Gamecocks Return to the Practice Fields Tuesday

March 25, 2014

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C. Cooper R. McWilliams


The South Carolina football team returned to the Bluff Road practice fields Tuesday afternoon. It was the squad's sixth practice of the spring.

In a couple of position changes, senior walk-on Kyle Morini has moved back to linebacker after giving fullback a try this spring. Redshirt freshman Gerald Turner will be given an opportunity at fullback after playing on the defensive side of the ball last fall. He is now wearing number 44.

Junior Cedrick Cooper is making the transition from linebacker to defensive end this spring. Cooper played the position in high school and prefers playing with his hand on the ground rather than standing up, so he was agreeable to making the change. "I'm trying to gain about 20 pounds," said Cooper. "Right now I'm about 230 or 235. I'd like to get up to 245 or 250."

Cooper was hampered for much of last season with injuries. "It was so frustrating," he admitted. "I was talking to myself, talking to my elbow, talking to my knee. I was like, `Why can't you be right?' But I'm healthy now and that's all that matters."

Sophomore cornerback Rico McWilliams has been working hard to get back to the level he was at prior to suffering a major knee injury two years ago. "It was a big challenge for me to overcome but God is good. I've been working, trying to get healthy. I feel 100 percent right now."

McWilliams is the lone returning player who spent the entire 2013 campaign playing the cornerback position. "I don't consider myself a leader because I haven't done too much in a game," noted McWilliams. "Right now I'm working my way up. There aren't too many corners here right now, so me, Jamari (Smith) and Brison (Williams) are getting all the reps. We've just got to keep doing what Coach wants us to do and watch film and everything should be good."

McWilliams was very complimentary of Williams. "Brison might be the smartest on both sides of the field. He's real good and he's real smart. He's good to play with."

The Gamecocks are slated to practice three more times this week - Thursday and Friday at the Bluff Road practice facility beginning at 4:15 p.m. and Saturday morning in Williams-Brice Stadium. Saturday's practice is scheduled for 10 a.m. and will include the squad's first official scrimmage of the spring. All practices are open to the public.