COLUMBIA, S.C. – If Jamarcus King has heard it once, he’s heard it a thousand times.
The South Carolina junior cornerback needs to hit the weight room this offseason, and he knows it. South Carolina coach Will Muschamp reminds him “every day” it needs to be a priority.
“I think the biggest thing is to get stronger. I think that’s evident,” Muschamp said. “You go against the bigger receivers and you can’t get banged around. He’s got to continue to increase his physical stature.”
Muschamp had already drilled that home before Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams carried King into the end zone during the Tigers 56-7 win.
“It’s keeping my head right and knowing what I’ve got to do, what I’ve got to work on,” King said.
Armed with a little extra motivation as he approaches his first and only offseason at South Carolina, King told reporters on Tuesday that he weighs 180 pounds. His targeted playing weight for 2017 is 190-195.
“I can get there,” King said. “I was just at 186, then we started back practicing and I’ve got to really just make it muscle. That was just water weight.”
Even though that night taught him the importance of having a short memory, King won’t forget what happened against Williams in Clemson.
“I dwell on it,” he said, “But it’s not going to hold me back.”
King’s teammates have his back.
“We’re very confident in him,” linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams said. “We have the utmost respect for him. We have the utmost confidence in Jamarcus. He’s made plays all year. Everybody has a bad game. As a defense, collectively, we had a bad game against Clemson.”
After next week’s Birmingham Bowl against USF, King, who has 53 tackles and three interceptions this season, will get back to work on his body.
“That’s something that’s been said to him since day one,” Muschamp said. “Sometimes, it takes a tough night to teach somebody. You’ve got to get stronger, so that would be the first thing. Again, he’s going to continue to improve, as far as his physicality and his strength.”