Refreshed Gamecocks return to Proving Grounds

The South Carolina football team looked well rested and focused as they returned to the field on Monday evening after enjoying over a 48-hour break following Saturday's scrimmage. The Gamecocks practiced without pads as they officially began preparations for the season opener at N.C. State on September 3rd, only ten days away.


"It was a pretty lively practice today," Coach Steve Spurrier said following the workout. "I think most of our players enjoyed their day off. The players seemed to get their legs back a little bit."

Two groups that seemed to reap the benefits of the time off were the quarterbacks and receivers, according to Spurrier.

"The quarterbacks and receivers actually threw and caught the ball the best they have all year. So if we could play in shorts with no hitting we'd be alright," joked Spurrier. "But we did throw and catch better without pads, so hopefully that will carry over as we go on preparing."

The fifth-year head coach then turned his attention to a more serious matter regarding the arrest of defensive end Clifton Geathers.

"It's very disappointing that (Geathers) got himself in that situation. Like any other player who is arrested, he's suspended from the team and will be remain that way until the facts of the case come in," Spurrier stated.

Regarding a timetable for a decision on the status of the junior from Georgetown, South Carolina, Spurrier said that he along with Athletic Director Eric Hyman will sit down with the proper university officials and review the case to determine a proper punishment.


Lawing, Spurrier confident in Taylor

With Geathers suspended, defensive end Devin Taylor worked with the first team at defensive end on Monday.

"If (Geathers) isn't here this week, Devin Taylor will get his shot," Spurrier proclaimed in response to how the Gamecocks will handle the absence of Geathers. "That's how life is. If one guy is not here, another guy will step up and get his chance. Devin Taylor is our starting defensive end."

Defensive line coach Brad Lawing commented after Monday night's practice that even before the incident involving Clifton Geathers, Devin Taylor had already shown he is capable of being productive for the Gamecocks this season.

"Devin (Taylor) has already polished himself well at (defensive end), and he's seen a lot of snaps. Not too much is going to change regarding how we prepare and rotate guys."

The redshirt freshman from Beaufort, South Carolina, drew a substantial amount of praise from the coaching staff throughout the preseason for his performance. Lawing states that Taylor has improved by leaps and bounds from last year, and along with improved quickness, Taylor's maturity and experience have made him a better all around player.

"He's really grown up, that maturity level changes a lot that first year, and Devin has really reaped the benefits of having that redshirt year to come in and learn a bunch," Lawing stated.

"Sure, we're confident in Devin," said Spurrier of Taylor. "He's a redshirt freshman, so he's been here a long time. We've seen that he can play."


Notes:

- Geathers has a crack on his eye orbital and will see a specialist about the injury. The specialist will need to see if there's any damage to the muscles or nerves, but Geathers will miss a minimum of two weeks with the injury whether he's suspended or not, according to Ellis Johnson.

- There was no charge regarding the situation involving Jarvis Giles and Spurrier seemed to convey that the freshman running back is in the clear.

- Spurrier said there will now be a 2:00 a.m. curfew for any football players during the season and that the previous rules regarding the players' curfew perhaps weren't explained as good as they should've been.

- Adam Yates, Wilkes Goolsby, Jay Spearman, and Dion LeCorn donned yellow (injured) jerseys at Monday night's practice.

- Coach Eric Wolford claims that the starters and rotation on the offensive line will be as follows:

Left Tackle: Jarriel King- Rokevious Watkins- Hutch Eckerson

Left Guard: Terrence Campbell-Lemuel Jeanpierre

Center: Garrett Anderson-Lemuel Jeanpierre-Terrence Campbell

Right Guard: T.J. Johnson-Heath Batchelor- Lemuel Jeanpierre

Right Tackle: Quintin Richardson- Hutch Eckerson- Rokevious Watkins

*Wolford noted that he will base his decision about who plays each week on the players' performance in practice the week leading up to each game as well as what he sees in warm ups before the game.

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