Josh Kendall

Why is South Carolina having spring football practice so early?

South Carolina’s football team started spring practice Wednesday, earlier than any team in the SEC other than Vanderbilt. The Gamecocks spring game will be March 31, again earlier than anyone in the conference other than the Commodores.

There are a couple of reasons for that, USC head coach Will Muschamp said. The first one won’t surprise anyone who knows Muschamp.

“When you’re able to have a spring game this early, there is no other SEC team having a spring game on March 31, so I’m not competing with anybody to get a young man on our campus March 31,” Muschamp said.

The other reason is health. Any players injured in the spring will have extra time to heal prior to fall camp.

“We have a spring game March 31, I’ve got another month for a young man to get back for the fall,” Muschamp said.

Many Gamecocks fans were happy that the spring game won’t conflict with Masters weekend this year, but Muschamp has learned there is always a scheduling issue of some kind in the Palmetto State.

“The one thing I have learned here is there is no good weekend here for a spring game. There’s a lot going on,” Muschamp said. “I’ve gotten all your emails. I appreciate it, and I appreciate all your support. We are going to have a great crowd for the spring game, but I know one thing, on Sept. 1 we are going to have 80,000 in there (for the season-opener), and that’s the most important thing.”