South Carolina Football 2012: Latest News, Updates and More from Spring Practice
South Carolina had a tricky season last year, as they lost their Heisman-candidate running back and dismissed their starting quarterback from the team.
Instead of giving up on the year, they finished with an 11-2 record and won a bowl game.
The Gamecocks hope to improve on that success as they return 14 starters—including eight on the offensive side of the ball that averaged 30 points per contest. That doesn't include that they hope to get a healthy Marcus Lattimore back at the running back position.
South Carolina is one of the more talented teams in the country and should compete for an SEC title this season.
But, of course, this team does have their fair share of questions, and answers could be provided when they kick off spring practice on March 13. The spring game will also take place on April 14 for the Gamecocks.
Stay tuned for all of the latest updates, news and more involving South Carolina.
Marcus Lattimore Learns from Injury
The South Carolina spring is all over with and we won't see the Gamecocks again until August when they will begin fall camp and begin preparing for the regular season. (You can read the spring game recap here)
But in other news, it's interesting to hear running back Marcus Lattimore speak on his injury that forced him to miss majority of last season and all of spring. While he is making progress and should be ready for the season to start, he says that he didn't always train properly to recover from a long workout or game.
''I'll never take my legs for granted again,'' Lattimore said in a AP report via FoxSports.com
We'll never know for sure if this help contribute to his injury, but it's good to know something positive was able to come from it. Lattimore rushed for over 1,100 yards in 2010 and 818 yards last season, before suffering a season-ending injury in the middle of the year. He is expected to be ready once the season starts.
Steve Spurrier Still Upset with Passing Game
The South Carolina Gamecocks haven't exactly been lighting it up on the offensive side of the ball. Particularly the passing game has continued to struggle according to head coach Steve Spurrier.
“I think we hit one out of 20 down there,” noted Spurrier via Scout.com. “It was ugly. I guess that’s why you practice. We have to start throwing and catching it better and see if we can’t look like a better passing team."
South Carolina will go with Connor Shaw as their starter, but Spurrier would like depth at the position and right now he's not seeing it.
“It would be good to have a solid backup for Connor,” admitted Coach Spurrier. “Who knows? We have Brendan Nosovitch coming in (during the fall) to compete with Dylan (Thompson), Seth (Strickland) and these guys. We’ll see how that plays out.”
Head Coach Is Not Happy with the Passing Game
South Carolina was a very balanced team last season, but one of the things Gamecock fans would like to see is the progress of quarterback Connor Shaw. It was his first season as a starter last year as he took over mid-season and completed 65 percent of his passes and threw for over 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns. So far in spring, head coach Steve Spurrier isn't very happy with the passing game.
The offense didn't throw the ball around as well as we hoped. The receivers didn't catch it quite as well as we hoped. The protection wasn't as good as we had hoped. But it was a good scrimmage with a few good plays here and there, but not as consistent as we should be at this time.
I hope we don't have to run the ball all the time next year, but if we can't throw it very well, that's what we'll do. We can't take sacks. Connor (Shaw) must have had four sacks today in 10 passes. He's got to throw the ball somewhere and get it out of his hands a little quicker. The other quarterbacks were not real accurate at times, but we hit a few here and there. The receivers ran pretty good routes but had a couple drops. It was not all that encouraging as it could have been. The defense did some good things.
Well, when you have a running back like Marcus Lattimore, running the ball isn't exactly a bad thing. But if Shaw isn't able to build on the success he had last season, the Gamecocks could go from an SEC favorite to the bottom of the east division real quickly.
Bruce Ellington Stays, Leaves and Comes Back Again
Remember the report a couple weeks ago that had wide receiver Bruce Ellington leaving the football team to play basketball? Yeah, well now he's back again and this time he's looking to play both sports this upcoming season.
"He realizes he's pretty good at football and wants to play both," Head coach Steve Spurrier said.
This is good news if you're a Gamecock fan, considering as a freshman he finished with 707 all-purpose yards and scored two touchdowns. He's a versatile player that can contribute in many different ways for the offense and special teams.
Let's just hope that this is his final decision before he decides to switch again.
March 14 Updates
South Carolina has officially kicked of spring practice as they try to build on a very successful season where they finished the year with an 11-2 record.
Although it was the first practice that took place, head coach Steve Spurrier was satisfied with what he saw for the most part.
"A lot of young guys running around and hustling," Spurrier said. "The effort was very good. Throwing and catching at times looked good, at times not so good. The defense looked pretty sharp."
That's what you want to hear if you're a Gamecocks fan, considering this defense was ranked third in the country last season, giving up only 267 total yards on average.
They return six starters on that side of the ball and have the potential to repeat those solid performances.
Spurrier also commented on former wide receiver Bruce Ellington and his decision to give up football and play basketball full-time.
"That's a decision a young man has to make," the coach said. "Hopefully it will work out for Bruce. We're all for him. We wish him the best certainly."
Ellington finished his freshman season with 17 receptions for 211 yards and scored two touchdowns.
South Carolina will resume their spring practices tomorrow.
This slideshow will continue to be updated with the latest news, quotes, position battles and more throughout spring practice.
Stay tuned for everything involving your South Carolina Gamecocks.