepper says the injury was "freakish", but he believes things happen for a reason.

Pepper is currently running with the first team defense alongside Ladi Ajiboye at defensive tackle.


- Center Garrett Anderson practiced, but was not 100 percent after banging up his shoulder in Saturday's scrimmage.

- C.C. Whitlock was back at practice and "should be back for a while," according to Spurrier.

- Stephen Garcia was sidelined Monday and in a yellow jersey due an ankle sprain he suffered in the scrimmage. Garcia will miss a week or two, according to Spurrier.

- Jasper Brinkley was out of a walking boot, but did not practice.

- Jamon Meredith did not practice again, either.

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