COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who has a well-documented history of hamstring injuries, is on a mileage count.
Samuel gets about 2.84 miles per practice before he’s shut down for the rest of the day. The count, which is derived from research-based analytics, is in place because Samuel has missed 10 career games to hamstring injuries.
“We have some (players) that have some soft tissue issues. We’re training them differently than we are other guys, because now we know them,” Muschamp said. “We have the Catapult system, so we understand about their mileage.
“And when they start piling up a lot of mileage, we need to shut them down. Deebo goes to 5,000 yards (and) he’s done at practice.”
Muschamp added, “When (Samuel) is over that, that’s when he’s risking pulling, going back and looking at the research. That’s just an example that we look at.”
Limited time only
Don’t show up to the spring game next weekend expecting to see too much from Samuel, Hayden Hurst and a handful of other returning starters. Muschamp and the South Carolina coaches have seen plenty from their more established offensive players.
“I’m one of those (coaches), these guys have played really good football at a high level in that situation,” Muschamp said. “We’ve got some younger guys we’ve got to find out more about, especially in a game setting situation, when there are going to be fans there.
“We haven’t really discussed that as much, but I wouldn’t see those guys get a bunch of snaps, from the simple standpoint that we’ve got to have guys that we know, going into fall camp, we need to rep this guy.”
Defensively, he added, it will be the same.
“I’ve made some decisions, in my mind, we’re going ahead on defense, we’ve got to give some new guys some opportunities,” Muschamp said. “I’ve seen enough of what I’ve seen on some of these guys.”
More praise for Dickerson
One player fans probably will see a lot of next Saturday is safety Jaylin Dickerson. The freshman safety from Southern Pines, N.C., received more praise from Muschamp on Saturday, after the Gamecocks’ second stadium scrimmage.
“He is extremely bright. He is extremely intelligent. We have thrown everything at him that we can throw. He’s making mistakes, but he makes mistakes full speed and he makes plays,” Muschamp said. “He might have been totally out of position, but he’s going to make a play. You know what? I love that.”
It reminds the South Carolina head coach of Laron Landry, one his best defensive backs at LSU.
“Our first scrimmage, the year we won the national championship, had the best defense in (college football), he had 15 mental errors in the scrimmage, but he still ended with positive production points, because of the tackles, interceptions, third-down stops and all the plays he made,” Muschamp said. “So it was our job as coaches to figure out what he can do.
“And I’m not trying to compare players, but guys who are able to go make plays — they’re not sure what to do, but they still can play fast and physical — you’re coaching the right guy.”