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Sophomore running back Brandon Wilds, who started the five of the final six games last year, will be out another two to three weeks “at least” due to a sprained ankle, Steve Spurrier said after Sunday's practice.
If Wilds’ return is delayed any further, he could redshirt this season.
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The Gamecocks will have only three scholarship tailbacks available until Wilds or Shon Carson (wrist) returns from injury. Marcus Lattimore and Kenny Miles will get the bulk of the work against Vanderbilt on Thursday, Spurrier said, but freshman Mike Davis could play.
“Do we plan on getting (Davis) some carries? We will have to wait and see,” Spurrier said.
Quarterback Connor Shaw (back) and wide receiver D.L. Moore (groin) both practiced Sunday and are fine, Spurrier said.
Freshmen defensive end Darius English and tight end Kelvin Rainey will travel with the team to Nashville, Tenn., and could play against Vanderbilt. English is not one of the top four defensive ends but could play in pass rush situations. The 6-foot-6, 228 pounder, who hopes to gain at least 12 pounds this season, still could redshirt.
“I believe it really depends on my production when I do get on the field,” he said.
Rainey will be the fourth tight end behind Justice Cunningham, Rory Anderson and Jerell Adams. He may or may not play against the Commodores, Spurrier said.
SECONDARY SORTING OUT
Jimmy Legree remains the top option to start at cornerback, but Ahmad Christian will get snaps against Vanderbilt, Brown believes. Kadetrix Marcus and Jared Shaw will back up D.J. Swearinger and Brison Williams at safety.
And freshman T.J. Gurley might play all over the place. Gurley could play at cornerback or safety, Brown said.
“I feel like it’ll be hard to keep T.J. off the field,” Brown said. “He’s learning fast. He’s a physical guy. You almost have to downscale him a little bit at practice because in certain situations he compromises the health of the receivers.”
In fact, Spurrier threw Gurley off the practice field earlier this season after the freshman hit tight end Jerell Adams hard in the ribs.
“You would rather have to slow him down than speed him up,” Brown said.
Jared Shaw and reserve center Travis Ford, seniors, were awarded scholarships this weekend. The Gamecocks are now at the NCAA maximum of 85 scholarship players.
USC announced several jersey number changes: Ahmad Christian – 4; Patrick Fish – 13; Kyle Fleetwood – 19; Landon Ard – 19; Blair Lowery – 29; and Adam Yates – 52.
Walk-on guard and long-snapper Ryland Culbertson (Laurens) has rejoined the team. Other new walk-ons are:
... Kareem Auguste, 6-0, 200, Safety, FR-RS, Miramar, Fla. (Miramar)
... Tevin Bradshaw, 5-7, 155, WR, FR-RS, Moncks Corner, S.C. (Berkeley/Brevard)
... Jordan Diaz, 6-1, 236, LB, SO-RS, Hamilton, N.J. (Hamilton West)
... Ashton Holmes, 6-3, 252, DE, JR-RS, Spartanburg, S.C. (Byrnes/Antelope Valley/Butler CC)
... Reilly Madden, P, FR-HS, Vienna, Va. (Paul VI Catholic)
... Christopher Massey, OL, 6-3, 220, FR-HS, Summerville, S.C. (Ashley Ridge)
... Devin Potter, FB 5-10, 202, FR-HS, Granite Falls, N.C. (South Caldwell)
... Kane Whitehurst, WR, 5-11, 170, FR-RS, Duluth, Ga. (Chattahoochee/Arkansas)
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