COLUMBIA, S.C. — There wasn’t a single second this spring that South Carolina coach Will Muschamp was nervous for linebacker Skai Moore.
Moore, who missed all of 2016 with a neck injury, never had a “tentative moment,” according to Muschamp.
“His first day was our third day in pads. We did the Cock drill, which is 1-on-1, and the first thing making contact is your head,” Muschamp said. “He got in that drill, we didn’t say a word to him, and he went right after it. That’s the type of competitor he is. He’s a good football player, and he’s extremely instinctive. It was good to have him back.”
Along with a handful of established players, Moore was a limited participant during the spring game this past Saturday, but he did record 1 tackle.
Nice hand from the crowd for Skai Moore, who just made his first tackle.
— Hale McGranahan (@Hale_SECcountry) April 1, 2017
“I wanted to get him about a quarter today, just to get back on the field and feel what it’s like to be on the field before fall camp,” Muschamp said. “We’ll only have one scrimmage in fall camp to get ready for the season based on where we are depth-wise.
“I’m extremely proud of how he’s handled a very difficult situation and a difficult year for him.”
Moore, a senior from Cooper City, Fla., was voted second-team All-SEC by both the AP and coaches in 2015. He was the Gamecocks’ leading tackler in each of his first three seasons.
“I definitely appreciated (this) spring a lot more, it makes you appreciate the game a lot more and the opportunities that you have, just being able to go out there and practice,” Moore said.
Sophomore quarterback Jake Bentley said Moore’s presence on the field is undeniable.
“Every day he was a factor in practice,” Bentley said. “It got to the point that the read told us, throw it here, but you thought, ‘Skai is there.’
“He’s able to take his coaching and tweak it a little bit because he’s so smart. If he has to cover curl-flat, but he sees the flat route first, he’s going to jump it. He’s a great player, and it’s hard to go against him.”