South Carolina football head coach Shane Beamer praised the Gamecocks' new players after the team's first practice before the Garnet and Black Spring Game on April 16.
During the press conference, Beamer said he credited the incoming transfers, highlighted by redshirt junior quarterback Spencer Rattler, that joined the team in the spring semester for their efforts in becoming part of the program.
“Credit Spencer and credit the guys around him as well, because it’s not an easy situation to come into,” Beamer said. “It’s not easy walking into a SEC football program in January and getting acclimated.”
Beamer also addressed possible offensive adjustments due to the range of skills brought to the table by the addition of Rattler.
“Spencer is certainly a guy that, one, has played a lot of football and has a lot more experience than those other quarterbacks do and, two, he has a unique skill set, you know, he’s got great arm talent but he’s athletic enough he can run around as well,” Beamer said.
Beamer also spoke highly of graduate assistant Zeb Noland and defensive analyst Devontae Holloman, two former players who have stepped into coaching roles with the program.
“It’s not every day you’re able to add a former player that played in the NFL but also won a state championship as a high school coach, that’s from the state of South Carolina,” Beamer said.
Many transfers and underclassmen will be expected to step into leadership roles both on and off the field, according to Beamer.
Beamer said former players including Aaron Sterling, JJ Enagbare, Jaylen Foster, Kevin Harris and Zaquandre White have left a void that will need to be filled.
“We talked about it this morning as a team in our team meeting that 2021 is behind us and no matter what you did last year, that’s great, but you got to build on it — there’s no guaranteed starters in here,” Beamer said. “We’re competing and the guys that are dependable, that are good enough, we’ll find a role for."
Beamer’s said his focus throughout the spring is to build off the way that his team ended the 2021 season while investing in the future of the program.
“Coming off the momentum of last season, winning three of five, winning the bowl game over North Carolina like we did has done nothing but just add to that momentum,” Beamer said. “We’ve really worked hard to get prospects on campus as often as possible and that’s going to be during the month of March and spring practice and going into April with the spring game and on, and on, and on.”