South Carolina began preseason camp on Friday missing two players.
Sophomore wide receiver Shaq Roland and sophomore tight end Jerell Adams were each absent after running afoul of academic rules. Coach Steve Spurrier confirmed the news after the session ended.
“Shaq and Jerell were academically out tonight,” Spurrier said. “So, hopefully, they will learn to go to class better and they’ll be here tomorrow night.”
Roland was listed as a co-starter with Damiere Byrd at one receiver spot on the preseason depth chart. Adams was listed as the backup to starter Rory “Busta” Anderson.
Jadeveon Clowney’s massive preseason hype hasn’t dimmed his mega-watt smile, or playfulness. The big defensive end walked into the gates of the Proving Grounds with defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward on his heels, smiling and mugging for the cameras documenting his every move.
Clowney paused to look into one lens and offer a few words, then accepted one handshake-hug, before hollering, “I got to go!” and running into practice. The sizable crowd welcomed him with a roar, which increased when Clowney took his turn on the blocking sled.
Clowney picked up his dummy, and flipped the sled over, after lifting it so the padding faced the sky. Not to be outdone, Kelcy Quarles did the same a few reps later.
Ward liked everyone’s effort, but it was just the first day.
“We got a long way to go,” he said. “I think it was a good first start.”
Looking for my Camara
Signee Mohamed Camara, one of two recruits who didn’t make it to campus (Devante Covington could enroll in January) was not at practice. He is waiting on his academic clearance so he can enroll in school.
Many of the players practiced in the Guardian “concussion caps” on top of their regular helmets. The majority of the presumptive starters wore them.
So much for that
Kelvin Rainey has switched back to tight end, the position he was recruited for out of high school.
Rainey had been playing linebacker, and with USC’s thin depth at the spot, stood to at least be on the depth chart. At tight end, Rainey is behind Anderson, Adams and sophomore Drew Owens. Rainey also has switched his preseason jersey number (5) to 15.
Other number switches: Offensive lineman D.J. Park has changed to 69 (was 60), kicker Elliott Fry has changed to 26 (was 29) and quarterback Perry Orth has changed to 10 (was 15).
There was no yellow
No players were injured or wearing yellow non-contact jerseys.
The Gamecocks will practice again at 7:15 p.m. on Saturday. It is open to the public.
Video: Steve Spurrier
Practice sights, sounds