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South Carolina freshman will burn redshirt for bowl, former starting lineman doubtful

Will Muschamp would prefer not to miss Christmas, tries to get players time with family

South Carolina Gamecocks football coach Will Muschamp would prefer not to miss Christmas, but with USC in Charlotte on Dec. 25 for the Belk Bowl, USC tries to work around the best they can.
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South Carolina Gamecocks football coach Will Muschamp would prefer not to miss Christmas, but with USC in Charlotte on Dec. 25 for the Belk Bowl, USC tries to work around the best they can.

In the Belk Bowl, South Carolina football will have a player it had a choice to have and will likely be without a former starter.

Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp announced Tuesday the team will burn the redshirt of freshman linebacker Ernest Jones after talking it over with his family. He has already played four games, but will be used in the bowl.

Muschamp also updated the team’s injuries, saying Keir Thomas has progressed well, while Aaron Sterling, who the staff had hoped to have off an ankle injury, is doubtful.

“Bryson (Allen-Williams) will play,” Muschamp said. “Jaycee (Horn) will play. Keir Thomas we think is going to be able to go. Was able to work out the latter part of the week, so that was good. Aaron Sterling is doubtful. I think that’s about it.”

Sterling opened the season as starting defensive end. In eight games, he had 15 tackles, three for loss, one sack and three quarterback hurries.

Jones played in USC’s opener and the final three games of the regular season. He has 14 tackles and a forced fumble, and got a lot of work against Clemson and Chattanooga.

Notes

The starting center job remains up for grabs, with Hank Manos and Chandler Ferrell battling for it. Muschamp said they could also keep Donell Stanley there and slide in Blake Camper at guard.

Former running back A.J. Turner will stay on defense and special teams for the bowl. His future position is up in the air.

Otherwise, Muschamp said everyone was healthy, eligible and had passed any drug tests that might have come around.

Muschamp said the bowl was able to pay for some of the players to get home and travel back to meet the team in Charlotte.

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