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.