Practice report: Shaw still the starter in Mangus' eyes

Shaq Roland returns to practice

jkendall@thestate.comMarch 7, 2013 

Injured USC quarterback Connor Shaw joins his team during practice.

C. ALUKA BERRY — caberry@thestate.com

Senior quarterback Connor Shaw has been quarterback coach G.A. Mangus’ shadow through South Carolina’s first two days of spring practice.

“He stands right next to me during team and skeleton (drills),” Mangus said Thursday after the Gamecocks completed their second workout of spring practice.

Shaw can’t participate this spring because he is recovering from surgery on his left foot.

“There is a whole lot you can do (despite being hurt),” Mangus said. “All of them are supposed to be watching what is going on. He’s just not getting his rep. Connor knows what he has to do to get ready.”

Mangus expects Shaw to be healthy enough to participate in summer passing drills with his teammates, he said.

Shaw remains the starter in Mangus’ eyes.

“Connor has earned the right to be the guy, and Dylan (Thompson) has earned the right to play,” Mangus said. “All that stuff works out. We don’t worry about that stuff around here. They are two good players and at some point in time in the season we are going to need them both.”

Keep in touch

Coach Steve Spurrier called former Gamecock Marcus Lattimore on Tuesday to catch up, Spurrier said.

“I was talking about what a leader he was,” Spurrier said. “When your best players are your best in the offseason and all that then you have a chance for really good things to happen and Marcus did. His influence spread on our team. I think we only lost one game after he got hurt (in 2011 and 2012) because we were able to play at a level because of him. He helped the entire team so when he got hurt we just kept trying to carry on the way Marcus did it.”

Thompson, a close friend of the running back, said the Gamecocks miss Lattimore on and off the field.

“It’s definitely odd not having him on the field but more odd for me and the guys who were close to him just not having him around,” Thompson said. “We were always hanging out, doing something.”

Wait and see

It’s too early to tell what South Carolina can expect at linebacker, defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward. The Gamecocks must replace their top four players at the position from last year’s team.

“We are just trying to get them lined up. We have to get them ready mentally. We’ll keep it simple for them so if we can get them lined up and running to the football, we’ll be fine.”

Practice report

... Sophomore wide receiver Shaq Roland, who missed Tuesday’s practice for academic reasons, returned to the field Thursday.

... Junior wide receiver Damiere Byrd remained sideline after having LASIK surgery.

... Redshirt freshman linebacker Kelvin Rainey ended Thursday’s workout with his third interception of the week.

... South Carolina will take a week off for spring break and return to the practice field March 19 for its third of 15 spring practices. The annual spring game will be April 13 at 1 p.m. in Williams-Brice Stadium.

Jadeveon Clowney

Dylan Thompson

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