Gamecocks work out twice on Friday

With kickoff less than two weeks away, the Gamecocks worked through a two-a-day on Friday as they prepared for another scrimmage on Saturday. While Wednesday's open scrimmage featured mostly younger players, Spurrier said all healthy players would participate in Saturday's closed session. Read inside as GamecockAnthem has the full report on Friday's practices.


"We're going to try to let everybody play tomorrow," Spurrier said of Saturday's 4:15 p.m. scrimmage. "I told David Reaves we've got seven quarterbacks, and I said everybody is going to play so remind me [to get everyone in]. They may only get one play, but we're going to let them go in there and hand off or throw it, do something. So I'm going to try my best to get everyone on the field."

Among those seven quarterbacks will be redshirt freshman Stephen Garcia, who Spurrier said is back healthy and will get some snaps.

Linebacker Jasper Brinkley, who has missed multiple practices with a sprained ankle, was back in his regular white practice jersey tonight, but was still limited.

"He did a little bit, not too much," Spurrier said of Brinkley. "He may do a little bit tomorrow, we'll see, but not too much."

Jarriel King was also back practicing in a limited capacity, and Spurrier said he hopes King can do something Saturday in the scrimmage.

Freshman wide receiver C.C. Whitlock missed practice with a bruised knee, but could be back as early as Saturday, according to Spurrier.

Spurrier said he did not see Kevin Young at Friday night's practice, but he was "not surprised" to see the recent indictment of two of the police officers involved in Young's arrest March 2.

After the scrimmage Saturday, the Gamecocks, who have practiced every day since fall camp started on August 1, will get a small break on Sunday, according to Spurrier.

"We have to give them a day off, and we'll slow down really this weekend a bit," Spurrier said. "Sunday we won't do too much so it will be a semi- day off Sunday. And then school starts next Thursday, so we'll have a day off before the game."

Spurrier said the team might not make up the morning session they missed earlier this fall either.

"You can't have back-to-back double days," Spurrier noted. "So we were trying to find a day that was available, and it's hard to find one that doesn't go to that. If we can find one, then we may just do a walk-through with a football, that constitutes a practice. The other walk-throughs we have not been using a football, so those don't count as a practice."


Culliver comfortable in safety role

For the second practice in a row, Spurrier praised sophomore Chris Culliver saying he "could be one of the starting safeties right now" in USC's 4-2-5 alignment.

Culliver was ranked the no. 13 safety in America according to Scout.com out of high school, but the former four-star prospect began his USC career as a wide receiver as part of a promise by the Carolina staff to try him there.

Culliver spent his freshman season at receiver, but did not make much of an impact and asked to be moved to the defensive side of the ball during the spring. The transition from speed-demon wide receiver to speed-demon safety has been an easy one for the Garner, NC native athlete.

"The challenge at receiver was that I didn't play much receiver in high school, I just made plays and things like that," Culliver said. "Here you've got to learn the steps, the routes, and make plays and things like that. At safety it just came fluent with me. I've done it all my life, and once I moved it wasn't too hard to learn."

Culliver says learning the various pre-snap adjustments to what the offense is doing has been the most challenging part of the move.

"We have so many schemes, and you've got to learn all of them," Culliver said. "I think that's probably the most challenging thing, just knowing everything and the signals. The signals aren't that hard, but when coach sends them in a lot of teams give you a lot of different motions, and you've got to re-adjust and know what to do."

Culliver has become comfortable enough with the defense that he, along with junior Emanuel Cook, have many of the coverage-calling responsibilities for the rest of the secondary.

"I know a lot of the coverages, so if I know I see it, I'll call it out," Culliver said with the smile that had not left his face the entire interview. "I might look at Cook or something, just to make sure sometimes. I don't want to send out the wrong things. But both of us pretty much call everything out."

Veterans like Cook and Darian Stewart have helped make the transition an easy one for Culliver.

"They help me out a lot. The things I don't know, they always talk to me about," Culliver said. "On-the-field and off-the-field, as far as if I don't know something in my playbook, or just anything, or if I ever have questions I always just ask them."

The talented sophomore believes it was a good decision to go from offense to defense, and it should pay off for him this year.

"Everything is good right now. I'm successful, and I'm glad I made the move" Culliver said with a grin. "The coaches and I decided this is my best position, and I'm just glad I moved over."


Notes:

- Spurrier said they "should know something this week" on Tori Childers. Childers took his test again last week, according to Spurrier.

- Spurrier praised US Olympic Swimmer Michael Phelps after practice. "He's the best in his sport," Spurrier said. "It's interesting they compared him to Tiger Woods. He's the Tiger Woods of swimming, there's no question about it." Spurrier said he also enjoys watching beach volleyball and the gymnastics events.


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