The members of the South Carolina football team were a few hours removed from a closed door meeting with athletic director Ray Tanner, but after practice with a pack of reporters nearby, they were not letting anything slip.
“We just talked about some stuff, with the team,” kicker Elliott Fry said. “We were just talking about a lot of team stuff.”
The team is in line for a new head coach and the previous 24 hours featured a flurry of online reports about South Carolina’s coaching situation. Fry characterized the meeting as “good,” but stayed away from providing much detail about it.
Senior tight end Jerell Adams said he did “not remember” what was said in the meeting.
“We just wanted to have a talk with each other, not the coaches,” Adams said.
Offensive coordinator G.A. Mangus was resolute, saying reserve quarterback Lorenzo Nunez, who did not play in the Citadel game despite being cleared, not only will be available but will play Saturday against Clemson.
Nunez got a couple starts in the middle of the season but hurt his shoulder and has mostly been used for trick play purposes since his return.
“He has been practicing a little more each day,” Mangus said. “Threw the ball more (Wednesday) than he’s thrown it lately. Looked good. Feels good. Trainer say he’s ready to go, so he’s going to be ready to roll on Saturday. Seems excited about it to.”
Shifting the line
South Carolina’s offensive front could see a final game shakeup based on the health of offensive tackle Mason Zandi. The towering right tackle is currently limited by a high ankle sprain, and while he might be able to go against the Tigers, he won’t be 100 percent.
If he can’t, things start to shift. Blake Camper filled in on the right side last game, but starting guard Mike Matulis could shift out to tackle, where he’s played before and true freshman Zack Bailey, a backup at the interior spots, would fill in.
“Mike is the utility guy,” interim offensive line coach Travelle Wharton said. “We’ve got to see what’s the health status of Mason and see how it all fits in. (Matulis has) played a little bit of right, he’s played a little bit of guard. He’s ready to go.”
Zandi didn’t practice, nor did wide receiver Terry Googer (concussion). Cornerback Chris Lammons was in a yellow no-contact jersey because of a sore back.
In the past, Fry has poked some fun at Clemson, declaring LSU’s stadium the “real Death Valley” and throwing a few barbs on social media.
On Wednesday, he was all business talking about how much he’s seen the rivalry mean since he transplanted from the heart of Texas.
“I guess my first year here, I heard a lot of people talking about it,” Fry said. “I honestly didn’t know it was a rivalry just because I was in the Big 12 rivalries.
“Even from my first year here, I heard people say, you can not win a game in the season, but if you beat Clemson, everybody will be happy.”