DeVonte Holloman hopes to bring a new dimension to South Carolina’s spur position this fall.
He’ll certainly bring more bulk. Antonio Allen played the position last year for the Gamecocks, and played it very well, while weighing 202 pounds. Holloman, a senior who started at strong safety last season, will check in between 240 and 245 pounds when the season begins Aug. 30 against Vanderbilt.
“I feel good,” said Holloman, who had 51 tackles last season. The coaches “just want me to feel good.”
Holloman may need the extra pounds to play spur for first-year defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward, who has promised to be more aggressive than predecessor Ellis Johnson. That means Holloman will be playing closer to the line of scrimmage than Allen on many occasions.
“I get to mix it up a little bit more with the big guys than Antonio did, but I am still not trying to gain too much weight,” he said.
Freshman cornerback Rico McWilliams was injured Saturday night during a passing drill. McWilliams, a three-star prospect from Hampton, Ga., was defending fellow freshman Shaq Roland when his left knee buckled and he fell to the ground in obvious pain.
He was helped off the field by head athletic trainer Clint Haggard. McWilliams is not considered one of the team's top five cornerbacks.
Senior cornerback Akeem Auguste is healthy for the first time since the 2010 season. Auguste missed 12 of last year’s 13 games and received a medical redshirt due to a foot injury that required surgery. He suffered a minor groin injury during the summer, but that is completely healed, he said.
“It just feels great to be out here with my teammates, I feel 100 (percent),” Auguste said. “I’m just getting back in game speed.”
Auguste didn’t have enough game speed on the first day of practice to keep up with starting wide receiver Ace Sanders during a one-on-one drill.
“Ace is good now,” Auguste said. “He’s good coming off the ball, but I feel like I’m going to get right and be ready to go.”
Auguste and Victor Hampton are expected to replace starting cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and C.C. Whitlock.
“Those guys were good, don’t get me wrong. I am not going to speak on us, on what we’re going to do, this or that,” Auguste said. “We’re going to see on Saturdays.”
... Backup offensive tackle Kyle Harris did not practice Saturday due to a sprained ankle.
... Freshman running back Kendric Salley has yet to practice. Salley had knee surgery in December.
Freshmen offensive tackles Cody Waldrop and Mason Zandi have impressed starting center T.J. Johnson. “They have done everything they are supposed to do since they’ve been here,” Johnson said. “Cody is a real hard worker, and Mason has unbelievable athletic ability. It’s going to be exciting to watch those two progress through the years.”
The Gamecocks will practice Sunday night at 7:30. The workout is open to the public.