COLUMBIA, S.C. – Coach Will Muschamp, offensive coordinator Kurt Roper and players from the offensive side of the ball met with reporters after Wednesday morning’s practice.
Perry Orth, who continues to battle for the starting quarterback job, said the first two practices have been “high intensity.”
“You see all the guys coming in here drenched in sweat,” he said. “We’ve only been practicing about an hour, hour-and-a-half, hour-and-45. We only get about a two or three-minute break in the middle of practice. We’re non-stop going … it’s only been good things, so far.”
Orth had first-team QB reps on Tuesday. On Wednesday, McIlwain took the first-team reps.
“The reps have been split equal right now. They’re just trying to figure out who the best guy is,” Orth said.
Roper said Jake Bentley — the third competitor for the starting job — is a talented guy. That, Roper added, is very apparent after two days.
“He is an intelligent guy, he picks things up, but it’s still a brand-new situation to him,” Roper said.
Muschamp said Lorenzo Nunez will have some packages at quarterback this season. But most of his work for the first two days has been at wide receiver. Fellow wide receiver Deebo Samuel said Nunez “is coming along” in the first two days.
“You could tell last year, when he was out there making plays, he’s an athletic guy,” Samuel said.
Battling the heat
Several of the veteran players walked slowly into the locker room after their portion of the practice. Cramps appeared to be the main offender.
Linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams hobbled in with the help of strength and conditioning coordinator Jeff Dillman. Safety Toure Boyd looked like he was dealing with pretty severe cramps in his lower body, as he needed assistance for trips to the ice tub.
“It’s always a little bit of an issue with some of them — they don’t want to eat, they’re tired,” Muschamp said. “You’ve got to drink fluids. It’s always an issue every year.”
Practice continues to be split between veterans and first-year players. However, some of the first-year players are working in the veteran portion, including QB Brandon McIlwain, CB JaMarcus King, DE D.J. Wonnum and WR Kiel Pollard.
The practice scripts are the same in both practices. Veterans get more reps and go at a higher tempo.
Roper told reporters that he would like to enter game week with 6-7 wide receivers that he can count on as rotational pieces on game day.
“You definitely want to develop a relationship with those guys at the quarterback. I’ve been in years when three guys played. We played 3 wide receivers in 2012 at Duke,” Roper said. “Luckily, we stayed healthy and we had two 1,000-yard receivers and a 600-plus yard receiver.”
Along the offensive line, he aims to have as many as eight ready to play on Saturdays this fall.