Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Football Summer Notes

Not a ton of information to report, but here are a few summer notes:

*The coaching staff spent considerable times earlier this summer conducting camps at locations in Alabama and Georgia.  A great PR move for JSU and several good prospects were located and offered.

*Keginald Harris is moving back to safety.  After spending his first two years at safety, JSU converted Harris to a linebacker last year.  Harris was never happy with the move. He is now back to safety.  There will be some great battles for playing time at the safety position with Harris, Pierre Warren, Rob Gray and Brooks Robinson all returning.  Not sure what position the defensive back transfer from Arkansas will be playing.

*Interestingly, the Gamecocks are converting another safety, Jamaal Johnson, to linebacker.

*Reports are that Washaun Ealey is in the best shape of his career.  The transition from Georgia to JSU was not easy for Ealey, but as the season continued he became a dominant player.  His performance in the ill fated EKU game was amazing.  Ealey should benefit from a much improved offensive line.

*Indeed, the battle for playing time on the offensive line should be one of the most interesting stories as we approach the Arkansas game.  The Gamecocks return the following offensive lineman who have all played meaningful snaps:  Odie Rush (former All OVC), Max Holcombe, Tori Mobley, Tarik Milner, Blake Burks, Colt Kennedy, Tree Johnstone, Tee Hardin, Ricky Clemons, Preston Hatcher.   In addition to these guys, there are several newcomers and redshirts that may also vie for playing time:  Thomas Williams, Clay Squires, Nick Johnson, Calvin Baker and Johnny Ubi, Jr.    Over the last three years, the Gamecocks have really battled injury at this position.   Hopefully, this depth will mitigate against that happening again.

*Despite rumors that he might be done with football, all reports indicate that Coty Blanchard will be back this fall.  Marques Ivory appears to have the starting spot locked down though.  Ivory should benefit from spending last year watching games fromt he coaches box.  His ability to read defenses and get the Gamecocks in the right plays will be a key to the Gamecocks' success this year.

*Heard  a rumorthat defensive lineman Jakarie Kinnie might transfer.  Also, unsure about the status of Chase Williams and LeQuintez Reynolds. Hopefully, all of these guys will be back in the Fall for the Gamecocks.  If you have some definitive information, let us know.

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