Josh Kendall

Gamecocks doing some spring practice shuffling

South Carolina football's Ulric Jones will be back on the defensive line this spring.
South Carolina football's Ulric Jones will be back on the defensive line this spring. dmclemore@thestate.com

South Carolina starts its first practice under Will Muschamp on March 15. The State will take the 15 days of the month leading up to that to look at 15 “keys” for the Gamecocks as they prepare for Muschamp’s first season.

New coaches often mean new positions for players. Or, in the case of players like Ulric Jones, old positions.

Jones, a 6-foot-6, 284-pound junior, was a three-star junior college prospect as a defensive lineman but was moved to offensive line and tight end during his first season in Columbia after not finding any traction on the defensive front. Now, he’s back at defensive end this spring in hopes of giving the Gamecocks more pressure on the quarterback.

Jones won’t be the only player bouncing around this spring under Will Muschamp’s new coaching staff. Senior Darius English, long playing against much heavier players as a 226-pound defensive end, has been moved to outside linebacker, and longtime linebacker Skai Moore could be playing any of the linebacker spots or even safety before spring practice is finished.

Of course, the most noteworthy position change could come on offense. If sophomore quarterback Lorenzo Nunez can’t find a spot in the quarterback rotation under Kurt Roper, he’ll almost certainly be asked to try wide receiver. The Gamecocks need playmakers on the perimeter, and Nunez is dynamic as a ball carrier.

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