March 29, 2016
The University of South Carolina football team opened its practice to the public for the first time this spring on Tuesday afternoon on another gorgeous day in the Palmetto State. The squad worked out for a couple of hours in full pads at the new Gamecock Park practice fields. It was practice number nine of the 15 allotted during the spring.
Head coach Will Muschamp passed along several notes following the practice:
Defensive back Darin Smalls is no longer with the team.
Defensive back D.J. Smith tore a ligament in his thumb the first day of spring drills. He will have surgery on Thursday.
Offensive lineman Alan Knott has a sprained wrist, but there is no structural damage.
Quarterback Perry Orth broke his left (non-throwing) collarbone during last Saturday's scrimmage.
Quarterback Lorenzo Nuñez could be back next week. He remains in a knee brace.
Buck Darius English has a groin injury, but is expected back later this week.
Jamari Smith is taking some reps at receiver.
The spring game is set for April 9 and is free to the public. Prior to the game, over 90 lettermen have signed up to take part in a flag football game.
"From practice one through eight, we've improved tremendously," said Coach Muschamp. "We still have miles to travel, but we did some good things (in the scrimmage on Saturday) and I'm pleased with that."
We've tried to install as much (of the offense) as we can," said Coach Muschamp. "That's part of the evaluation -- being able to see what they can handle. If they are struggling with the installation, they're probably going to struggle in weeks six, seven and eight. Those are things were evaluating as we go through camp. I'm pretty pleased with what we've been able to accomplish," continued the Gamecocks' first-year head coach.
Freshman Brandon McIlwain continues to make strides and is running with the first-team offense following Orth's injury. "He's made a lot of strides," noted Coach Muschamp. "Obviously he's got a lot of ability. He's an explosive guy who can do some things for us. I've been very pleased with his progress. I think he and Perry distanced themselves a little bit through the first eight practices."
The annual Garnet & Black Spring game will take place in Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday, April 9, beginning at noon. The game will be televised live on SEC Network with Bob Wischusen and Mack Brown in the booth and Shannon Spake working the sidelines.
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