The biggest news coming out of Tuesday’s practice is that wide receiver Bruce Ellington might be able to play Thursday night against North Carolina.
Head coach Steve Spurrier said that the former Berkeley High School star and USC’s top returning receiver is “questionable” for the game with the Tar Heels.
“He’ll try to run around tomorrow,” Spurrier said.
The news was not as good for tight end Rory “Busta” Anderson who is “probably out” for the North Carolina game.
Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said that Kaiwan Lewis will start at the mike linebacker spot, while Marcquis Roberts will get the nod at the will linebacker position. This will be the first start for both players. Ward said that Cedric Cooper, who has missed almost the entire preseason with a dislocated elbow will not play Thursday, but could return Saturday for the Gamecocks’ first practice in preparation for the Georgia game on Sept. 7.
“I think we’ve had pretty good practices this week,” Ward said. “Assignment-wise, especially with the starting group, we’ve been on point.”
Spurrier said that tight end Jarell Adams has been “gimpy” during practice from an injured foot and that third-string tight end Drew Owens could see more action than anticipated against the Tar Heels.
Those who remain on the injury list Cody Gibson (knee), Carlton Heard (hamstring), James King (foot), Mike Matulis (shoulder), Kyle Morini (elbow), Gerald Turner (ankle) and Devin Washington (concussion).
The ESPN crew began to roll into town on Tuesday. Rece Davis, who will be calling the game on Thursday, attended practice, along with analyst Jesse Palmer. They will be joined in the booth by David Pollack with Samantha Ponder working the sidelines.
Several players will have new numbers for Thursday’s opener. Darius English (5), Kaiwan Lewis (8), Pharoh Cooper (13), Austin Hails (15), Kelvin Rainey (16), Jody Fuller (19), Mohamed Camara (31), Larenz Bryant (32), Kwinton Smith (82) and Matthew Harvey (84).