Gamecocks’ Brandon Shell to miss spring practice after shoulder surgery

Goose Creek native Brandon Shell (far right) blocks for USC quarterback Dylan Thompson during last season's game at Vanderbilt. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Goose Creek native Brandon Shell, expected to be a leader on South Carolina’s offensive line next season, will miss spring practice after having surgery to repair a shoulder injury.

Shell, a rising senior, had surgery earlier this month on his right labrum, a USC athletics spokesman confirmed Friday. The 6-6, 330-pound right tackle missed several practices prior to the Dec. 27 Independence Bowl with a right shoulder injury, but was able to play in the game.

Shell has started every game the past two seasons for the Gamecocks, who finished this past year 7-6 and won a school-record fourth consecutive bowl game. The nephew of NFL Hall of Fame member Art Shell is expected to be back in time for the 2015 season.

With outgoing seniors A.J. Cann and Corey Robinson bound for the NFL, Shell will be counted on to anchor USC’s offensive line next season. The possibility also exists that he could move from right tackle to the left tackle spot being vacated by Robinson’s departure.