Breaking Tradition: Garnet and Black Spring Game 2014

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The South Carolina Gamecock football program has now surpassed heights unforseen by most in the last three years.  Three 11-2 seasons culminated by just as many bowl wins over traditional national powers.  Beginnings and endings of nationally ranked teams. The longest home game winning streak.  Records.

This spring, things are shaping up differently, much differently.  Instead of the usual starters coming in guaranteed a spot on the depth chart, we now have fierce competition as everyone realizes this could be our (one of many) year(s) to rumble the metal bleachers and the concrete in which they are placed at Williams Brice’s bleachers as never before seen in history.  

Last season, the Garnet and Black fielded the youngest team in all the land.  This will not be the case in 2014 as maturity gained from game experience and weight room & conditioning workouts has set in and will prevail to pay dividends on our player’s tough grind.

Although regrettably coming to you late, the practice schedule with the 14 dates and times included gives our freshman who had the chance to enroll early time to mesh with the players, schemes, and enter the weight room and conditioning program so they can get a head start for the fall assuming they do not redshirt.  Every DI team has the option to take advantage of these allotted practices given by the NCAA and would be foolish not to do so.  These exercises are invaluable and if utilized properly can turn your team from a pretender into a contender.

In my opinion and many other professionals our roster and depth chart are both loaded with elite athleticism, talent, and strength.  If you are planning on going to the game, pay special close attention to every play as you will get to be first-hand witness to position battles all over the field as players try to one-up their band of brother’s statuses to earn starting positions.  Below are my picks on some of the hottest contested press situations we will witness:

(Dylan) Thompson is almost a sure lock for starter, pay attention to both Brendan Nosovitch and Connor Mitch.  Let’s not also forget our Florida State transfer and my personal underdog favorite Perry Orth.  Keep an eye out for lesser-known quarterbacks (Grant) Davitte (RS-Fr) and (Austin) Hails (RS-Jr) also.

Look for (Jordan) Diaz to try to make a move on (Connor) McLaurin.

Along the offensive line, the starters here have played together for so long, that I really cannot see much of a shakeup with roles.   Expect no major role changes.

The front four is once again loaded.  Defensive end Gerald Dixon appears to be starting on one of the defensive end spots, but he has a half brother Gerald Dixon Jr. who is second string.  Expect to see a performance from Jr.

Linebackers, Spurs, and Safeties should all remain in tact.

Despite my predictions, here is Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee’s take:

South Carolina Football: What to Watch for in Gamecocks’ 2014 Spring Game

The Garnet and Black Scrimmage will take place at Williams-Brice stadium with scheduled kickoff being at Noon this Saturday.

Admission will be FREE to the general public and will also be covered by ESPNU.

SOURCES:

http://www.garnetandblackattack.com/

http://www.gamecocksonline.com

http://www.247sports.com

http://www.bleacherreport.com

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