South Carolina football: Gamecocks practice for Gator Bowl

South Carolina practices Monday for the Gator Bowl, working out at Ponte Vedra High School in Jacksonville, Florida.

South Carolina practices Monday for the Gator Bowl, working out at Ponte Vedra High School in Jacksonville, Florida.

The State

The Gamecocks have arrived for the Gator Bowl.

No. 19 South Carolina held its first on-site practice at Ponte Vedra High School on Monday morning, ahead of Friday’s matchup against No. 21 Notre Dame.

Here’s what happened in the portion of the day open to reporters:

  • Receiver Jalen Brooks participated in practice as he continues to work through what head coach Shane Beamer called an “off the field” issue last week. Brooks is USC’s second-leading receiver this year behind Antwane “Juice” Wells. The one-time Wingate transfer has 33 catches for 504 yards and one touchdown.

  • While Brooks participated, fellow pass-catcher Josh Vann was not at practice during the periods open to reporters on Monday. Vann has been rehabbing from a knee injury he suffered during the Clemson game in the final week of the regular season.
  • Outside of Vann, the rest of South Carolina’s two-deep appeared during the viewing window portion of Monday’s practice. Defensive end Bryan Thomas, defensive tackle MJ Webb and cornerback O’Donell Fortune were all upgraded to starters on the depth chart released on Sunday night.

  • Incoming freshman linebacker Grayson “Pup” Howard was also suited up for Monday’s practice. Howard, a four-star recruit in the 2023 class, enrolled in time to be able to participate in Gator Bowl practices.

  • It’s still unclear who will call plays this week following the departure of offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield to Nebraska. In the interim, offensive analyst Nick Coleman was spotted working with the quarterbacks — which Satterfield coached — along with graduate assistant Zeb Noland. Coleman, too, is slated to leave South Carolina following the bowl game to take an offensive staff position at UAB.
  • Running back Christian Beal-Smith, defensive end Terrell Dawkins and offensive tackle Cason Henry all appeared to be working off to the side with the South Carolina training staff for varying reasons. Beal-Smith has had a host of injuries this year, while Dawkins is rehabbing from a lower-body injury he endured during the Charlotte game.

  • Redshirt freshman tailback Lovasea Carroll and walk-on tight end Jesse Sanders didn’t suit up for Monday’s practice. Carroll transferred to South Carolina from Georgia ahead of this season, while Sanders is in his third year with the program.

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Ben Portnoy is The State’s South Carolina Gamecocks football beat writer. He’s a five-time Associated Press Sports Editors award honoree and has earned recognition from the Mississippi Press Association and the National Sports Media Association. Portnoy previously covered Mississippi State for the Columbus Commercial Dispatch and Indiana football for the Journal Gazette in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

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