FALL CAMP OUTLOOK: Will Muschamp on the Gamecocks



Photo by Gamecocks Football @GamecockFB Twitter

It's in the air...the smell of fresh cut grass and paint as the practice field lines go down.

The South Carolina Gamecocks football team will take the field for fall practice on Friday as the 2018 college football season draws nigh.

Will Muschamp and some players spoke with the media on Thursday, for the Gamecock’s Fall Media Day, to preview the upcoming season and give some updates on what the expectations are for the team.

Here are some quotes from Muschamp's opening statement:

“I really like where our football team is. Obviously everyone will be excited for practice tomorrow, but by practice 17 or 18 we will see where we are. To this point, I have been pleased by the attitude and the mindset of our team, and moving forward we have an opportunity to get better every day.”

“Team and individual goals are great, but understanding how we achieve those goals and the work it is going to take to achieve those goals. If you don’t understand that process, then it does not matter.”

“We have staff of 10 assistants and myself that have won 27 conference championships and 10 national championships. So we understand how to win. We understand to get where we want to go, we have to have a buy-in from this football team and understand it is going to be a difficult and physical camp, a violent camp, that is what you have to do to be successful.”

INJURIES

- Muschamp on injuries going into camp...

"Brad Johnson and Eldridge Thompson will be limited, day-to-day with hamstring from the summer."

"Lavonte Valentine has got to strengthen his knee. I’m hoping to get him cleared by the middle to end of camp, so he will be cleared for contact."

"Jabari Ellis had a scope on his knee, again I think it is going to be three or four days before we get him back."

"J.T. Ibe with his hip, I’m hoping to have him cleared by the end of camp."

"Chad Terrell is ahead of schedule with his knee, and probably looking at a middle of September or first of October to be completely cleared there."

"Two guys that will be non-contact, Ben Asbury had knee surgery, I also have put Ben on scholarship....Josh Vann had shoulder surgery there from Tucker High School, and he will be cleared probably around the middle of camp."


JOSH BELK

- Muschamp on if Josh Belk has joined team yet...

“Yes he is a part of our team.”

- Muschamp on if Josh Belk has filed a waiver with the NCAA yet...

“We have filed a waiver with the NCAA.”

- Muschamp on what the process is like, and what the timetable is with Josh Belk...

“Again I think, obviously, they have been very much more lenient with the transfer situation, so I think Josh has a very good case for that. Chance Miller and our compliance office is working diligently to get that waiver request to the NCAA and there is no timetable.”

- Muschamp on if Josh Belk will jump right in as if he is going to play week one...

“Absolutely."

DEEBO SAMUEL

- Muschamp on if he has seen any difference in Deebo’s attitude since coming off injury...

“No, not really. He has been a guy who has practiced right since I have been here. He goes after it all the time, that’s why he is a good player. God has blessed him with a lot of ability, but one of the abilities that he has been blessed with is work ethic. The guy works extremely hard."

BRYAN MCCLENDON

- Muschamp on how he would describe Bryan McClendon’s personality and if personality goes into playcalling...

“Oh, I think it certainly does. Bryan has a very upbeat and aggressive mentality and I think has done a really good job with our players since he has been here, number one as a receivers coach and changing that group and the production and development in that room has been outstanding....I would describe him as a more up-tempo, aggrieve mindset.”

JAKE BENTLEY

- Muschamp on why Jake Bentley succeeds in a hurry up offense, and how they can decrease the amount of turnovers...

“Well I think as much as anything, you become accustomed to what you are used to doing. He has been in an up-tempo offense his entire high school career and coming here. His production in an up-tempo situation has been better than when he is not in an up- tempo situation. So that is what you become accustomed to doing, what he is used to doing...

...He is very cerebral, he thinks very fast, he has good mental quickness as far as getting the ball out and making fast decisions, so that is something that I think is going to help him...

...The good thing about Jake is that he is very coachable. He has a coach me attitude, and as he watches the tape, there is nobody more of himself than Jake Bentley, I can assure you of that.”

- Muschamp on how Jake Bentley has developed his leadership skills...

“To be only one of three young men in South Carolina’s history to be named team captain by his teammates his sophomore year to me says an awful lot about the respect and the leadership and ability he has with his teammates...

...The things I would tell Jake, he could be more assertive at the end of the day."

DAKEREON JOYNER

- Muschamp on what he has seen in Dakereon Joyner and if he will see the field in special packages this year...

“Again, that will be determined in training camp. At the end of the day, we need to be productive as an offense and if he is one of our best 11 on offense, then certainly there is going to be an opportunity for that...

...What I have seen with Dakereon is a guy who has off the charts leadership capability. Positively effects everyone around him. You can see why at 15 years old he won a State Championship...

...He has the uncanny leadership ability to affect everyone around him. He has that kind of charisma, and that is certainly what you want at the quarterback position."

DEFENSIVE LINE

- Muschamp on Javon Kinlaw shedding weight and what to expect from him this season...

“Coming in at 340, and working himself to the middle of the year he became a really good defensive tackle. I just think he needs to continue to develop and stay healthy. I challenged him in the offseason to get stronger, and he has gotten stronger. Everything we have challenged him to do, he has done."

- Muschamp on if Shameik Blackshear can take big steps this season...

“Yeah, we need him to contribute for us on the defensive line. For us to be able to play Keir Thomas on the inside and outside, Shameik is a guy that’s got to develop for us to play defensive end for us. I thought he has made good strides for us and will continue to.”

- Muschamp on the defensive line...

“Keir Thomas gives us a lot of position multiplicity from a guy that can play in, play tackle, play nose. Keir’s up to about 280 now, but he’s gotten stronger. He’s in good shape...

...Kobe Smith I thought had a really good spring. That guy really developed himself and is a very dependable guy...

...Aaron Sterling had a fantastic freshman year for us. He played extremely well, especially late in the year. Shameik Blackshear continues to make strides. He needs to be a guy that gets more snaps for us this year...

...Dennis (D.J.) Wonnum can play the Buck and end for us and give us a lot of position variety there. Bryson Allen-Williams is probably our best edge rusher. It really hurt us last year when we lost Bryson. We lost a lot of speed of the edge and a guy that can really threaten a tackle with speed...

...Danny Fennell played an outstanding game against Michigan in the Outback Bowl – made a bunch of plays for us. Brad Johnson. A guy that started for us last year in some games...

...Tyreek Johnson, (Kingsley) Enagbare did some nice things. We’ll continue to see which of those can develop and help our football team.”

- Muschamp on what’s next for D.J. Wonnum...

“D.J. is really challenging to improve his strength...I think one of our best personnel groupings will be regular with Bryson at Sam and D.J. at the Buck position...

...We’ll be able to have two hard edges with two big guys, physical, violent guys on the edges. I think it’s going to be good for us that we can set better edges on the perimeter throw game as far as the bubbles and quick screens and such."

DAN WERNER

- Muschamp on the addition of Coach Werner to the staff...

“Well a wealth of experience on the offensive side of the ball. I think you track down his development of the quarterback position is as good as anyone in the country. You look at his background offensively, it is vast...

...So, his wealth of knowledge at the quarterback position, and then offensively with different backgrounds has been a really good help to our offense."


TJ BRUNSON

- Muschamp on if T.J. Brunson takes over the playmaking role...

“T.J. played well for us last year. T.J. made all the calls for us last year. T.J., you could say was the vocal leader last year and is again this year...

...A guy that is extremely bright, smart, practices the right way, positively effects the guys around him and I have been very pleased with T.J. and his leadership and development since he has been here at South Carolina. I’m expecting a big year from him.”

OTHER NOTES

- Muschamp on Urban Meyer situation and being totally transparent...

“IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING...

...That is our motto around here. I told our staff again today, and I have told our staff many times since I have been at the University of South Carolina. We are very transparent in everything that happens within our organization, we know exactly who to talk to whether that is doctors, or Carl Wells on campus, or Judy Van Horn down in our Athletic Department. When we feel like one of those situations arises. Our players understand that, and our staff understands that.”

- Muschamp on other quarterbacks...

“Well I feel good about the ability and talent level. Mike (Scarnecchia) is a guy that the game has slowed down for him. The first year he never got a snap because he tore a labrum in his shoulder. So him coming back now, Mike throws the ball extremely well. We can run our offense with him and we can win football games...

...Jake and Dakereon Joyner are both tremendous athletes that give you a lot of different things with their legs, we got to continue to come on in the decision making as far as the RPOs and things and in the throwing game. That is where they have to continue to make some strides. Again, I’m not displeased with anyone.”

- Muschamp on moving the secondary around...

“I think it starts with getting the four, five, six best guys on the field. Whether that is corner, safety, nickel, or a defensive back playing the dime position for us, which we have some body-wise guys with us that can do that for us...

...Right now, we got Jam [Jamyest] playing safety. Tavyn Jackson is going to be a guy that can play safety, he can play nickel, he is also a guy who can still play the corner position. It isn’t about the next guy on the depth chart, it about the next best player, because we are going to expose the next few weeks as much as we can to our players."

- Muschamp on graduate transfers...

“Extremely bright guys that can learn what we do, they will be fine...Both guys have urgency about what they do and how they do things. Both guys work extremely hard at the game."

- Muschamp on the tight ends and how they fit in an up-tempo offense...

“K.C. [Crosby] blocks extremely well at the point of attack...and he is also a tremendous threat in the passing game. The thing that K.C. does, is he catches a lot of contested passes well. They may have him covered, but he is going to catch the football...

...Jacob (August) has really enhanced his game as far as catching the football, but has always been a guy who is strong at the point of attack....

...Will Register blocks extremely well and we have to continue to bring him along. Evan Hinson needs to improve his blocking, but is a dominant guy in the passing game as far as the athletic things he brings us...

...Kiel Pollard does a lot of different things for us as far as a guy who catches the ball extremely well but has really developed his game and come on as far as being a c-area blocker...

...Kyle Markway is healthy for the first time we have been here. We need to keep him healthy, but is a guy who works extremely hard in the weight room, and is a good c-area blocker, and continues to evolve in the passing game.”

- Muschamp on how much further along they are from last year...

“Well we are a lot better than we were our first year, that isn’t even comparable. We have made tremendous progress and we have better players in our program and at the end of the day recruiting is the lifeblood of your program...

...I mean I see a lot of the intangible qualities that you need to have to have a good team. Does that mean we are going to have a good team? No. We have to have a good training camp. That is what we are focused on right now.”

- Muschamp on #SpursUp...

“My wife came up with Spurs Up. We were in the Big 12 and everybody has a hand signal. They’ve got a saying. She said, ‘We need one here.’ We wanted to have a way to let our fan base know that a young man wanted to be at South Carolina. We came up with that, it was her idea, and we’ve run with that. I think the people, especially Gamecock fans, are excited whenever they see that.”

- Muschamp on how Marcus Lattimore can help the program out...

“He helps our program every single day. He has as much an impact on each young man in our program that myself or any of our assistant coaches have. His presence in our program since he’s been here has been as strong as a presence as any assistant coach I’ve ever hired as far as the positive influence he’s had on our program...

...He is walk-the-walk as far as the good time, the tough times. He’s been in the hallways; he’s be on the campus. There’s no one that can talk in terms of being a Gamecock better than Marcus Lattimore can."

#SouthCarolina #Gamecocks #FallCamp #2018 #CollegeFootball #WillMuschamp #JakeBentley #DeeboSamuel #DJWonnum #BryanMcClendon #DanWerner

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