Practice report: Clowney has tweaked knee

National media question Spurrier’s longevity; Fleetwood moves to spur

dcloninger@thestate.comAugust 4, 2013 

Jadeveon Clowney was at South Carolina’s practice on Sunday, but he did not fully participate.

A USC sports information spokesman said Clowney has a tweaked knee.

Clowney first came to practice without pads or a helmet before returning to the locker room for his gear. He spent the first portion of practice on the side of the practice field, doing a workout with some of the strength and conditioning coaches overseeing him.

Clowney put his gear back on but did not participate in the practice. He moved normally and had no trouble doing any of the leg exercises in the workout.

QB plan

Steve Spurrier, repeating a familiar theme, again endorsed his plan to play two quarterbacks this season in South Carolina’s 2013 season during Sunday’s Media Day festivities at Williams-Brice Stadium.

But during Sunday’s Media Day festivities at Williams-Brice Stadium, he cleared up some recent statements he made, when he said that the preferable method may be to tell one quarterback he’s starting and to go with him the whole game, whoever that may be.

Those statements seemed to hint that presumptive starter Connor Shaw and backup Dylan Thompson might switch in and out game-to-game. On Sunday, Spurrier again said that Shaw was the starter, although he plans to play both.

“We plan on using both of them, but Connor is the starter and it’s his game to go every time,” Spurrier said. “If we think there is a place for Dylan to go in there, he may go in there, but we are going with Connor as our starter. He’s 17-3, so we have excellent confidence in him.”

Not done yet

Media Day offers national or far-flung state media representatives a chance to quiz Spurrier and players. One usual topic is how long Spurrier will stay with the Gamecocks.

Spurrier has said he’s not going anywhere soon. He said the key to longevity is keeping the program moving ahead and not in a rebuilding phase.

“I don’t feel much differently than I did eight years ago, I don’t think. My back’s a little stiffer,” Spurrier said. “But other than that, hopefully my mind’s still OK. I still do the treadmill as much or more than I used to. Hopefully, I will leave before it goes south. That’s what I’m certainly hoping. The key is, let’s don’t go south.”

High praise

Spurrier mentioned that junior defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles reminded him a bit of Warren Sapp, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. The coach joked that Quarles, like Sapp, had a bit of a gut over his belt.

Quarles wasn’t insulted. He was glad to know of it.

“After the bowl game, (Sapp) tweeted me and said I need to put my belly up,” Quarles said. “I kind of took offense to that, but it’s all good. You need that weight to play in the SEC. At the end of the day, coach Spurrier knows I’m going to go out there and take care of business.”

Back in yellow

Redshirt junior offensive lineman Cody Gibson was at Media Day with his right leg encased in a black cast. Gibson went down during Saturday’s second day of preseason camp with a sprained knee.

While Gibson was relieved it wasn’t anything more serious (he estimates he’ll be back in a couple weeks), it’s another setback. The six-game starter sprained his left knee as a freshman, sprained it again as a redshirt freshman, tore his meniscus during spring practice this year and now has another sprained knee.

Throw in a bout of what he called salmonella last season that kept him in bed for 10 days and took 30 pounds off his frame, and the big Floridian has been through a gauntlet.

“I missed three out of four camps,” Gibson said. “Even though it’s just a sprain, it’s not good to miss two weeks of camp. It’s something I’ve got to work with, though.”

New coach

Mark Orphey, who played for secondary coach Grady Brown when Brown was at Texas Southern, has signed on as a graduate assistant coach. He will assist Brown with the defensive backs.

Orphey replaces former Gamecock Addison Williams, who recently took an assistant coach position at Tusculum.

Notables

- Kyle Fleetwood has moved from strong safety to spur.

- There was no post-practice availability of coaches or players Sunday night.

- USC practiced in shells. The Gamecocks have to practice two days in shells – shoulder pads and shorts – before they can progress to full pads.

- Ray Tanner and Harris Pastides attended practice.

- The Gamecocks will practice again at 7:15 p.m. on Monday. It is closed to the public.

Video: Steve Spurrier

Video: Jadeveon Clowney

Video: Connor Shaw

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