The members of South Carolina’s football team have to come through the fire each game.
Maybe figuratively, but in this case literally.
On Tuesday, the team debuted the new look “2001” entrance, complete with flames shooting 20 feet in the air and eight Co2 jets generating plumes of “smoke” between 20 to 25 feet long, replacing the need to create that effect with fire extinguishers. The players are pretty into it.
“I think that’s going to be lit,” tailback A.J. Turner said. “When we went out, through the scrimmage, I felt hot. I felt like my arm hairs were burning or something. It was exciting.”
Several other players came away with positive reviews. Sophomore tight end Kiel Pollard called it awesome and said it had him ready for the first game.
His fellow tight end Hayden Hurst called it different, looking back to how it went under Steve Spurrier. Hurst described it as a good change, something the fans will enjoy even if it gets a little toasty in the tunnel.
Quarterback Michael Scarnecchia said the team had heard rumors of the changes for the past few weeks and months, but how it all came together stood out. He’s also looking forward to another addition to the game day atmosphere.
“I think it’s cool,” Scarnecchia said. “The fire and everything, the fire’s hot. I think bringing the DJ booth in, that’s awesome.
“I like it. I like what they’re doing to it. But the DJ booth to me is the biggest thing. I love that.”
South Carolina will unveil “2001” and the new DJ in the Gamecocks’ first home game, set for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 16 against Kentucky.