Gamecocks hold open practice, Davis Jr. leaves team
COLUMBIA – South Carolina held its only open practice of the preseason Monday at Williams-Brice Stadium. Around 1,200 fans showed up.
* A USC spokesperson confirmed that running back Stephen Davis Jr. is no longer on the team. He has been removed from the Gamecocks’ official roster.
Davis Jr., who prepped at Dutch Fork High and is the son of one of the best all-time high-school players in the state of South Carolina’s history, signed with Auburn but didn’t play last year due to injury. He transferred to USC despite Auburn blocking the transfer, electing to walk on this year – when he wasn’t eligible to play anyway – and would have three years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018.
Davis Jr. was around at the beginning of the week but was not present at Saturday’s Fan Appreciation Day or Monday’s practice.
* With artificial crowd noise blaring from the scoreboard, USC went 11-on-11. The starting defense had freshman Jamyest Williams in and out at nickel. The rest: DE Dante Sawyer; DT Taylor Stallworth, Ulric Jones; BUCK D.J. Wonnum; LB Skai Moore, T.J. Brunson, Bryson Allen-Williams; CB Rashad Fenton, Mark King; S Chris Lammons, D.J. Smith.
* The starting offense had tight ends Jacob August and K.C. Crosby in ahead of Hayden Hurst, although Hurst quickly checked in. The Gamecocks often used multiple tight ends among the 11, with one at blocking tight end and the other lined in the slot. Another could spread out to receiver.
* Alan Knott had a crisply efficient sealed-off block to spring A.J. Turner for a long gain. Turner also was the starting running back during an 11-on-11 drill.
* Dennis Daley and Malik Young rotated in and out at left tackle. While Eric Wolford said last week that Young would “probably” start against NC State, Daley has played well. Young, Will Muschamp said Saturday, also got slightly dinged up during the last scrimmage.
* Summerville’s Chandler Farrell continues to rep at backup center. The Gamecocks can also go with Cory Helms if starter Alan Knott leaves, but that would be pulling a starting guard out of position. Farrell seems a good bet to make the travel roster.
* The Gamecocks’ running backs worked on stop-and-go drills, ducking under a bar and then cutting to avoid agility bags placed on the ground in a Z formation.
* Freshman Chad Terrell continues to impress. The wide receiver was toasting his defensive backs in drills and could wind up playing this year. The Gamecocks like to have six to eight wide receivers available, but that number may change due to a plethora of tight ends who can also play those roles. Terrell is bidding to place his name beside those of Deebo Samuel, Bryan Edwards, Terry Googer and the two Smiths.
* Alexander Woznick was the first kicker summoned but hooked a 50-yard field goal left. He made his next attempt, from 37 yards. Parker White was second and connected from 30 yards.
* Randrecous Davis (groin), C.J. Freeman (knee), Tavyn Jackson (hamstring) and Steven Montac (foot) did not participate. Jackson’s injury seems to be the most serious, but he wasn’t using crutches on Monday like he recently had been. Linebacker Davonne Bowen was rung up but walked off the field on his own.