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I was fortunate to be about 20 rows up at the 50 and had a great time, but there were a few things that caught my eye.
I thought our first team O-line looked very solid and gave plenty of time for the QB to throw the ball and gave great running lanes. I know we didnt blitz but I remember the days when we couldnt even get off a 3 step drop. That said I thought the second team oline did ok, I think besides JC, the last person Zandi wants to go up against is Mason Harris, since Zandi is about 6ft9 and Harris is about 6ft1 and quick as a cat. Even then he did a pretty decent job and was better than I thought. I thought 2 guys stood out to me on the second team oline, they were both the young guys in DJ Park and Brock. Brock had several big time blocks I thought that opened great holes for the running backs, sometimes the back saw them and sometimes they didnt but usually when they found a hole it was behind him. He was great in pass protection as well and I think he could really give patrick a run for his money at RG if he is ok playing on the right as he is from playing on the left. With park, I thought he was a monster. He would get beat by speed once and a while but then he would just shove them and the DE would go flying haha. I think he is a guard that could play tackle if needed. But I think he will be our potential RG and will be similar to watkins if not better. Shell looked more athletic as did robinson but im still questioning both of there so called mean streaks, they do there job but they dont seem to have that bully mentality, we will see how it shakes out.
I think starting fall camp we would have 4 QB's that honestly I would take over any we previously have had at carolina since steve has been here. I thought Dylan was great, he makes quick reads, he can be aggressive which can have its ups and downs, but its nice to see a QB come in and actually trust the plays and give them a chance. Noso threw some incredibly accurate passes, I was amazed at some of the places he fit the football. He is very similar to connor with the football in his hands when he is in open space and seems tough as nails too. I thought Mitch was amazing, his deep balls were on the money, he didnt force anything as he seemed willing to take a sack instead of throwing it into double coverage when he didnt have anything, and showed some athleticism. All in all I think they all looked great and give major credit to GA for going out and finding these guys and developing them like he has.
I thought the RB's were great, especially Davis, he looks strong and powerful, fast, and it seems like he really has come into his own, I just hope steve will use him. I thought Wilds was great as well, just a tick below davis. I love how both of them dont like to go down, both are strong powerful runners and saw both of them literally throw defenders off of them and keep on trucking. Davis never stops moving his feet, which is something lattimore was great at and could always drive the defenders backwards for another yard or two. I thought salley looked great, he is a straight line runner that runs with lots of power as well, but as of now he lacks some of the open field moves and big time cutting ability that I believe some of the others have.
WR I thought was ok, but nothing special. I keep waiting for Roland to make some big time catches that I saw him make in Highschool but as of now I am just happy to see him catch the tough passes over the middle and the deep out passes where the QB has a tight window and its a catch he has to make. I think bruce is great, but after him as of now I think we have a bunch of solid guys but no big time playmakers. I think Byrd is the one that has the most ability to make a big play, and he actually looks like he gained some muscle. I think we will have a solid group of guys that can do different things. the one thing that still gets to me is Kwinton Smith, still just like in highschool is great at running the short and intermediate routes, but for some reason does not know how to use hit body to go up and get the ball in a jump ball situation. I think he is a great possession receiver though.
Our TE's are amazing, and I wouldnt trade them for any pair in the country, I think it was obvious at the game that they will be a huge part of our offense next year, and it still baffles me why Adams was not used on almost every play last year.
Our D-line looked ok, I think both Dixons stood out to me, deon green physically looks great but saw him get tossed around a few times so to me he is a wait and see guy. This is one spot though that im not worried about.
The linebackers on the other hand I thought were terrible. I know they dont have much experience, but I saw davis make Rainey look like a little kid out there as he just trucked him over. I like the athleticism of Roberts and holloman as they both look the part. Holloman needed to play a little bit more physical but I thought he was the best in the middle today. Lewis was trying to get some big hits, and was going sideline to sideline ok, but he is shorter than I thought and a tad slower than I thought. He doesnt mind contact and is one of those guys thats in on every tackle, but in open space I saw him get turned around a good bit. Personally I think Holloman is a future star if he keeps improving like he has, but we really need cooper to come back healthy. I thought diggs was the better one at spur today, but someone who i think would make a great spur is kyle fleetwood. more on that in a min. Overall though it seems like when the first team oline was on the field with either wilds or davis in at rb, our linebackers were getting swallowed up, davis, had it been a real game, would of gone for almost 200 against that defense. But they got till fall to get bigger and better and also get to add the only guy with any real playing experience as well as being most likely the most physically gifted.
In the secondary, hampton is the man, when he concentrates he is as good as it gets, sometimes in games it seems like he just loses focus and can get beat, but I didnt see that at the game. I think legree will be solid, but i think he will face some stiff competition in the fall. I think we really need rico mcwilliams to come back healthy, I think he has star quality written all over him and we will need him this year. Ill be honest I kinda forgot about Kyle Fleetwood coming here as I have not seen his name mentioned very much, but he was everywhere. He seems to love contact and I think he is going to really lay some people out next year if given much playing time. I also think he could be a great spur, he is physically very gifted, and looks like a beast. I know 3 of the 4 spots are basically already solidified, and with gurley, marcus, moody, and elder back there its going to be a fight for that spot, so im curious to see if one of those guys come down to battle at spur. I think elder is exactly how you draw them up for someone that needs to be the last line of defense as he is blessed athletically and seems to have great ball skills, I just think he is a year away still in the mental part of the game.
punters look same as usual, might get a good one 1/3 the rest will be line drives right at the returner or be just your avg kick. And kickoffs it seemed like Ard was the only one with any power to reach the goal line, which puzzles me with st. germaine as i thought he would of been our kick off specialist at least. I think we will be going for it on 4th down a good bit this year imo.
Anyways just wanted to give you my thoughts, im sure most dont care haha but it was fun. Go Cocks!!
Good report. Thanks for posting.
Thanks, bud. That is some good thoughts. I like Fleetwood also.
Ally will beat the crap out of Uga.
Thanks.....Kwinton Smith looked really big to me.......I hope the light comes on because he definitely has the size...no homo
E-mail: jc@247Sports.com/Twitter: @jcshurburtt/Instagram jcshurburtt
good info....I taped the ESPNU replay so I can check out the line play....maybe the OL is coming around?
On one of Davis's td runs the blocking was just about perfect. Adams sealed his man to the inside, Ronald Patrick blocks left and does a good job on green, FB Connor McLaurin took out Sharrod Golightly and a pulling OG, AJ Cann, took out Lewis. WR Brent knocked Elder off his feet and Davis walked in. It was pretty to watch. We don't see everyone get it done very often but maybe our time has come.
i to watched the replay and the first team ol was swallowing the lb's up. Kl looks to small for an sec mlb imo. now i know give the kid a chance. i'm just worried that one of the best D-lines to ever play here might be wasted if the LB's don't step up fast. man i am the most excited about this offense that is the best i have seen in my 37 years of pulling for the gamecocks. as long as we use our running game to set up play action. our te's may be unstoppable. if LB's have to respect our running game, we will torch their azz with play action passing. MMMMMMMMMAAAANNNN i can't wait to see it all come together finally. if we get ahead then they have to pass and you know what that means. lol clowney time. GO COCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Formerly known as Diesel
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