'A Pretty Nice Practice'
Coach Spurrier Pleased With Gamecocks First Preseason Practice
The USC Gamecocks football team held their first preseason practice Wednesday night and a curious thing happened. Head coach Steve Spurrier seemed happy when the night was done.
"A pretty nice practice," is how Spurrier described it.
Rabid Gamecock fans who like to parse every syllable of Spurrier's post-practice comments to the media may likely be surprised by that. Spurrier, a master of damning with faint praise, a coach who is notoriously hard to please, found virtually nothing to criticize and a lot to be happy about as the Gamecocks kick off their campaign to win the school's first Southeastern Conference crown.
While he did make a playful dig at starting QB Stephen Garcia for throwing some "sinkers" during drills, Spurrier told reporters he and the team's position coaches were impressed by the team's speed, maybe the fastest group he has had since coming to USC in 2005.
"I think it was noticeable that our guys were faster than they've been before," Spurrier told reporters. "It's a well-conditioned, faster bunch of guys."
One of those speedsters was defensive rookie Jadeveon Clowney, of South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, the nation's top recruit this year.
"He plays too fast out here, we've got to teach him practice speed," Spurrier said with a smile. "We try to let the quarterbacks throw the balls in these drills without pads on, but we can't slow Jadeveon down. I think we'd have to take him out of the game to slow him down."
Asked by a reporter if this might be the most talented USC team he has had, Spurrier said: "Hopefully, hopefully. We think it is. Time will tell."
For the entire Spurrier post-practice interview, click here.
Wednesday night's practice reportedly drew a couple thousand fans. Instead of closing remaining practices to the public as in previous years, Spurrier said they will remain open to the public for at least the next week or two as the team prepares for its season opener on Sept. 3 against East Carolina University in Charlotte.