COLUMBIA, S.C. — Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre was among the high school coaches attending the South Carolina coaches’ clinic this weekend.
Favre was the keynote speaker on Friday night.
“He did an amazing job. There was a standing ovation for him,” South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said. “Gave us a lot of insight on his career, but he also was the offensive coordinator at Oak Grove (Miss.) High School and they won a state championship his second year. He gave us a lot of insight on his experience with that.
“It was really awesome, really neat to have him come to South Carolina.”
“It’s unbelievable. It really is (neat) for those guys to go out there,” Muschamp said. “Hayden Hurst looked at me and said, ‘I’m catching a pass from Brett Favre. How neat is that?’ It was all before practice started, but our receivers and tight ends went out there and caught some balls from him. It was kind of a pat-and-go situation. He loved it. He can still spin it.”
The kicking game
With the departures by kicker Elliott Fry, punter Sean Kelly and long-snapper Drew Williams, South Carolina is faced with the task of replacing all of last season’s specialists.
“I think, in the kicking game, I’ve seen some positive things,” Muschamp said. “Far too inconsistent snapping it, kicking it and punting it. Disappointed (Saturday), for the first time in the stadium, we didn’t punt it more consistently. Hit a great one, both Joseph (Charlton) and Michael (Almond).
“Alex (Woznick) did some good things, kicking field goals. It’s got to be more consistent. It’s frustrating right now.”
Calls at the line
In Year 2 of the Jake Bentley era, the South Carolina quarterback will be allowed to do a little more at the line of scrimmage before the snap.
“He’s able to change the protection. He’s able to get the back lined up. He’s able to point out and change the mike,” Muschamp said. “All those things, he’s able to do now, where last year we weren’t able to, so we’re able to be much more multiple formation-wise, attack-wise and certainly a more of variety of protections, to make sure we are protecting him.
“He understands where his hots are. He understands when he’s got to get rid of the football. I think that’s going to continue to grow and grow.”
Bentley, who was brought on as the starting quarterback halfway through last season, didn’t do any of that stuff in 2016. The play-call that came from the sideline went unchanged, no matter what the opposing defense was showing.
“Sometimes, right now, we’re carrying package runs to the line of scrimmage. We’re able to get in and out of the run game, from a run to a pass,” Muschamp said. “We have much more experience being able to do that. Now a lot of that goes back to being the second year in scheme.
“The terminology, not just for Jake, but for everybody at the running back position, the tight end position. There’s a lot more understanding of what we’re going to be able to do, moving forward. But, certainly, Jake is a calming factor with all of that.”