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No one’s job is safe.
That was the message following a disappointing practice for the South Carolina offense.
After watching a number of poor center-quarterback exchanges, dropped passes and missed block, USC coach Steve Spurrier said he would not hesitate to make personnel changes.
“We’re not afraid to demote ‘em quickly,” he said Saturday after the team’s first full-pads workout.
Just ask center Garrett Anderson, a two-year starter who got pulled in favor of fifth-year senior Lemuel Jeanpierre after missing a block on the first play of an interior running drill.
“You better be playing at a high level, and you better be playing physical, or we’ll find someone else to play your position,” first-year offensive line coach Eric Wolford said. “So I would stay right now anybody can be starting at any position on day one.”
Anderson wasn’t the only one. Spurrier said Aramis Hillary surpassed Reid McCollum as the No. 2 quarterback, and said freshman Alshon Jeffery could wind up as the No. 1 receiver if veterans such as Jason Barnes continue to struggle.
“Aramis made some plays. Aramis is doing pretty doggone well. So he would be No. 2 right now, and hopefully Reid can get the snap, hit some guys when they’re open,” Spurrier said. “But none of our quarterbacks are really hitting a whole bunch of guys.”
There was about 650 pounds of flesh manning the left side of the line when Georgia Military transfers Steven Singleton and Rokevious Watkins worked side-by-side during a scrimmage featuring newcomers and young players at the end of practice.
“They did OK for just showing up,” Spurrier said. “Coach Wolford likes those guys. He thinks they can play. He thinks they can block people. And Gamecocks know we need some blocking, so they’ve got a chance.”
The centers stayed after practice working on their snaps after several botched exchanges. Backup Seaver Brown had to do 100 snaps before he could leave. “He rolls ‘em on the ground about one out of every four,” Spurrier said.
Receiver Dion LeCorn, who broke his leg on the final play of the spring game, said he thinks it will two weeks before he can begin doing team drills. He should start individual work prior to that, and hopes to play in the Sept. 3 opener at N.C. State. Quote of the day
“We’ve got a lot of guys, I don’t know if they really like football. They’re just out here going through the motions. So we need to get those guys up to speed or let them quit and go somewhere else to play,” – Spurrier.
Rodney Paulk, who was redshirted last season, is expected to start at middle linebacker, although Shaq Wilson has been replacing Paulk in passing situations. … For the second year in a row, Spurrier followed the edict by the Football Coaches Association and kept Duke off his preseason top-25 ballot. … Former USC quarterback Syvelle Newton, offensive coordinator at Brookland-Cayce, attended practice with a couple of B-C players.
The Gamecocks will hold their media day Sunday afternoon, and are not scheduled to practice. Their next workout will be Monday evening, but it is expected to be closed to the public.