USC Gamecocks Football

South Carolina rewards veteran walk-on with a scholarship

When Spencer Eason-Riddle first planned to walk on with South Carolina’s football team, he didn’t even know he’d be playing for Will Muschamp.

On Tuesday, the coach rewarded him with a scholarship.

Eason-Riddle, who arrived in the midst of the Spurrier-to-Muschamp transition and worked his way onto the team anyway, was given a scholarship at the end of practice Tuesday. The linebacker and fullback from North Carolina grew into a special teams staple, occasional goal line back and helped on defense late last season.

Muschamp announced it without fanfare, calling out Eason Riddle and declaring, “You’re not paying for school anymore, you’re on scholarship,” before teammates mobbed him.

He also has a sterling off-field reputation as one of the team’s most active volunteers and spearheads his own initiative called Sandstorm Buddies. He volunteers over 100 hours a year at a local hospital and various other places in the Columbia community.

The Public Health major and rising redshirt junior already has his undergraduate degree and is working on his master’s. He plans to play two more years for the Gamecocks.

He made four tackles last season, served as fullback when the team used them and played in every game on special teams. The 6-foot, 230-pounder was a two-way player in high school in the Raleigh area.

USC had a pair of scholarships open up when Lavonte Valentine decided to transfer and Kiel Pollard had to take a medical disqualification. USC still has one more open it could, in theory, use.