Competition for USC kicker job? Yes
The most interesting part of South Carolina’s scrimmage Saturday might have come in the final second. That’s when Gamecocks freshman place-kicker Parker White hit a long field goal in a game-winning situation to cap a drive by the second-team offense.
White, a Mount Pleasant native, hit “a 53-, 54-yard field goal, which was impressive,” head coach Will Muschamp said.
Redshirt freshman Alex Woznick, who received a five-star rating at the prestigious Chris Sailer Kicking academy while in high school, had been considered the success to Elliott Fry at the position, but White finds himself in the mix to start with two weeks left before the season-opener against N.C. State on Sept. 2.
“Yeah, we do” have a competition, Muschamp said.
“Parker has kind of come out of the woodwork,” Muschamp said. “In the spring, we were looking at him as the guy we felt was going to be our kickoff guy, but he hit a pressure field goal to win the game with 1 second left on the clock. We are definitely in a competition.”
The scrimmage was closed to the media. South Carolina worked on situational drills at Williams-Brice Stadium, Muschamp said.
“Decently pleased with the effort,” Muschamp said. “I thought the first scrimmage was cleaner as far as our operation on both sides.”
The Gamecocks will take Sunday off before returning to the practice fields Monday night and again Tuesday. The Monday practice (7:30 p.m., Williams-Brice Stadium) is open to the public.
The team will have an off day Wednesday and a meetings-only day Thursday before beginning preparation for the Wolfpack on Friday.
Academic update. Linebacker Skai Moore finished his undergraduate degree requirements this week, joining offensive lineman D.J. Park and defensive lineman Ulric Jones as graduates who will play this year.
Another eight Gamecocks are on track to earn their degrees in December, said Muschamp, who credited senior associate athletic director Maria Hickman and her staff.
“You are talking about 11 guys walking out with their diploma (when or before they are) finishing their eligibility,” Muschamp said. “That’s an amazing stat, and that’s why they are here. They are here to get their education.”