Freshman defensive end Jadeveon Clowney missed Monday’s practice but is expected back Tuesday.
Clowney was in his hometown of Rock Hill on Monday to attend to a “personal matter,” a school spokesperson said. The rest of the Gamecocks worked out for more than two hours in full pads at their Bluff Road practice fields.
Clowney, the nation’s No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2010, was with the team Sunday night for its first full pads workout.
EARNING HIS WAY: Head coach Steve Spurrier has planned to put kicker Jay Wooten on scholarship for a least a month. It looked like he did Monday morning.
During South Carolina’s normal special teams work, which comes in the first half of practice, Spurrier approached the team as Wooten lined up for a 40-yard field goal and said, “This is a scholarship kick.” When Wooten drilled the kick, his teammates congratulated him and Spurrier said, “He’s on scholly,” sealing the deal with a fist bump for Wooten.
No players or coaches were made available to talk to the media Monday.
HIGH EXPECTATIONS: Spurrier didn’t come out and say it, exactly, but it seems the Gamecocks have reached another level in his mind. South Carolina’s seventh-year coach said he believes his team has a chance to win the SEC’s overall title this year and he believes it will have a chance in all of his future seasons.
“That’s going to be our goal every year that I’m here I think the rest of the way,” he said. “We should have a team capable. That doesn’t mean we’re going to be favored, but we should be capable if everything works out well for us, we should be in the hunt to win the SEC.”
INJURY UPDATE: Safety Sheldon Royster and fullback Dalton Wilson were both in regular full-contact jerseys Monday after opening fall practice wearing yellow jerseys. Starting defensive tackle Travian Roberston did not dress for Monday’s practice. It’s not unusual for Robertson to take days off to rest his knee. Defensive end Byron McKnight also did not dress for Monday’s practice.
GIVE THEM A BREAK: Nobody has been more critical of South Carolina’s quarterback play in the last six years than Spurrier, but the coach defended his signal-callers earlier this week.
“Our quarterback play hasn’t been that poor,” he said. “Our receivers are setting all kind of school records. Somebody has got to be throwing it to them. Sidney (Rice), Kenny McKinley and now Alshon (Jeffery), those guys hold about every record we’ve got don’t they? Our quarterback play is not that bad. I guess we’re waiting on an All-American, Heisman Trophy guy, something like that. But they’ve played pretty well. Of course, we think we can play better, and I think the play will be better this year.”
ANOTHER WATCH LIST: Cornerback Stephon Gilmore is one of 50 players on the watch list for the 2011 Paul Hornug Award. The junior from Rock Hill already has been named a preseason All-SEC first teamer. The Hornug Award goes to a versatile, high-level performer. Gilmore has returned punts and played quarterback in the “wildcat” formation during his career, however he might not do either of those things this year.
Video: Monday practice sights, sounds