USC Gamecocks Football

Deebo cleared to return, but USC freshman likely out for spring with back injury

What Muschamp said about adding Wonnum, Sandidge on signing day

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp recaps the additions of Dylan Wonnum and Rick Sandidge to the 2018 signing class.
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South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp recaps the additions of Dylan Wonnum and Rick Sandidge to the 2018 signing class.

Freshman linebacker Ernest Jones has a fracture in his back and will likely miss all of spring practice, South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp announced Wednesday.

The injury was something suffered in high school, Muschamp said. Jones is expected to return in time for preseason practice.

“He’s going to be fine after spring,” Muschamp said. “They don’t want him to have any contact this spring and he’s been very limited in the offseason program.”

Senior wide receiver Deebo Samuel still is limited to jogging and riding a stationary bike while recovering from the broken leg and foot injuries that ended his 2017 season.

“Deebo Samuel will be cleared but will be limited for spring,” Muschamp said.

Senior linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams (shoulder) also won’t participate much in spring practice, at least not in contact, but he is taking part in most of the team’s offseason conditioning work.

USC’s spring practice starts Feb. 28. The spring game is noon March 31.

Other injury news reported by Muschamp:

▪  Running back Lavonte Valentine (ACL) is still recovering from the injury suffered in high school and will be out for the spring.

▪  Defensive back Jamyest Williams (shoulder) is out for the spring.

▪  Safety Jaylin Dickerson (shoulder) is improving but is out for the spring.

▪  Safety/linebacker Antoine Wilder (elbow) will have surgery and is out for the spring.

▪  Snapper Ben Asbury (ACL) is out for the spring.

▪  Running back Mon Denson (knee) will be limited.

▪  Defensive lineman Aaron Thompson (shoulder) is out for the spring.

▪  Offensive lineman Wyatt Campbell (meniscus) is not taking part in the offseason program but will go through spring practice.

Early Reviews

After the first cycle of a new NCAA recruiting calendar that included an early signing period in December, Muschamp pronounced himself not exactly a fan but not a detractor either.

“It was fine with me. I don’t have any issues with it,” he said. “It was hard managing bowl practice and early signing period. I didn’t expect that many guys signing in December.”

Googer’s role

After having to give up football because of a concussion suffered against Texas A&M last year, Terry Googer will help in the team’s recruiting office, Muschamp said.

“Just a great young man,” Muschamp said. “I hate anytime something like this happens, but we will support him in any way we can.”