After Monday night’s practice, the Head Ball Coach said that there’s a chance that wide receivers Bruce Ellington and Damiere Byrd might not play in the season’s opener against North Carolina on Aug. 28.
Both have been out recently with hamstring issues.
Hamstrings are a funny (no, not haha funny, but strange) injury. There’s really nothing you can do to heal a sore hamstring and with guys like Ellington and Byrd who rely on their speed and quickness, you don’t want to rush them back too quickly and risk a serious injury that could keep them out for a prolonged period of time.
“Bruce and Damiere ran a little bit this morning and it wouldn’t surprise me to see them out the first game the way their hamstrings are coming around,” Steve Spurrier said Monday night following the Gamecocks second practice of the day. “So right now, we’re maybe planning on playing without them.”
Then HBC said that defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has a bruised shoulder and he might not play against the Tar Heels. Clowney did miss Saturday’s scrimmage, but even if he was healthy there was no way he was going to be on the field for more than a few snaps.
“If it doesn’t come around real soon, we might play without him, too,” Spurrier quipped. “So, we’ve got a bunch of hurt guys who act like they’re really hurt. Right now they may not play.”
Spurrier went on to say that the Gamecocks have “plenty” of other receivers and defensive ends “running around” that can play if they can’t go on opening night.
Now, is this just coach talk, some harsh rhetoric the HBC is using to motivate the “injured” guys to get back on the practice field?
My guess is that Spurrier and training staff to some degree believe that Ellington, Byrd and Clowney are not injured enough to miss this much practice. There have been questions in the past about Clonwey’s conditioning, so this was probably just a public verbal spanking to get them all back on the field.
We’re still more than 2 weeks out from the season opener. The coaching staff hasn’t even started to implement the Gamecocks’ gameplan for the Tar Heels. That’ll come about 10 days out.
If Ellington, Byrd and Clowney are still out of practice by Thursday or Friday, then it’s time to start getting concerned.
Until then, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.
We have separation
Coming into preseason camp there was supposed to be a pretty intense battle at the spur spot between Sharrod Golightly and Jordan Diggs.
Well, maybe not so much anymore.
Golightly won the job narrowly after spring practice, but has started to “separate” himself from Diggs during preseason camp.
“Golightly has kind of separated himself as the guy right now,” said linebackers coach Kirk Botkin. “Diggs has come along and done some good things, but Golightly has really done some good things. He’s got a little separation right now. He’s just doing some better things, little things. He has been way more consistent.”
Moore is better
With Cedric Cooper out with a dislocated elbow (will be out at least another week), Marcquis Roberts appears to be the starter at the will linebacker spot. According to Botkin, Roberts had an excellent scrimmage on Saturday.
However, watch out for true freshman Skai Moore.
Moore was singled out last week during practice by defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward as a player to watch. Depending on what recruiting service you follow, Moore was either a three-star (Scout) or four-star (Rivals) recruit coming out of University High School near Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Moore is starting to push Roberts at the position.
“Both (Roberts) and (Moore) are doing some really good things,” Botkin said. “Both of them are physical and can run. Marcquis has a little bit of an edge because has a spring practice under his belt and has had a good camp so far.”
But don’t count Moore out just yet.
“Skai Moore is a guy to keep an eye on, he’s doing some really good things,” Botkin said. “You play fast when you don’t think and sometimes these young guys think too much, but (Moore) has picked up the playbook really well. He’s not only done a good job of understanding what he’s doing, but he knows where his help is coming from. He’s picked it up a little faster than some of the other freshmen. He’s doing a good job, flying around the football and doing what’s asked of him. It ain’t perfect, but it’s very, very promising.”
A couple of quick housekeeping items that were made official tonight after practice.
Pharoh Cooper moved over from cornerback to wide receiver and is now wearing No. 11. Cooper, out of Havelock, N.C., was originally recruited as a cornerback. Jamari Smith switching from tailback to cornerback and is wearing No. 3. Also making his first appearance in a uniform was freshman spur Mohamed Camara, who was cleared academically on Saturday. Camara will wear No. 32 for the Gamecocks.