Practice report: Norwood injury not seriousAn update on Eric Norwood’s injury and some interesting comments from Spurrier on Stephen Garcia, Alshon Jeffery and others …
Leading offSteve Spurrier called linebacker Eric Norwood the face of USC’s program. But on Monday it was Norwood’s wrist that was getting all the attention.
The two-time, All-SEC selection sat out one night after spraining his right wrist while tackling tailback Jarvis Giles in Sunday’s scrimmage. Spurrier said Norwood could miss a week, but the senior indicated the timetable would be different if this were a game week.
“If we had N.C. State on Saturday, I would play on Saturday,” Norwood said.
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Spurrier thought Norwood cracked a bone. But after X-rays, Norwood said his understanding was it was a sprain. Either way, the Gamecocks’ emotional leader is expected to be ready for the Sept. 3 opener in Raleigh.
Norwood said he sprained his left wrist last year against Mississippi and didn’t miss any games.
As for Spurrier’s comment that Norwood and defensive end Cliff Matthews deserve more publicity than quarterback Stephen Garcia, Norwood said: “It’s great. It’s an honor to get that type of respect from coaches, teammates and everybody else.”
Stock risingTori Gurley moved up to first team at one of the receiver spots, while freshman wideout Alshon Jeffery continues to make a case for playing time. The former Calhoun County standout had a couple of leaping catches Monday.
“Alshon looks like he wants to play,” Spurrier said. “He listens to coaching, something that hasn’t always happened a whole bunch around here. He listens. Tell him to go fast, and he goes fast.”
Stock fallingGarcia’s face time. Spurrier has shot down most interview requests for Garcia this preseason, and Monday suggested the redshirt sophomore is “not really the face of our program, yet.”
Injury reportTailback Brian Maddox is out for three or four days with a bruised shoulder and will miss Wednesday’s scrimmage. Kicker Adam Yates (groin) and offensive lineman Ryan Broadhead (right foot) joined the injured ranks, while tailback Eric Baker (hernia) participated in contact drills for the first time this preseason.
Quote of the day“That’s why we recruit. Guys who are going to fill in (have to) step it up, and they’ve got to grow up quick. And it’s up to us, some of the older guys, to make up for some of the mistakes that they’re going to make,” – Norwood on the young backups at many defensive positions.
Extra pointsSpurrier said freshman corner Stephon Gilmore is ready to run “one or two plays” in a special package at quarterback. Because Gilmore and Garcia both intend to wear No. 5, NCAA rules will prohibit them from being on the field at the same time – a fact Spurrier said he was not worried about, yet. …
Fullback Matt Coffee, who is grayshirting while rehabbing a knee injury, attended practice. Spurrier said Coffee might move to Columbia if his mother gets a job here.
Next upThe Gamecocks will hold a closed practice at 7:30 tonight.