Gamecocks Practice Thursday

April 3, 2014


GAMECOCK FOOTBALL
Dylan Thompson
Coach Elliott
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The University of South Carolina football squad worked out for about two hours at the Bluff Road practice fields on a picture perfect spring day in Columbia on Thursday afternoon. It was the squad's 11th practice of the spring.

The offensive line is expected to be one of the strengths of the squad in 2014. If the season opened today, O-line coach Shawn Elliott said his starting five would include left tackle Corey Robinson, left guard A.J. Cann, center Cody Waldrop, right guard Mike Matulis and right tackle Brandon Shell. All five have starting experience.

"Mike's been real consistent at right guard, so we feel pretty comfortable, but you don't set a starting five in spring," said Elliott. "That's just something we give to (Media director Steve) Fink right here so he can throw it in the media guide. It will all be established come fall. This is a pretty good group right now. Cody is healthy. His snaps are good. He's had a really solid spring. I'm pleased with his progress. He's back where he needs to be."

Matulis has been a tackle throughout his career before making the transition to guard this spring, but Elliott thinks Mike has adapted well. "It all depends on players," said Elliott of moving to an inside position. "You've got to be athletic to play tackle. If you can play the tackle position and play with leverage you can move inside. Normally a taller guy like him, it's harder to do. But he's done an exceptional job. He's got good hips. He can bend his ankles, his knees and his hips. He can play with the leverage we need right now."

Several players on the second unit have also caught Elliott's eye, as the squad has developed more depth than in previous seasons.

"Mason Zandi has had as good of a spring as you could have asked for. He is pushing it every bit," noted Elliott. "He's playing really solid and playing confident. It's good to see. He's a big man and can move." Elliott also mentioned Clayton Stadnik and Alan Knott as "guys you could play with right now." Brock Stadnik is also having an exceptional spring so far, according to Elliott. "I think overall as a group we're progressing pretty well. We just have to stay the course. We've got a good group. They work hard. They try. It's pleasing to come out here and know that you've got guys who want to be good and work hard to be good at it."

The Gamecocks are set to hold their second official scrimmage of the spring on Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium. The workout session will begin at 10 a.m. and is open to the public.