While South Carolina waits to learn the severity of Mike Matulis’ knee injury, the Gamecocks will make plans for what the 2014 offensive line would look like without him.
At the moment, that probably means sophomore center Cody Waldrop will slide over to right guard, clearing the starting center job for sophomore Clayton Stadnik, coach Steve Spurrier said.
“We are hoping it is not going to be as severe as it appeared,” Spurrier said. “I think he felt a little twinge and got a sharp pain. We don’t have a lot of backup players, but we have enough to go play.”
Waldrop, 6-foot-2, 309 pounds was a guard in high school and converted to center in 2013, when he started six games but missed another six due to foot and ankle injuries. Stadnik, 6-3, 273 pounds, started seven games at center last year. Offensive line coach Shawn Elliott said last week he had expected Waldrop and Stadnik to compete for the starting center job right up until the team’s opening game against Texas A&M on Aug. 28.
Matulis, a first-team freshman All-American in 2011, started five games in 2012 but missed the remainder of that season and all of 2013 after having surgery on both shoulders. He was expected to replace Ronald Patrick this year at right guard.
“Mike Matulis sprained his knee fairly severely,” Spurrier said after the Gamecocks’ Saturday morning scrimmage at Williams-Brice Stadium. “They will wait and check that out and let us know how severe that was.”
Junior Will Sport and redshirt freshman Na’Ty Rodgers, who has been playing tackle this year but played guard last season, also could be options at guard for South Carolina.
“Matulis is a great player,” running back Brandon Wilds said. “Hopefully, he will be back soon and we will be praying for him.”