When fans go searching for the South Carolina wide receiver most likely to replace the production of Alshon Jeffery, it seems logical enough to circle the name of his brother, Shamier.
Not so fast, says Shamier Jeffery.
“I’m OK with it, but I am just like the next man, trying to work hard and become a better player,” Jeffery said Friday after the Gamecocks completed their fifth spring practice. “I am behind DeAngelo Smith and Lamar Scruggs. I am just trying to work in the rotation with them and become a better player.”
Jeffery signed with South Carolina last season and then redshirted. The 6-foot-1, 214-pounder is listed as the third-teamer at his brother’s former position this spring. While Alshon stands three inches taller than his little brother, Shamier believes they have one similar trait.
“My hands are like his,” Shamier said. “I’ve got great hands. I’m not trying to brag or anything, but I’ve got great hands. I just have to work on my route running and work on my plays, and I’ll be fine.”
Shamier visited Alshon this winter while Alshon was training for the NFL draft in Tampa, Fla., and it was a learning experience, he said. His brother’s advice: “Just work hard, move fast, run fast and try to be the best player out there.”
Shamier played quarterback at Calhoun County High and threw for more than 2,000 yards in each of his final two seasons.
Offensive line coach Shawn Elliott isn’t worried that center T.J. Johnson will miss the rest of spring practice due to a sprained foot.
“I think the (practice repetitions) Kyle Harris and Clayton Stadnik are getting at center are great,” Elliott said. “T.J. wasn’t going to get a lot of work anyway. He was going to be here to kind of help those guys along and mold them into what I think can be, great players, and kind of oversee that for me when I’m talking to others.”
Johnson has started 40 games for South Carolina, more than any player on the team.
“T.J. is a veteran. He’s been doing this since before I got here,” Elliott said. “He doesn’t need to prove anything to me out here.”
Cornerback Cadarious Sanders (hamstring) remained sidelined. Ahmad Christian, who missed Tuesday’s practice due to a concussion, was back Friday. Jeffery was on the ground briefly with a right knee injury but returned to the field to run pass routes.
“It’s fine, just tweaked it a little bit,” he said.
The Gamecocks are scheduled to scrimmage Saturday at 10 a.m. at Williams-Brice Stadium. The scrimmage is open to the public and fans are asked to enter from the Bluff Road side of the stadium.