Gamecock fans will get their first look at the 2022 football team and new redshirt junior quarterback Spencer Rattler, a recent transfer from Oklahoma, during the Garnet and Black spring game.
During a press conference on Tuesday, head coach Shane Beamer said he will evaluate the weekend’s success based on how efficient players operate individually and as a team.
“To me, you'd love to see both sides have some success, some players that step up and make some individual plays," Beamer said. "The efficiency, the way we operate, guys performing, does it look like a well coached team? Does it look like the kind of team that we want to have here at South Carolina?”
At open practice on Tuesday, it was visible that players are eager to get back on the field at Williams Brice Stadium. There was an energy in the air amongst players, according to Beamer and a former player in defensive back, Israel Mukuamu, who was in attendance.
“Today was another great day, great spirit again … can't think back to one practice where it wasn't," Beamer said. "I love this group, I love the way they work, I love the way they compete.”
The offensive players said success in the spring game will look like execution on every level and having fun on the field. Redshirt sophomore running back MarShawn Lloyd, who will be playing in his first game after dealing with injuries, said he wanted to see his team make plenty of explosive plays.
"For the offense as a whole, just being able to run the ball, being able to pass the ball, be able to be effective in every aspect on offense," Lloyd said. "Blocking well, making explosive plays ... I think that will be a successful day for offense."
All eyes will be on Rattler Saturday night, who is currently tied for the sixth best Heisman odds in the country. Rattler echoed his teammate's sentiment on explosiveness and execution on all levels while also focusing on all-around implementation of the playbook.
"A perfect day for us would be to go out there and just execute on every level in the run game, control the passing game and obviously the explosive play battle," Rattler said. "We want to put on a show, so that's the plan. We're just gonna go out there and try to execute at our highest level."
Fifth-year wide receiver Josh Vann was one of South Carolina's best offensive weapons last season, but said "last year is last year" while laying out his personal and team expectations.
"Just going out there and just make plays the way everybody know I can," Vann said. "Team-wise, everybody out there just having fun, flying around, just playing like Gamecocks."
Graduate transfer running back Christian Beal-Smith said he he can bring typical positional production to the team but is willing to play anywhere he is needed.
"I can block, I can run the ball, I can play special teams," Beal-Smith said. "I'm someone that wants to be out there on the field no matter what, so if that's taking a role on special teams, on all four units, I'm with that."
Both Beamer and Rattler encouraged Gamecocks fans to show up Saturday night to support and get a first look at the new team. Rattler said it will be a fun game.
“We need a great crowd out there. We've got an awesome group of recruits that will be coming. It's a great opportunity to see so many new faces on our football team," Beamer said. "More importantly, these guys deserve a great crowd out there on Saturday night for the way that they've worked.”
The Garnet & Black spring game will take place Saturday at 7 p.m. and is free to all students who show their Carolina Cards.