First look: Tavien Feaster practices with the Gamecocks
South Carolina football opened its fifth practice of August to the media Tuesday, giving a look at the squad in pads for the first time.
Although the tradition “cock drill” was not part of the afternoon’s festivities, it was a public debut for Clemson transfer Tavien Feaster in garnet.
A few observations from his appearance and more.
▪ Feaster left a few onlookers searching early, as he wasn’t in pre-practice stretch lines and was hard to spot in the first period. During the second period of practice, he was on the sideline, going through some warmups.
He is one practice behind the rest of the team, so he be full go until Wednesday, though he was wearing some pads.
Once in drills, Feaster was out there taking handoffs and catching swing passes in drills with just the running backs and quarterbacks. At one point, he was working in fourth, behind Rico Dowdle, Mon Denson and Kevin Harris. Later on, Dowdle stepped away, and Feaster was second, behind Denson and ahead of Harris. A.J. Turner was working with the defensive backs.
Feaster certainly looks all of his 220 pounds, a well-built back.
Feaster ran for 1,330 yards in three years at Clemson and joins a senior-heavy running back room. The one-time top-30 recruit will be fighting it out with Dowdle, Turner and Denson for carries.
▪ Didn’t get a great look at who wasn’t out there fully practicing, but pass rusher Brad Johnson and wide receiver Tyquan Johnson were with the injured Keir Thomas separate from the main group as practice began.
Reserve punter Michael Almond was in street clothes. During the three periods the media could watch, star defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw was not spotted.
▪ Transfer punter Christian Kinsley is listed at 245 pounds and certainly looks it, with as wide of shoulders as you’ll see for a kicking specialist.
▪ Early on, the wide receivers were working on a drill to high-point the ball in the air. As a veteran, Bryan Edwards looks the most natural, but freshman Keveon Mullins didn’t look bad.
▪ Scouts were on hand from the Jaguars and Jets. Hammond High School coach and former USC quarterback Erik Kimrey was also there. Kimrey coached Gamecocks walk-on QB Corbett Glick and currently coaches South Carolina commit Alex Huntley, target Jordan Burch and Jackson Muschamp, son of South Carolina’s coach.
▪ The offensive line was going through an interesting drill, with players running and getting shoved from the side. A guess would be the value of the drill is for those getting shoved (staying upright), but it could also be about getting used to blocking guys on the side downfield rather than in the back.
▪ The last thing open for the defense was a tackling fundamentals circuit. Interesting to see Israel Mukuamu, Jaycee Horn and Jamel Cook go all in a row. All were lifting the tackling dummy high, getting those long legs moving.
▪ During early field goal work, Parker White hit most of his kicks, though he did have one miss between 35 and 40 yards.
▪ One interesting tidbit was true freshman linebacker Jahmar Brown out with what looked like the starters on the field goal block unit. Might not be the most meaningful, but at least a sign he could be getting the coaches’ attention.