South Carolina safety Javon Charleston had little idea he was about to be awarded a scholarship after Tuesday’s practice.
He was distracted trying to shoo someone off the field.
“I did see my dad walk on the field toward the end,” Charleston said. “So I was trying to figure out why he was coming on the field. I was trying to signal over to him, like, ‘No, get back in the stands.’ ”
Charleston said he’s told his roommates he was working earn the scholarship and shed the walk-on label. It was a goal he’d set as soon as he arrived on campus.
“I just moved in with him,” safety D.J. Smith said. “I was really excited. We were just talking about price ranges at the apartments, and then he got a scholarship. So he doesn’t need to worry about paying for his house now.”
The Illinois product had started his career at wide receiver and moved to defensive back before the 2016 season. Charleston made an emergency move to wide receiver in the middle of 2016 because of injuries at the position.
He’ll go into 2017 as a No. 2 safety in a secondary that’s seen two contributors (Jaylin Dickerson, Steven Montac) get hurt in camp.
The team’s productions staff made a video of the reveal, something that’s grown increasingly popular on social media. Charleston said he saw it.
“I watched it a couple times,” Charleston said. “My Twitter went crazy after that. Now it’s kind of slowing down.
“People were sending it to me, telling me how proud they were.”
South Carolina special teams coach Coleman Hutzler said the kicking competition is still ongoing, one week before the season opener against N.C. State.
“Obviously, we’re going to get ready to set it here going into game week,” Hutzler said. “Parker White, Alex Woznick have done a great job.”
Woznick was the presumptive heir apparent to Elliott Fry after last season, but White came on in camp and made it a competition.
USC is also replacing a snapper and holder. Hutzler said snapper Ben Asbury has stepped up, while walk-on quarterback Danny Gordon and punter Michael Almond have split time holding.
Coach Will Muschamp named Joseph Charlton the starting punter earlier this week. Deebo Samuel is the top kick returner, while Chris Lammons will be the top guy on punt returns.