Sophomore Mike Matulis believes fellow sophomore Cody Gibson has the lead in the battle for the starting right tackle job, but offensive line coach Shawn Elliott said it’s too early to pick a winner.
“I haven’t even thought about that,” Elliott said. “I am just getting them both a lot of reps, and they are both going first- and second-team. We’ll see how it shakes out.”
Matulis started five games in 2011 but missed all of spring practice after shoulder surgery. Gibson started four games last season.
“Cody has worked really hard,” Elliott said. “He’s gotten strong over the summer. He’s doing a lot of good things right now. Mike is working hard as well.”
Matulis took snaps at backup left tackle Tuesday. Elliott would like to have a four-man tackle rotation this fall, he said.
“We are getting reps, but I think Cody right now is there at first team,” Matulis said.
Matulis has gained 10 pounds, from 275 to 285, in the last year and has regained nearly all his upper body strength since his surgery, he said.
Place-kickers Adam Yates (senior), Landon Ard (redshirt freshman) and Nick St. Germain (freshman) are getting equal repetitions at this point in camp.
“We don’t play today, and we don’t play tomorrow so we’re trying to give them equal reps, and the reason is, it is a very healthy competition,” special teams coordinatsor Joe Robinson said. “These guys are making the majority of their kicks. They are getting the ball up with good trajectory. They look very strong. They all have very good operation time. So it’s a heck of a competition, and we’re blessed to have these guys working as hard as they are.”
None of the three has attempted a collegiate kick. Robinson expects to name a starter by Aug. 20.
Junior Mike Williamson is the leader for the punting job. Ace Sanders is the top punt returner, and Damiere Byrd, Bruce Ellington and Victor Hampton are in the running for the kickoff return job, but neither of those positions has been settled, Robinson said.
Add freshman wide receiver Shamier Jeffery to the injured list. Jeffery suffered a knee injury in spring practice, and it bothered him enough Tuesday to take him out of the final half of practice.
“He was kind of sluggish so we told him just to ice it up, get rest and get ready for tomorrow,” wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. said.
... Freshman wide receiver K.J. Brent (groin) has missed the last two day but could be back for Wednesday’s scrimmage, Spurrier Jr. said.
... Starting cornerback Akeem Auguste, a senior, did not return to practice Tuesday after aggravating a groin injury Monday.
... Tight end Drew Owens, who still is rehabilitating a knee injury suffered in the spring game, will return to the field some time after Aug. 23, Robinson said. Owens is expected to be in the tight end rotation this fall, Robinson said.