The Gamecocks held their final practice for the Outback Bowl late Sunday morning at Jefferson High School in Tampa. Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward was the only person made available to the media following the workout. WPDE Sports Director Rich Chrampanis shares his thoughts from Sunday in Tampa:
Perhaps it felt like the last day of school for South Carolina as the team was in great spirits and having fun at Jefferson High. Aynor's TJ Johnson and the offensive linemen were running a little two minute drill with the Gamecocks center throwing some passes and former Darlington Falcon Victor Hampton was joking around with many of his teammates and bragging about wearing Jadeveon Clowney's #7 in practice.
I didn't get to see Shon Carson in any drills as the media was escorted out after stretches and punt/field goal drills. Carson, the 2010 WPDE Zoneman winner out of Lake City, will play for the first time since week three of 2011. He'll be in a rotation with Kenny Miles and Mike Davis in the Gamecocks backfield. Carson is wearing a protective brace on the left wrist that he had surgery on, but you can tell that he's anxious to get that first touch and try and be a big impact in this bowl game.
Clowney vs. Lewan
Taylor Lewan is an All-American offensive lineman for Michigan and will announce after the Outback Bowl if he'll enter the NFL Draft or return to Michigan for his senior season. It's believed that he could be a top 15 pick if he declares. Jadeveon Clowney will get a chance to make yet another statement that he's one of the most dominant defensive players in the game by going head to head with a seasoned offensive lineman.
I got to see Michigan in person this year, when I went to see Myrtle Beach's Everett Golson at Notre Dame. Denard Robinson has been a spectacular playmaker for the Maize and Blue. On the night that I saw him, he produced five first half turnovers and I witnessed first hand Manti Teo's rise to a Heisman Trophy Finalist. Robinson has since suffered nerve damage to his elbow and will share quarterback duties at the Outback Bowl. The Gamecocks defense did an outstanding job of holding down Clemson's high octane offense. It will be interesting to see if they can smother the Michigan offense much like Notre Dame did. Steve Spurrier said on Saturday he hopes that his defense can set the tone and allow the offense to play ball control and run its way to a victory on New Year's Day.