Good news for the Gamecocks. 

Bad news for everyone else. 

Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward mentioned after practice on Tuesday that the Gamecocks returned to the Rabbit package in practice during some third down work in the Gamecocks sixth spring practice this year. 

Ward was initially asked on the progress about Gamecocks' defensive end Darius English but eventually gave way to news that the Rabbit package remains for the Gamecocks. 

“Four ends on the field to keep our rabbit package going," said Ward. "We took English and Mason Harris and put them outside and put Clowney and Chaz inside."

This package, where South Carolina brings in four defensive ends on passing down situations, gave opponents fits all last season long and really helped the emergence of Chaz Sutton for South Carolina. Some wondered whether or not the package would remain now that the Gamecocks have a new defensive line coach in Deke Adams. 

It looks like it's here to stay. 

While the rabbit package is an old favorite, the Gamecocks are steadily looking at new players at the linebacker position in order to replace some veteran players off last year's squad. Coach Ward is pleased with what he's seen so far. 

“Well again, I think they're getting better. I thought we did a better job today of getting lined up when we get one back teams, we should have one gap so when I can see them get lined up in that one gap, we're doing a better job. They've got athletic ability, we'll get them lined up, we still gotta work on seeing pulling lineman and stuff like that so we can get our gap over but I'm pleased with where they are so far."

Also looking for a new infusion of talent is the SPUR position. South Carolina is hoping the combination of Jordan Diggs and Sharrod Golightly will help replace the production of DeVonte Holloman from 2012. Ward said both players have done a good job but they may not have the physical ability to do some of the things we might have seen from this position in the past. 

“I think Jordan and Sharrod have done a good job. They're not going to be two guys that's big enough to line up and put them on the tight end and be physical every down so I gotta make sure that I put them in defenses to be successful. We'll use their speed and quickness to our advantage and we'll bring them a lot off the edge and we'll do what they can do."

Defensive tackle is looking for its replacement for Byron Jerideau and it appears that the position is neck and neck between J.T. Surratt and Gerald Dixon Junior. Both players have done well this spring and have a chance to see who comes ahead this Thursday. 

"“There is probably a tie as of today. JT has done well. Dixon Jr has done really well also so we feel like we got two good players there and we'll see how we do in the scrimmage on Thursday and see who wins the job."

South Carolina will return to practice this Thursday. 

Post-Practice Notes:

  • South Carolina will scrimmage this Thursday according to Coach Ward. Practice time has been scheduled for 4:15 so this should remain the same for Thursday's scrimmage. The location will likely be Williams-Brice. 
  • Coach Ward said Kadetrix Marcus is the starter as of today. He's being pushed by Kyle Fleetwood and Chris Moody at the moment. 
  • Ward said Victor Hampton and Jimmy Legree have done well and give the Gamecocks great options at the starting cornerback positions. 
  • Bruce Ellington returned to practice for the first time this spring. Ellington finished up his season with the Gamecocks basketball team a few short weeks ago and will now spend the rest of the spring catching passes for the Gamecocks. 
  • South Carolina hosted Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis at practice on Tuesday along with Buffalo Bills Stephon Gilmore, Chicago Bears Alshon Jeffery and Cleveland Browns Spencer Lanning.