College Sports

One starter getting snaps at new spot, Muschamp observations from final scrimmage

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp held one detail right to the end as he talked about Saturday’s scrimmage.

His team believes in a flexible secondary, but even as of a week ago, seemed content sophomores Israel Mukuamu and Jaycee Horn were his starting corners. But that didn’t mean Mukuamu wasn’t getting a little work elsewhere this week.

“Israel’s always a guy that can slide in and play, has played a lot of safety for us in the last couple days,” Muschamp said. “Done a nice job. He brings us a lot of range back there.”

This has at times been a topic of note. When Mukuamu was being recruited, most assumed he’d end up at safety because he’s 6-foot-4, and Muschamp surprised some by insisting he’d play corner. He was there last season and through most of camp.

As a true freshman, Mukuamu had 17 tackles, one interception, one pass break-up.

A year ago, the team moved several corners to safety, a move that was needed because the position was a black hole of injuries and struggles all season.

Muschamp’s other scrimmage observations:

▪ He was discouraged by some procedure and communication issues the team had during the scrimmage. Much of that was situation work (including one-minute and four-minute work, plus red zone), but he left with the sense there was a lot to clean up.

Overall, the team got 120 snaps, plus some live kicking work.

At this point in camp, the coaches feel as if the offense and defense are playing about even.

Shi Smith had several good plays, including grabbing a 50-50 ball. Jake Bentley also had some explosive plays on offense, a seam ball and an outside ball. He also protected the ball, but there were some protection issues.

Muschamp also singled out freshman wide receiver Josh Vann as having a strong day and strong camp.

Muschamp said backup quarterbacks Dakereon Joyner and Ryan Hilinski are still somewhat even, though he had not yet watched the tape and delved in.

Through camp, the staff likes where the offensive line stands.

Darius Rush’s move from wide receiver to corner was based on him not getting much opportunity on offense.

Right now, either Eric Douglas or Donell Stanley would be the team’s backup center.

After seeing his career end with an injury, Kiel Pollard will be working with the coaching staff this fall.

Muschamp had no update on the waiver request for immediate eligibility for transfer tight end Nick Muse.

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