The most interesting thing I’ve heard in South Carolina’s five days of practice came from quarterback Dylan Thompson on Wednesday.
It was this: “Shaq (Roland) has really, really gotten good at, they know it’s coming, we’re still going to run that route and they can’t stop it. That’s when you know you are getting somewhere.”
Translated that means the Gamecocks defense has seen the offense’s plays so many times that it’s almost impossible for the offense to fool them. Still, Roland has made plenty of plays in the team’s 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.
South Carolina needs Roland, a junior who was the state’s Mr. Football three years ago, to be a guy that everyone knows is going to get the ball and can still make the play. They had it in Alshon Jeffery and they had it in Bruce Ellington.
They thought when they recruited Roland they were getting it in him. What they’ve gotten in his first two years is flashes. If Roland can transfer what Thompson saw Tuesday to the field on Saturdays, it will give South Carolina a go-to receiver and make Thompson’s transition to the full-time starting role that much easier.
Around the SEC:
Have you heard about Leonard Fournette? He’s the LSU freshman running back who Tigers head coach Les Miles compared, in a roundabout way, to Michael Jordan at SEC Media Days. Now, Miles is comparing Fournette to Tiger Woods. I love Les Miles, but this kid better be the real deal with this kind of hype.
The Tigers took the field in full pads for the first time Tuesday and the portion of practice viewed by the media didn’t vaporize any defenders.
“It's like having Tiger Woods on the golf course with a putter," Miles told NOLA.com. "You just want to see him tee off, don't you. We'll have to put pads on before we can see him tee off."
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops blew a mini-gasket after Tuesday’s practice. The Wildcats have been getting 5 a.m. wakeup calls during camp, but Stoops doesn’t want to hear excuses about being tired.
Tim Tebow still is waiting for a call from an NFL team. Until then, he’ll bide his time as an analyst for the SEC Network.