Welcome to another edition of the South Carolina football mailbag.
Each week, SEC Country reporter Hale McGranahan sorts through a stack of questions submitted by you, the readers.
Away we go:
Do you think Shameik Blackshear is up and running 100 percent enough to finally contribute?
Word is that he’s fully back after missing spring practice because of the December gunshot wound, but I haven’t heard his name specifically mentioned by any of the coaches or players during our first two interview sessions. I think they’re all still kind of in a wait-and-see mode, and rightfully so. I had my doubts about the guy before he even signed at South Carolina. There’s still time for him to turn things around, but his track record of off-the-field issues isn’t very encouraging.
How does Kiel Pollard look?
Doug Henry (Facebook)
Muschamp sounded encouraged when he spoke to reporters on Tuesday afternoon. Pollard was one of a couple summer arrivals practicing with the veterans, so that should tell you something. Our first look at the team — on the field — isn’t until Saturday morning, and it’s only for a few periods at the beginning of practice. Not sure how much we’ll be able to tell in that short period of time, but I’m sure he’ll be discussed during Sunday’s teleconference with Muschamp.
What about A.J. Turner, the running back?
Bobby Ingle (Facebook)
What an affable guy. Turner was one of the many players we saw during Monday’s media day. Among the guys I spoke to, he was probably the most entertaining. He’s going to become a media favorite this season, assuming he produces on Saturdays — Thursday, too. Turner told reporters that he’s made some serious strides in the weight room after his redshirt year.
He had a great quote about what he does with his cost of attendance money: “I try to take my linemen out every now and then when we get paid. ‘Hey, man, let’s go here. Let’s get something to eat.’ Just trying to establish those different relationships. Ultimately, if you feed them, they’re going to block for you. It’s going to happen.”
So, yeah, Turner seems like a fun dude to be around. Now, as for the kind of football player he’ll be, we shall see. He certainly looks explosive on his highlights from high school.
Who has the best chance for QB?
Anthony Solon (Facebook)
The more we hear from players and coaches this month, the more likely it is I’m going to say Brandon McIlwain. Even Perry Orth told reporters earlier this week that he has a “wow” moment every time he watches McIlwain throw the ball.
At this point, I think it’s safe to say we’re going to see more than one quarterback play against Vanderbilt. Muschamp has already told reporters a couple of times that they’ll play three quarterbacks if they have to. Since he’s already said that Lorenzo Nunez will have some packages at the position, I think it’s safe to say he’ll be counted as one of the two or three you’ll see on Sept. 1.