After their first practice in Tampa, a contingent of Gamecock football players headed to St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa to visit with patients Thursday afternoon. They were joined by several Michigan players as well and all had a great time. You can see video of the event here and our full album of photos from the visit here
Left to right (back row) Dylan Thompson, Kadetrix Marcus, Brock Stadnik, Kelcy Quarles, J.T. Surratt, Clayton Stadnik, (front row) Victor Hampton, Walker Inabinet, Ace Sanders
"[The visit] was great and a positive time to make the kids smile. I had fun interacting with the kids who are in a more serious situation than we are and just making them smile," Dylan Thompson said after the visit. "It's bigger than football. It's good to know they'll have a positive thing when you know they may have some negative days surrounding that."
The players split into two groups comprised of players from both teams to visit rooms throughout the children's hospital, ages ranging from toddlers to teenagers. The players from both teams developed a camaraderie (though Victor Hampton jokingly reminded everyone it was all business on January 1st!).
"It was a really good experience to have the chance to make a little kid's day that is just less fortunate than I am. My mom always tells me to count my blessings. It's just a reality check that your life could be different than how it is," Ace Sanders shared. "[The Michigan players] were good people. You don't typically go hang out with the people you're about to play against, but we had a chance to bond; they're good guys over there."
See more photos from the visit here and stay tuned to GamecocksOnline.com throughout the bowl week for more coverage of events and practices. Go Gamecocks!