The Gamecocks broke out the black matte helmets Wednesday morning for practice, one of the last camp workouts with a media viewing period.
Although there was no team work, the few periods provided some chance for observations.
▪ Things opened with the “cock drill,” and while it’s probably a stretch to read too much into it, freshman Buck Brad Johnson certainly stood out. The Pendleton High product beat starting tight end K.C. Crosby and forced a fumble, and later got the best of freshman tight end Will Register and planted a running back.
... Running back Rico Dowdle beat linebacker T.J. Brunson
... Linebacker Eldridge Thompson drove back walk-on running back Slade Carroll
... Ridge View product and freshman linebacker Damani Staley held his own against sophomore tight end Kiel Pollard
... Buck Daniel Fennell looked good in getting the best of Evan Hinson
▪ In the second period, QBs were working on passes where they did a sudden shoulder twist before throwing, working on firing passes in uncomfortable spots without resetting their feet.
The offensive line was working on lateral movement, while the defensive line did some drills for cut blocking, trying get hands on a large foam ball while a bag was thrown at their legs.
▪ The defense wrapped up with a defensive fundamentals circuit, mostly focused on tackling. The four stations included what looked like tackling with the chest first, driving through a bag, tackling teammates onto a cushioned pad and effectively pursuing runners into the sideline.
On one rep, Johnson again looked pretty hyped and aggressive, driving through a tackling dummy.
▪ Quarterbacks and running backs were working on shotgun handoffs that looked a little non-traditional, perhaps a sign of being able to run certain plays out of looks in which they usually wouldn’t fit.