The Daily Gamecock

Gamecock head football coach Shane Beamer previews spring game, discusses spring standouts

<p>Players on the Gamecock football team practice for the upcoming spring game.</p>

Players on the Gamecock football team practice for the upcoming spring game.

Gamecock football head coach Shane Beamer discussed his team’s progress with the media Saturday after his team practiced and scrimmaged in the morning. This media address comes after two weeks of spring practice and with one week remaining until the spring game on April 24.

Beamer opened by congratulating long-time South Carolina men’s soccer coach Mark Berson who will be retiring at the end of his team’s season after 43 years at the helm.

“Hopefully I can have the career that he had, which would put me, I think, at age 87,”  Beamer said. “I’d still be coaching here, so that would be phenomenal, if that happens that way.”

Beamer mentioned a trio of players who sat out the scrimmage on Saturday as a precaution due to minor injuries. Players included a pair of linebackers in sophomore Mohamed Kabah and senior Sherrod Greene and redshirt senior wide receiver OrTre Smith.

There was a notable addition to the sidelines by way of the Philadelphia Eagles, as Gamecock football alumnus Alshon Jeffery was in attendance for the final practice of the week after the team trained on Tuesday and Thursday before Saturday’s scrimmage.

“I feel like we’ve had our best week of spring. These three days, just the competitive spirit and the energy out there all week long has been awesome,” Beamer said.

Beamer took time to delve more into the X’s and O’s of the scrimmage, highlighting the defense’s performance early on, which caused three turnovers in the first 24 plays.

He also confirmed that sophomore quarterback Luke Doty took the large majority of the reps with the first team offense.

“I think we can run the ball pretty well; we can certainly throw the ball, but not nearly enough explosive plays in my opinion. I mean, give credit to the defense for that as well, but it’s not just the quarterbacks or receivers we have to protect,” Beamer said, stressing the importance of big play opportunities generated by pass protection.

Beamer named a pair of running backs who have put in significant work and excelled in redshirt senior ZaQuandre White and junior Kevin Harris.

“We talked about it in one of our team meetings the other day — the way that we’re competing, how we’re making each other better, the wide receivers and the defensive backs each day in practice, the running backs and the linebackers, the O-line and the D-line,” Beamer said.