Redshirt freshman quarterback Tanner McEvoy’s recent arrest didn’t cost him any practice time, and it won’t cost him any game time. Steve Spurrier made that clear.
“He has been approved to come back on the team,” Spurrier said.
McEvoy, 19, was arrested earlier this week near Charlotte, N.C., for speeding and driving after consuming alcohol while being underage.
“You want me to suspend him for having a beer and he’s underage?” Spurrier responded when asked about McEvoy’s punishment. “How many football players would be playing if they had a beer and were underage?”
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McEvoy is the fourth-string quarterback.
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It only took one collegiate practice for freshman tight end Jerell Adams to make an impression.
“He’s a ball player,” Spurrier said. “He’s a very good athlete who can play. Y’all will hear a lot of him this season.”
Adams will have to be good to crack the Gamecocks’ tight end rotation this season. Senior starter Justice Cunningham is backed up by Rory Anderson, who averaged 23.5 yards per catch last year, and Drew Owens, who was a standout during spring practice.
Owens, who suffered a knee injury during spring practice, still has not been cleared to play. It could be another three to four weeks before he gets on the field, Spurrier said, which would provide an opening for Adams.
Adams, 6-foot-6, 224 pounds, was a four-star prospect at Scott’s Branch High School in Pinewood, where he played quarterback, tight end, linebacker, defensive end and punter. He signed with South Carolina in 2011 but failed to qualify academically and spent last season at Fork Union Military Academy.
Sophomore wide receiver Bruce Ellington put on 10 pounds during the offseason, his first of concentrating mostly on football. Ellington, a point guard for the basketball team, weights 197 pounds this year after checking in between 185 and 190 last year.
“I got a lot bigger, lot faster and lot stronger,” he said. “I learned a lot. I learned how to get open. I learned how to run good routes. Last year, I was pretty (raw).”
... Around 300 fans showed up to watch the opening practice. Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. practice is open to the public.
Ellington, Victor Hampton, DeAngelo Smith and Shaq Roland all worked with the punt return team Friday.
The Gamecocks will hold their annual media day Sunday, and junior running back Marcus Lattimore is expected to talk about his knee rehabilitation at that time.