Junior quarterback Connor Shaw battled a shoulder injury this summer but pronounced himself ready for fall practice Tuesday.
“I was able to rehabilitate it pretty fast and get back out there,” Shaw said as the SEC’s annual Media Days began. “I’m good to go. I don’t expect it to (be a problem).”
Shaw sprained the labrum in his throwing shoulder in June with a combination of throwing and weight room work.
“I was probably doing too much weight so we kind of scaled back on that,” he said.
Shaw had to cut back on his throwing during the team’s individual workouts but is back to his regular schedule now, he said. The Gamecocks begin fall practice Aug. 3.
“He hasn’t been throwing as much,” wide receiver Ace Sanders said. “We have been throwing a lot with (backup quarterback) Dylan Thompson.”
Shaw started the final eight games last year and finished with 1,448 yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions, while completing 65 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 565 yards.
“Connor is a running and passing quarterback,” said coach Steve Spurrier, who said he was unaware of the injury. “I’ve never quite had one that’s been maybe a little bit better runner than he is a passer. Hopefully, he’ll be a little bit better passer this year, but he’s still going to keep running the ball.”
Lattimore on track
Junior running back Marcus Lattimore is back to full strength and as good as ever, two of his teammates said.
“I have seen some people come back from knee injuries and be skeptical about stuff, but when I see him work out and stuff, it’s like the same Lattimore,” wide receiver Ace Sanders said. “He looks phenomenal right now.”
Lattimore rushed 163 times for 818 yards last year before tearing his ACL against Mississippi State. He has 2,015 yards on 412 carries in his 20-game career.
“He’s a workhorse,” Shaw said. “He’s very level headed. His dedication and work ethic is to the extreme. He’s out there every day cutting and running around, catching balls, getting back in the routine.”
Defensive back out
Safety Edward Muldrow, who redshirted as a freshman last year, left the team this offseason, Spurrier said. Muldrow, a Snellville, Ga., native, was a three-star recruit.
Sophomore safety Sharrod Golightly “could be” suspended from game action because of a violation of team rules, Spurrier said. Spurrier declined to elaborate on his answer. Golightly played in 12 of 13 games last year and had seven tackles.
Spurrier on Paterno
Spurrier tried to tread lightly when the Penn State sex abuse scandal came up. Spurrier knew former Penn State coach Joe Paterno, who has drawn criticism for his role in the scandal.
“Obviously, it’s a terrible mess, terrible mess,” Spurrier said. “The only thing I would say about coach Paterno, when he coached college football, he did everything right. I don’t want to get into the other side of a terrible, terrible situation.”
Spurrier told his players not to address the situation, Sanders said.
Lattimore is one of 117 nominees for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, which includes players with outstanding accomplishments on the field and a track record of community service. Lattimore has participated in the Children’s Chance Dinner for children with cancer, spoken at elementary schools and volunteered at the Epworth Thanksgiving Dinner in Williams-Brice Stadium.
Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers has extra motivation when South Carolina comes to Nashville for the nationaly televised season opener.
Aug. 30 happens to be his 24th birthday.
“You can’t have a bigger stage than that,” Rodgers said. “It’s at home, in front of our fans. We’re going to pack the place out. If you take away the circumstances, we need to win because it’s an SEC East game.”
Rodgers won’t be looking for gifts from South Carolina defense ends Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor.
“The more those guys can stay away from me, the better we’re going to be,” he said.
Staff writer Dwayne McLemore contributed to this report.