Mason Zandi among spring standouts for Gamecocks' O-line

Shawn Elliott pleased with progress

dmclemore@thestate.comApril 4, 2014 

South Carolina offensive line coach Shawn Elliott doesn't know yet how good his unit will be this season, but he likes where they stand as spring winds down.

"We've got a good group, we've got a solid group," Elliott said. "They work hard, they try. It's pleasing to come out here and know that you've got some guys that want to be good and that work hard to be good at it. I get on them a lot, but they do a lot of good things so you've got to tell them. You've got to let them know. I tell them when they do well. I tell them when they do bad. It's a pretty good situation."

The Gamecocks are experienced and deep up front, working with three full offensive lines this spring.

"Overall as a group we're progressing pretty well. We just have to stay the course," Elliott said. "Some of them young guys are nowhere near where they need to be. They've got to stay in the weight room and get better."

Here's what Elliott had to say about the line, its leaders and who is standing out among the younger players:

THE STARTING FIVE

The first five for most of this spring and at the moment are Corey Robinson at left tackle, A.J. Cann at left guard, Cody Waldrop at center, Mike Matulis at right guard and Brandon Shell at right tackle.

"Mike's been real consistent at right guard, so we feel pretty comfortable, but you don't set a starting five in spring," Elliott said. "That's just something we give to (media director Steve) Fink right here so he can throw it in the media guide. It will all be established come fall. This is a pretty good group right now."

ON CODY WALDROP

"Cody is healthy. His snaps are good. He's had a really solid spring. I'm pleased with his progress. It was kind of an up-and-down season for him when he got injured so early. He gained a little weight and took the mobility away from him toward the end of the season. He's back where he needs to be."

ON MIKE MATULIS MOVING FROM TACKLE TO GUARD

"It all depends on players. You've got to be athletic to play tackle. If you can play with leverage, you can move inside. Typically when you have a taller guy like him, it's harder to do inside. He's done an exceptional job. He's got good hips. He can bend. He can play with the leverage we need right now."

YOUNG STANDOUTS

"Mason Zandi has had as good of a spring as you could have asked for. He is pushing it every bit. I believe our last scrimmage Mason was in there roughly 77 plays and didn't miss a beat. I don't think he gave up a pressure. He had one missed assignment. He's playing really, really solid. He's playing confident. It's good to see. He's a big man and he can move.

"Alan Knott, Clayton Stadnik. Clayton and Cody, it's a toss-up. I could go play with either one of those guys and feel real comfortable. Alan Knott is a guy that you could play with right now. His snaps have been a little erratic, and Clayton's as well. But I'm pleased with all those guys. I really am.

"Brock Stadnik is having an exceptional spring thus far. He's starting to see things from a different perspective. He know when blitzes are coming. He's starting to pick up on it. It's becoming extremely important to him."

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