COLUMBIA — Halfway through camp, there’s an idea.
Tape will finalize that idea and answer one of the most burning questions of South Carolina preseason camp — who’s the backup quarterback?
“We’ll watch the tape today,” coach Will Muschamp said after the Gamecocks’ second scrimmage Saturday. “Obviously the two scrimmages are big in that evaluation process.”
Dakereon Joyner and Ryan Hilinski are battling to be the top choice if something were to happen to Jake Bentley, and Muschamp said each has done well. They’ll analyze Saturday’s film and move forward as the season-opener beckons.
“This is the hard part, when you get to after this practice, is saying, ‘OK, Week 1, it may not be their best option. But in Week 5, guys, it’s going to be the best option,’” Muschamp said. “You’ve got to project a little bit and that’s what we’ve got to do a good job of tonight and tomorrow morning.”
Freshman tight end Traevon Kenion is dealing with a shoulder issue that USC hopes will be cleared up soon. With the sudden thinned depth at tight end due to Kiel Pollard’s medical retirement and Evan Hinson’s heart surgery (although his prognosis for return was upgraded to 3-4 weeks, instead of 6-8), USC may have to turn to Kenion and/or freshman KeShawn Toney this season.
Keir Thomas (knee), Rico Dowdle (bone bruise on his left foot), Bryan Edwards (shoulder), Donell Stanley (back) and R.J. Roderick (undisclosed) are all expected to be cleared for full contact at the next practice on Monday.
South Carolina's Zacch Pickens begins his freshman year as the highest-rated recruit of the Will Muschamp era.
Safety J.T. Ibe (pectoral) was wearing his arm in a sling and is the only long-term injury. He may return for the week of practice before the season-opener.
Nick Muse continues to wait on his NCAA appeal for immediate eligibility. The staff feels good about it, as Muse transferred because his preferred major (criminal justice) isn’t offered at William & Mary.
If Muse gets cleared, he could start alongside Kyle Markway in a two-tight end set.
Sorrells in limbo
Freshman defensive lineman Jaquaze Sorrells is still waiting word on his academic eligibility. After missing the first two weeks of camp, it’s doubtful Sorrells could make an impact this year if he were to get cleared.
Tavien Feaster knew what transferring to an in-state rival would mean. He also knew it was his best shot at reaching his ultimate goal.
The slick black “throwback” jerseys the Gamecocks unveiled last week will be a staple going forward. They will be the only black jerseys USC wears this season and as long as Muschamp is at USC, according to a source close to the team.
The garnet and white jerseys will be phased into adopting the same throwback look in future seasons.
The garnet helmet USC unveiled with the throwbacks will also be a constant. The helmet, featuring the Block C logo inside a white circle such as the helmets worn by the Gamecocks from 1983-98, will replace the garnet helmet with the script “Carolina” logo USC sported last year.
The Gamecocks will retain the white and black helmets they’ve worn under Muschamp, with the same non-circled logo on the black helmet. As always, seniors vote on the full uniforms to wear week-to-week.