Gamecocks Continue Search for Starting Quarterback
August 14, 2013 at 2:46 AM CDT - Updated July 25 at 4:21 PM
JACKSONVILLE – The Gamecocks returned to the practice fields on Tuesday for a single afternoon workout and head coach Bill Clark was pleased with the effort, despite the hot temperatures.
"Today was a good day," Clark said following the two-plus hour workout. "We came out in the heat of the day and we are going to play games at this time and it was a grind, but I thought they fought through it today."
Clark said he wants to see the team continue to improve with each practice.
"We want to see improvement," Clark added. "We don't want to see mistakes that you made yesterday. When you see a guy take a step back, it's disappointing.
"Maybe its because he is tired or something else, but all we can see is what is on the field and want to see improvement," said Clark.
The Gamecocks continue to look for a starting quarterback and Clark said after Tuesday's workout, there is a really good competition taking place among all four signal callers.
"We have a good quarterback competition going on," said Clark. "The guys we have coming back from the spring, Eli Jenkins, Kyle West and Jayce Barber – all those guys are doing well, and we added Max Shortell in the summer and he has come in and done well."
Shortell, a transfer from Minnesota, is battling with sophomore Kyle West and redshirt freshman Eli Jenkins, while true freshman Jayce Barber is also in the mix. West was listed ahead of Jenkins on the preseason depth chart, though Jenkins had the better spring game, hitting 10 of 19 passes for 194 yards while West was 11 of 27 for 102 yards. Both threw two interceptions, though.
"You're going to see us with two quarterbacks that play," Clark said. "I'm not going to say it's going to be every series thing, but there's going to be two guys we can count on."
Clark said he hoped to have a decision by the end of next week and the coaching staff will continue to evaluate every snap, every throw and every rep to get a clear read on the position.
"As we chart them percentage wise, everyday a different guy steps up and they all have things they do well," said Clark. "It's really a three-man race with Jayce being the young guy kind of out it, but everyday it changes."
Caleb Gulledge, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound offensive lineman who joined the team on Monday after transfering from Alabama, worked in shorts and helmet for the second straight day, and will work in shells for the next two days before practing in full pads on Friday. The former Prattville High School standout was a 3-star recruit in the class of 2012 will have four years left to play four.
Jax State will practice twice on Wednesday in its final two-a-day workout of the fall, and will scrimmage again on Saturday. The scimmage is closed to the public.
JSU opens the season at Alabama State on Aug. 31 in Montgomery. Fans can purchase tickets to that game or to any of the six home games in 2013 from the JSU Ticket office by calling 1-877-JSU-TIXX or by visiting the Gamecocks online at www.JSUGamecockSports.com.