COLUMBIA — Our new Post and Courier South Carolina beat writer Ryan Wood finally made it up from Alabama and was on the scene today for Steve Spurrier’s weekly meeting with the media hacks.
Here’s what Mr. Wood had to report from the press conference.
With four days until South Carolina’s trip to Georgia, coach Steve Spurrier said Tuesday starting center Cody Waldrop’s status is “wait and see.”
Waldrop, who sprained his foot in Thursday’s opener against North Carolina, was listed as a starter on the depth chart USC released Tuesday. He’ll undergo tests Wednesday or Thursday to see if he’s able to go full-speed against Georgia.
“He’s a key player,” Spurrier said.
If Waldrop is unable to play Saturday, Spurrier said backup and fellow redshirt freshman Clayton Stadnik will start in his place. Stadnik took snaps with the first-team offense during Monday’s practice.
“He’s next in line,” Spurrier said.
Spurrier said receiver Bruce Ellington is 100 percent healthy. Ellington played in Thursday’s opener but had been slowed by …
Defensively, Spurrier did not have any significant injuries to report.
Here are a few more Tuesday news and notes.
Clemson passed South Carolina today in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. The Tigers jumped to No. 4 after their win against Georgia on Saturday. The Gamecocks stayed at No. 6 after beating UNC. Rest of AP top 10: Alabama, Oregon, Ohio State, Clemson, Stanford, USC, TAMU, Louisville, LSU, Florida State. Four from SEC.
Huge congrats to Scott Spurrier and his wife. The couple welcomed their daughter, Charlotte Mae Spurrier, into the world today. HBC was overjoyed. He popped his head into the media room after his news conference, beaming: “I had to tell somebody!”
Safety T.J. Gurley, a Cairo, Ga., native, will make his first career start Saturday against his home-state team. Nervous? “It ain’t no pressure, really.” Gurley got the game ball Thursday after a nine-tackle effort. Spurrier said he’s got full confidence with him on the field.
HBC: “I don’t get near the hate from the Georgia side that I used to get.” He said “it’s hard” for Georgia to get mad at South Carolina, that USC hasn’t beaten them enough. Also said Georgia has too many enemies already.
HBC on Connor Shaw making first start in Athens: “Hopefully he won’t be too fired up. Quarterbacks have to think.”
HBC: “We had Willie Nelson ‘Georgia on My Mind’ playing yesterday. Most of our players thought it was Ray Charles, it was Willie Nelson.”
HBC on chance to win 4 straight vs. Georgia: “We haven’t talked too much about that. We’ve just talked about winning the ball game.”
HBC indirectly mentions Georgia star WR Malcolm Mitchell, whose season was lost Saturday to a fluke knee injury celebrating a touchdown: “You try to tell your guys, ‘Be careful in your celebrations.’ You can come down the wrong way.” Spurrier doesn’t know how it will affect Georgia’s passing game. He said he expects a next-man-up mentality.
Gurley has no doubt Georgia will be motivated this week: “They know if we beat them, we’re going to be talking trash.”
Guard A.J. Cann on Georgia’s defense, which gave up 38 points last week: “It’s a rivalry game, and they’re going to come out fired up, ready to play.”
Bunch added to USC roster
Former Bishop England star Andrew Bunch has walked on for the Gamecocks. Bunch, who helped the Bishops to the Division II-AA state title during his senior season, will play wide receiver for the Gamecocks. The 5-11, 185-pound Bunch was the Division II-AA player of the year his senior season at Bishop England. Bunch was a member of the Presbyterian College football team a year ago, but did not see any action. He will not be eligible this season and will have three years to play three beginning in 2014. He will wear number 21.
Also former Bluffton High School punter Mallie Sprouse, also joined the team. Sprouse turned down a scholarship offer from Presbyterian to attend South Carolina. He will wear number 46.