South Carolina’s football team has more than five months before its season opener against Vanderbilt.
That might be a long time, but the Gamecocks staff needs its players to work as if they’re on a far shorter timeline.
“We’ve got to create, and I told our staff this morning, a sense of urgency and competitive edge with this group right now,” Muschamp said Monday. “Because right now, we’re kind of sticking our toe in the water instead of jumping in.”
To that end, the spring depth chart will be 100 percent fluid. Jobs are there for the taking. This staff hasn’t yet seen its players on a field with a ball, and that means the opportunities are there.
To take them, players have to get after it, fight for reps and snaps after starting the spring on somewhat equal footing. But that fire must show the same in offseason conditioning as it does when a team hits the field, as it will Tuesday to being spring practice.
“You either compete or you don’t,” Muschamp said. “And some of our guys need to learn to compete a little bit more.”
Against the wall
Muschamp had few illusions his staff will have the entirety of a new offense or defense in place by the time spring wraps up. That said, the coaches won’t spoon feed the players either.
“It’s that old theory, you throw it at the wall and see what sticks,” Muschamp said. “Pick it back up, put it back in the bucket and throw it against the wall.”
The coach said there’s a balance between confusing players and giving them enough of a base to get them ready for fall camp. The overload and heavy installation days give the staff a sense of which players are the best learners and which will adjust well to tweaks during the season.
Position and injury updates
▪ Bryan Edwards is listed as a first-team wide receiver. Muschamp added he’s still a bit slowed by a high school knee injury.
▪ David Williams and Rod Talley are listed first and second on the running backs depth chart.
▪ Mason Zandi moved to left tackle. Corey Helms, Alan Knott, and Zack Bailey are the top line at guard and center.
▪ True freshman Keir Thomas is listed as second-string defensive end and is up to 255 pounds.
▪ Both Ulric Jones and Abu Lamin will cross train at defensive tackle and defensive end.
▪ Despite rumblings about playing safety in the offseason, Skai Moore will remain at linebacker.
▪ CB Chris Lammons will rep at safety, corner and nickel. CB Rashad Fenton will work at corner and nickel. DB Antoine Wilder will be at nickel, and CB Rico McWilliams will also work at several spots.
▪ Muschamp told the receivers already on campus they’ll have to make their mark quickly because the large group of freshman signees will be given every opportunity.
▪ WR Jerad Washington (leg) will be limited in the spring. Moore (neck strain) will be held out of contact work early, but will reevaluate later on.
▪ DTs Taylor Stallworth and Kobe Smith will be limited because of shoulder surgery.
▪ DL Dante Sawyer (shoulder surgery) will miss all of spring.