Gamecocks hit practice field with unanswered questions

The biggest question the South Carolina football program has faced during the offseason has concerned the return of sophomore sensation Jadaveon Clowney.

That one will be answered Tuesday when the Gamecocks open spring practice. The All-American defensive end is expected to join his teammates at the Proving Grounds despite calls that he should sit out to protect his future NFL draft status. But the Gamecocks still face several tough questions leading up to the 2013 season.

Coming off its best season in school history, a campaign in which they won 11 games for the second-straight year and produced their highest final national ranking, the Gamecocks will try to build on that momentum as they begin preparations for the 2013 campaign.

The ultimate goal of winning an SEC Championship has eluded South Carolina, but the squad will head into spring drills focused on reaching that lofty goal again this season. As one of only four BCS schools, along with Alabama, Oregon and Stanford, that has recorded 11-win seasons in each of the last two campaigns, South Carolina will once again be the hunted, rather than the hunter.

Buoyed by the return of 36 lettermen, including a dozen starters from a team that went 11-2, captured the Outback Bowl and finished as high as No. 7 in the Coaches’ poll, the Gamecocks, under ninth-year head coach Steve Spurrier, have solidified the program to a point where they are able to re-load, rather than re-build. Led by Clowney, South Carolina figures to be one of the favorites in the SEC East and a preseason top-10 candidate.

Once again, the road to Atlanta and the SEC Championship Game is a difficult one in which to traverse. However, at least on paper, this year’s schedule appears a bit more manageable, as it does not feature a gauntlet similar to the one the Gamecocks faced in 2012 when they had contests versus Georgia, at LSU and at Florida in consecutive weeks.

Here are the burning questions that the Gamecocks must answer between Tuesday and the season opener against North Carolina:

* With rising senior Connor Shaw and sophomore Dylan Thompson both seeing action late in the 2012 season, which one will step up and be named the starter in 2013?

* With just four scholarship seniors on the roster, who will step up in a leadership role?

* Without veterans like Marcus Lattimore and Kenny Miles, which of the young running backs will establish himself at the primary ball carrier in 2013?

* With the somewhat surprising early departure of Ace Sanders and no senior wide receivers on the roster, which of the younger wideouts will make an impression and work their way into the rotation this fall?

* What new wrinkles will Deke Adams, the only change on the coaching staff, bring as the new defensive line coach?

* With the loss of five seniors who took nearly all the snaps, how quickly can the young linebacking corps pick up the schemes and gain the coaches’ trust?

* Who will take charge and serve as the quarterback of the secondary following the loss of standout D.J. Swearinger?

* Will Landon Ard or Nick St. Germain take over as the leader in the clubhouse heading into the fall to replace Adam Yates as the Gamecocks’ kicking specialist?

Those and other questions will begin to be answered when the Gamecocks open their spring practice schedule on Tuesday. The allotted 15 practices will wrap up with the annual Garnet & Black Spring Game on Saturday, April 13.

Comments

comments

Hoops: Panthers flip script on Seahawks in rematch

Hoops: Panthers flip script on Seahawks in rematchA leaky roof at the Myrtle Beach High gymnasium forced [more]

All-County Golf: Anderson follows Knaffle's footsteps

All-County Golf: Anderson follows Knaffle's footstepsSelecting the MyHorryNews All-County Girls Golfer of the Year should [more]

All-County XC: CF's Mohr, NMB's Spickler lead pack

All-County XC: CF's Mohr, NMB's Spickler lead packRunning is more than a hobby for Michael Mohr; it’s [more]

Hoops: Unbeaten Conway secures sweep of Wilson

Hoops: Unbeaten Conway secures sweep of WilsonThe Conway High boys basketball team proved that last month's [more]

Change is name of game for North-South All-Stars

Change is name of game for North-South All-Stars The wholesale changes to the 2018 South Carolina football season [more]

Hoops: Saints fall despite double-double from Green

Hoops: Saints fall despite double-double from GreenThe Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach boys basketball team suffered [more]

Hoops: Tigers, Sharks post big wins over county rivals

Hoops: Tigers, Sharks post big wins over county rivalsThe Conway High boys remained undefeated on the season with [more]

Chants on break for finals week after loss to Terriers

Chants on break for finals week after loss to TerriersSophomore Tre Brown had a career and team-high 24 points, [more]

CAC swimmers post hot times at Snowflake Invite

CAC swimmers post hot times at Snowflake InviteThe Coastal Aquatic Club (CAC) spent the weekend in Rock [more]

Knox's triple-double lifts Seahawks past Panthers

Knox's triple-double lifts Seahawks past Panthers Myrtle Beach High sophomore Emorie Knox hit a major milestone [more]

CAC's Steele captures gold at Winter Junior Nationals

CAC's Steele captures gold at Winter Junior NationalsCarolina Forest senior and Coastal Aquatic Club standout Taylor Steele [more]

SEAHAWKS STORM PAST GREER FOR STATE TITLE

SEAHAWKS STORM PAST GREER FOR STATE TITLE Over the summer, the Myrtle Beach players were gathered inside [more]

Green Sea Floyds captures first state championship

Green Sea Floyds captures first state championshipFacing fourth down and a sneaker, Green Sea Floyds coach [more]

Hoops: Sharks beat buzzer, Warriors on late foul shots

Hoops: Sharks beat buzzer, Warriors on late foul shotsThe St. James High boys basketball team won a thriller [more]

Schools send football team to state with Seahawk Walk

Schools send football team to state with Seahawk WalkThe Myrtle Beach High football team received a hero's send-off [more]

Hoops: Myrtle Beach boys double up rival Socastee

Hoops: Myrtle Beach boys double up rival SocasteeThe Myrtle Beach High boys basketball team doubled up rival [more]

Seahawks' strange season takes a final twist to state

Seahawks' strange season takes a final twist to stateMickey Wilson has led his team to state championship games [more]

Hoops: NMB boys, CF girls fall short in comeback bids

Hoops: NMB boys, CF girls fall short in comeback bidsWhat appeared to be a pair of lopsided affairs turned [more]

MB's shot at state crown moved to Friday afternoon

MB's shot at state crown moved to Friday afternoonGame time has been moved up a day for the [more]

Socastee product Renfrow titled nation's top walk-on

Socastee product Renfrow titled nation's top walk-onThe Burlsworth Foundation announced Monday that wide receiver Hunter Renfrow [more]

Sun Belt puts 5 in bowls after inaugural title game

Sun Belt puts 5 in bowls after inaugural title gameAfter a thrilling 30-19 win by Appalachian State over Louisiana [more]

Gamecocks get close bowl trip to Charlotte vs. Cavs

Gamecocks get close bowl trip to Charlotte vs. CavsSouth Carolina football fans won't have to travel far to [more]

No. 2 Tigers in high Cotton for bowl game against Irish

No. 2 Tigers in high Cotton for bowl game against IrishThe College Football Playoff and the Goodyear Cotton Bowl announced [more]

Hoops: Conway wins; NMB gives female coach first win

Hoops: Conway wins; NMB gives female coach first winThe Conway High boys basketball team came down from its [more]

Seahawks flip the script on No. 1 Hartsville in rematch

Seahawks flip the script on No. 1 Hartsville in rematch Myrtle Beach exorcised its biggest demon from the 2018 regular [more]

Hoops: Panthers flip script on Seahawks in rematch

Hoops: Panthers flip script on Seahawks in rematchA leaky roof at the Myrtle Beach High gymnasium forced [more]

All-County Golf: Anderson follows Knaffle's footsteps

All-County Golf: Anderson follows Knaffle's footstepsSelecting the MyHorryNews All-County Girls Golfer of the Year should [more]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach