Josh Kendall

Gamecocks comfort zone expanding on offense

gmelendez@thestate.com

In the spring, it seemed clear that new South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp had one position area that made him completely comfortable – linebacker.

As the Gamecocks wrap up their first full week of fall practice, that number has increased to two. The new group? The offensive line. Muschamp has heaped praise, as much as he seems to heap praise, on the offensive front during his appearances with the media this week.

“We have some good players up there. We have some toughness up there,” Muschamp said. “We have some guys who compete in practice and embrace competition. That’s a credit to (offensive line coach Shawn Elliott, the only holdover from Steve Spurrier’s coaching staff) and what he’s doing. They’re a physical bunch. They play the way I want them to play.”

Listen to all the keywords in that comment. “Toughness.” “Competition.” “Physical.” These are all the types of things Muschamp said he wanted his program to be when he was hired in December so when he conveys them onto players, it’s high praise.

Having an offensive line that gives the head coach warm and fuzzy feelings won’t help the Gamecocks much if they can’t find the right quarterback or build some more wide receiver depth or figure out what’s going on at tailback, but it’s a start.

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