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Jaylen Nichols' spring game injury 'pretty significant'

On3 imageby:Wes Mitchell05/02/23

Wes Mitchell

Early indications on South Carolina left tackle Jaylen Nichols‘ spring game injury were not good and on Tuesday Gamecock football coach Shane Beamer confirmed that Nichols will be out for some time but did not rule out a return for Nichols at some point in 2023.

“Jaylen, as you guys saw in the spring game, suffered a pretty sigificant injury,” Beamer said. “He won’t be ready for the beginning of the season, I’ll say that. Optimistic that the recovery process will go well and we’ll get him back hopefully before the season is over. But he won’t be ready to start the season.”

Nichols went down in the first half of South Carolina’s spring game in mid-April and did not return to the contest with what Beamer at the time called a lower-body injury.

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The Gamecocks’ projected starting left tackle in 2023, the fifth-year Super Senior appeared in 38 games over the past four campaigns including 18 starts.

A versatile blocker, Nichols has started at left guard, right tackle and left tackle in his career.

Last season, Nichols appeared in 12 games, making seven starts, all at left tackle.

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Transfer offensive tackle Sidney Fugar went through spring practice as Nichols’ backup at left tackle, though the former Western Illinois starter has no experience at the SEC level.

Left guard Jakai Moore, who played left tackle earlier in his career, seems to be Nichols’ most likely replacement.

The Gamecocks have also been active in the transfer portal on the offensive line, though finding top targets at that position can be difficult.

Beamer confirmed the Nichols injury at a press conference on Tuesday as he introduced new South Carolina defensive line coach Travian Robertson, who he hired on Monday to replace Jimmy Lindsey.

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