Junior running back Marcus Lattimore won’t be limited during preseason practice, but that doesn’t mean he’ll have a heavy workload, coach Steve Spurrier said Thursday.
Lattimore, who is returning from an ACL tear suffered in October, has been cleared for full contact by the team’s trainers, but the nature of South Carolina’s preseason practices means he won’t have to worry about taking too many hits.
“We don’t really tackle too much to the ground,” Spurrier said. “We try not fall into legs and that kind of stuff too much in practice unless we are scrimmaging. Marcus didn’t scrimmage that much last year before the injury anyway. From what I understand, he should be ready to do everything he did last year.”
The Gamecocks first practice will be Aug. 3.
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“We try to protect our guys as much as we can,” Spurrier said. “You have to bump heads a little bit, which we do during our inside drills and so forth.”
SLOW IT DOWN
Junior quarterback Connor Shaw, 6-1, 207 pounds, has had such a successful summer in the weight room that Spurrier is asking him to ease up some.
“He looks like a little linebacker right now as big as his arms are,” Spurrier said. “I said, ‘Connor, you need to cut back on the lifting.’ You can have muscles and play quarterback, but you don’t want to overdo lifting as a quarterback.”
LOST AND FOUND
Freshman wide receiver Shamier Jeffery will report along with his teammates next week.
That was in doubt earlier this summer when wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. sent Jeffery a message on Twitter asking him if he still played for the team.
“I couldn’t find him one day,” Spurrier Jr. explained. “I texted him, I called him. I didn’t know where he was, but I knew he read Twitter so I said, ‘Are you still around here somewhere?’ That got his attention. He showed up the next day, and he has showed up every day since.”
Jeffery suffered a knee injury during spring practice and was limited early in the summer but is healthy now, Spurrier Jr. said.
Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward had his first career hole-in-one Thursday on the second hole of the Garnet course at Cobblestone Park during the team’s annual media golf tournament. It was the first hole-in-one in the history of the event, said Spurrier, who has had six aces during his golf career.
... Senior cornerback Akeem Auguste, who missed all but one game last year due to a foot injury, suffered a hamstring injury this summer but is expected to be fully recovered next week, Spurrier said.
The Gamecocks plan to put walk-on quarterback Seth Strickland and walk-on long snapper Walker Inabinet (a Columbia native) on scholarship this fall, Spurrier said.
Junior quarterback Andrew Clifford will be with the team this season, Spurrier said. “We had room for him,” Spurrier said.
USC’s home game vs. Wofford on Nov. 17 is a 1 p.m. kickoff on pay-per-view.
The team’s Fan Appreciation Day will be Aug. 12 from 12:3 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Colonial Life Arena.