Gamecocks gear up for Wednesday scrimmage

Steve Spurrier addressed the media after Tuesday evening's practice and announced that several walk-ons have been awarded scholarships for this year. The Gamecocks were under the 85-scholarship limit, and Spurrier took that opportunity to reward the walk-ons for their contributions to the team. He also proclaimed that the Gamecocks will measure their progress in a scrimmage on Wednesday night.


"We had a pretty good practice tonight. Some guys looked really good and some looked not so good, but that's the way it usually is," Spurrier began. "We've still got a lot of questions and a lot of positions that we're not really sure about right now."

Moving on to talk about the scrimmage that will be held on Wednesday evening, the Head Ball Coach said he'll be taking a close look to see how quarterback Stephen Garcia has progressed since Sunday's scrimmage.

"We're hoping that Stephen Garcia can drop back, make some decisions, and throw accurately. We've got to let him throw it around tomorrow night and see what he does."

Several of the notable Gamecock defenders will receive very little, if any, playing time in the scrimmage, according to Spurrier.

"The defense won't have Eric Norwood who has a sprained wrist. I don't think Cliff Matthews will play a whole bunch. We're taking out some of our top defensive players to let the young guys play."

With another impressive showing in Tuesday's workout, Spurrier proclaimed that Spencer Lanning will handle both the placekicking and the punting duties for the Gamecocks this season.

"Spencer lanning kicked the ball very well tonight," he said. "Spencer is definitely our kicker and our punter, and we've got full confidence in him."

With several players not making it into school, and others leaving for various reasons, the South Carolina football team had more scholarships than normal to reward players with this year. Spurrier announced that walk-ons Scotty Spurrier, John Guerry, Darantzy Brunson, Stephen Flint, Cedrick Snead, Brandan Davis, Zac Brindise and Blake Baxley are the new recipients of scholarships for the upcoming season. They join Lanning and longsnapper Charles Turner, who had already been awarded scholarships this year.

"They're all one year scholarships, and those guys know that," Spurrier said. "There's a good chance that a lot of (the scholarships) might not be renewed because we may not have them available next year as we plan to sign a full (recruiting) class. These guys have been rewarded for all they've done, they've been here three years, and we're glad to be able to put them on scholarship for this upcoming season."

Spurrier added that it's not very common to be able to hand out such a large number of scholarships in a single season.

"(The number of scholarships awarded) is unusually high this year. With guys leaving and a couple of guys not making it to school, it freed up a few more (scholarship) spots," said Spurrier. "Even though we signed a full 25 (player recruiting class four years ago), everyone has either been injured, not been admitted, or decided to leave the school on their own. Some years it just happens like that."


Notes:

- Freshman defensive end Chaz Sutton, who had been battling a hamstring injury, returned to practice ahead of schedule and practiced at full speed on Tuesday. Spurrier expects him to participate in the scrimmage on Wednesday.

- Quarterback Reid McCollum pulled a muscle in his abdomen early in the evening, and was held out of Tuesday night's practice. Spurrier believes that McCollum should be healthy enough to get his share of snaps in the scrimmage.

- Spurrier talked about the offense by saying, "We're a long way off from where we need to be, but we've still got a chance to be pretty good. The running backs are out here making people miss, the receivers are starting to come around."

He firmly reiterated that, "Quarterback play is all important in football. That's why the Vikings signed Brett Favre."

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