Shamier Jeffery ready to take his turn with Gamecocks

Receiver impressing coaches this spring

jkendall@thestate.comMarch 21, 2013 

Shamier Jeffery’s two years at South Carolina are captured in 24 words in the team’s media guide.

“2012: Played in three contests, getting on the field against East Carolina, Arkansas and Michigan … did not log any statistics.

2011: Redshirted as a true freshman.”

There’s just not a lot there, and when your older brother’s name fills the team’s career record book, the scarcity is even more noticeable. Jeffery plans to start filling out his biography this season.

“One player that I am going to predict is going to be a good player is Shamier Jeffery,” coach Steve Spurrier said as the Gamecocks were opening practice two weeks ago. “Shamier has finally, after a couple years of just hanging around watching, I think he decided he wanted to be a ball player. You can tell his body shape is completely different. He’s probably lost 15 pounds or more. He’s fit, he can run faster. I think he’s going to be a real player for us.”

Through four workouts, Jeffery has maintained that momentum.

“He’s giving better effort, he’s smarter. He’s paying attention better,” wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. said. “He’s working harder. He’s much more prepared right now. There is still a lot of time between now and next year, but his attitude and his work ethic and his knowledge of the game is a lot better than what it was last year.”

Jeffery came to South Carolina in 2011 with the fanfare that comes with being a three-star recruit and, more important, Alshon Jeffery’s younger brother. Alshon is the only Gamecock to compile more than 3,000 receiving yards, and the weight of that legacy weighed on Shamier early in his career, he said.

“Everybody wanted me to come out here and straight play, get on the field, but I had to wait my turn,” he said.

When that didn’t happen, Jeffery developed “an I don’t care attitude,” he said. It showed in his weight and in his play.

“This year, I am more focused, more positive about everything. I am going to stay focused and keep working hard. Hopefully, I will get a chance to play on the field,” he said.

“He’s just been working from day one, and the best thing I liked about it was he didn’t talk about it, you just saw it,” junior quarterback Dylan Thompson said. “You see his body, he looks totally different, just smooth is the best way to describe it. That happens when you put in work, you get more confident in yourself and I think we’re seeing that now. He is a getting a lot of confidence, and we’re seeing that.”

There was no one moment that turned Jeffery’s attitude, he said, just a collection of things that persuaded him to reverse course. He gets regular text messages from Alshon asking how things are going and what improvements he is making, Jeffery said.

“I am not saying I am trying to follow in his footsteps,” he said. “I would like to be a great receiver like he is, but he broke a lot of records, did a lot of things here. It’s a little hard, it’s a lot of pressure, but I think I can handle it.

“I think it’s almost my turn.”

Steve Spurrier post-practice

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