Muschamp explains outlook, goals for spring practice
South Carolina is moving one defensive player to offense, moving one defensive player to another position and moving one player back and forth between both sides of the ball.
M.J. Webb, who played defensive line for the first two years of his Gamecocks career, will play offensive guard for at least the first five practices of the spring. South Carolina begins spring practice on Wednesday.
“We will see how that goes from there,” Muschamp said.
Senior A.J. Turner, who has played mostly running back during his career but finished last season in the defensive backfield, will play cornerback for the first five spring practices and then return to the running back position in the sixth spring practice. Turner will enter the 2019 season as a running back, but head coach Will Mushamp would like for him to have experience in the defensive backfield in case he is needed there during the season.
“Running back will be his primary position moving into the fall,” Muschamp said. “I am trying to create depth on our football team. If he’s had some experience in playing (cornerback), and we keep his hand in it, he’s able to help us. We’re going to be a little thin in the secondary and he’s certainly a guy who is capable of helping us in the secondary and playing really good corner for us and really good nickel for us. We want to put him in a position that is fair for him.
Sophomore defensive lineman J.J. Enagbare, who played defensive tackle as a true freshman last year, will start the spring at defensive end, Muschamp said. Southern Cal transfer Jamel Cook, who sat out last season, will play safety.
Funeral plans. The Gamecocks will practice Friday instead of Saturday as originally planned so that the coaches and players who choose to can attend the funeral of offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon’s mother in Atlanta on Saturday.
“I think it’s important for all of us to be there and support them,” Muschamp said. “I have known the McClendon family for a long time and they need us there to support them. Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with the McClendon family.”
Kickoff return candidates. With Deebo Samuel gone, South Carolina will have to find a new kickoff return specialist. Bryan Edwards, A.J. Turner, Shi Smith, Jamyest Williams and Josh Vann will all get a shot at the job this spring, Muschamp said.
No comment. Muschamp was asked Tuesday if there was any chance defensive lineman Josh Belk might change his mind and return to the team. The sophomore defensive tackle left the Gamecocks during the offseason.
“I haven’t talked to Josh,” Muschamp replied.
Three short. South Carolina expected 2019 signees Cam Smith (defensive back), Traevon Kenion (tight end) and Tyquan Johnson (wide receiver) to enroll in school in to participate in spring practice, but none of the three has joined the team yet, and Muschamp said he had no update on their status.