Practice report: USC hopeful Anderson can recover in time for season

Connor Mitch making strong push for No. 2 job

dcloninger@thestate.comApril 8, 2014 

USC senior tight end Rory Anderson during practice in Williams-Brice Stadium Saturday morning.


South Carolina senior tight end Rory “Busta” Anderson had successful surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn tricep, suffered on Saturday when he was trying to score a touchdown and stiff-armed a defender.

Anderson’s recovery time is an estimated four months, which would end in early August, but he still may not be able to recover in time for the season.

“He could be back next year, we’ll see how his physical condition is,” coach Steve Spurrier said on Tuesday. “He does have a redshirt year available, if we need to do that. We’ll try to do what’s best for Busta, and what’s best for the team and go from there.”

A starter, the Gamecocks have leaned on Anderson for 39 catches and eight touchdowns in his career, although he did not score last season. Jerell Adams, Drew Owens and Kelvin Rainey are behind Anderson on the depth chart.


Spurrier said that backup quarterback Perry Orth continues to do well, but hasn’t been as sharp as he had been previously.

“I think all the publicity y’all gave him a week ago got to him, so right now, Connor Mitch is probably close to second,” Spurrier said.

Brendan Nosovitch and Orth are fighting for the third spot, but anything can change over the next two days of practice. Spurrier hopes to have a definite backup by the end of the preseason.

I know you

Linebackers coach Kirk Botkin heard a familiar voice as he was walking down Bluff Road to practice on Tuesday. Jadeveon Clowney, driving past in his silver Chrysler, had his head hanging out the window good-naturedly yelling at his old coach.

Botkin barely broke stride as he lifted a hand in greeting.

Special company

ESPN confirmed that longtime radio host Paul Finebaum will attend Saturday’s spring game. A part of the SEC Network, Finebaum crossed USC fans’ line in October when he referred to Clowney as “the biggest joke in college football.”

USC athletics director Ray Tanner fired back at Finebaum, saying the comment was hateful, inappropriate and unprofessional. Tanner addressed his concerns to SEC commissioner Mike Slive as well.


Players who missed practice due to injury or were in yellow jerseys were: Connor McLaurin (leg), Jordan Diaz (knee), Kane Whitehurst (foot), Anderson (tricep) and David Williams (hamstring).


The Gamecocks will practice at 7:15 p.m. p.m. Thursday at Williams-Brice Stadium. It is the final spring practice before Saturday’s spring game and is open to the public.

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