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Spring football musings, day 2

Hard to get too great a read on things since the Gamecocks were in shorts again Tuesday, but things will pick up beginning Thursday evening (7 p.m.) when the pads come on.

Steve Spurrier was hoping to get the two mandatory shorts-and-helmets days in before spring break, but bad weather limited the Gamecocks to one workout two weeks ago.

Probably just as well: Judging by the hands on knees and sucking of wind (“heavy breathing” just doesn’t sound right in this context), it looked like players needed an acclimation day following spring break.

Anyway, a couple of notes and observations:

–USC has several scatbacks, or as Spurrier called them, “scootbacks,” competing for the starting tailback job. Kenny Miles put a nifty move on linebacker Eric Norwood, prompting the two-time, All-SEC selection to acknowledge Miles with a tap on the shoulder.

Sophomore Brian Maddox had this to say about the tailback battle: “You always love competition. If it’s not competition, why play? We’re all competing.”

Should be fun to watch these guys go at it in the scrimmages, the first of which will be around 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

–The offensive line practices on the far field at the Bluff Road facility, so it’s been tough to see new O-line coach Eric Wolford up close and personal. But Wolford’s intensity has made an impression on those in the offensive huddle.

“Coach Wolford’s a pretty intense guy and I think the offensive line needed that,” quarterback Stephen Garcia said. “The whole team needed that, actually. We needed to get a lot more intense. I’m glad he’s here and helping us reshape the offense a little bit as far as the run game goes.”

–Many in Gamecock Nation have asked about the development of defensive end Clifton Geathers and wondered why the 6-8, 281-pounder did not have more of an impact last season as a sophomore.

But D-line coach Brad Lawing said Geathers, the younger brother of Cincy Bengals DE Robert Geathers Jr. is progressing just fine.

“Cliff’s got a great desire to learn and get better,” Lawing said. “I don’t know what people expect of freshmen. They’re all heavily recruited and everybody always thinks they’re going to be an All-American as a freshman. My goal for freshmen is that they become a sophomore. I think Cliff Geathers did that. He did what we asked him to do. He got better last year.”

With USC looking for a replacement for Jordin Lindsey, this should be the spring Geathers makes a big splash.