What Shane Beamer said at Spartanburg Welcome Home Tour event

On3 imageby:Wes Mitchell05/15/24

Wes Mitchell

GC LIVE - Off-season latest on South Carolina football

South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer spoke at the Spartanburg stop of the Welcome Home Tour Tuesday night as he continues to hit various areas in the Palmetto State.

Below is what the Gamecocks’ fourth-year head coach had to say.

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Beamer on Quarterback Competition…
Obviously the summer will be big for all of those guys. And LaNorris (Sellers) our starter coming out of spring practice and expect him to have a great summer and continue to do a great job in that role, and all of the quarterbacks, and all of the positions that are continuing to compete. We’ll get into practice. The way we set it up is the first two weeks of practice, it’s really just about ourselves. And then that third week, we start introducing the opening opponent. So I would say after the first two weeks of preseason practice, two scrimmages in at that point, we’d have an idea, okay, here’s our guy going into week one. And not just a quarterback, but at every position. But LaNorris had a fantastic spring and really pleased with where he is right now.

Beamer on Offensive Changes…
Yeah, it’ll be so different this year because our personnel is different. Quarterback-wise, we go from Spencer Rattler to a 240-pound quarterback or Robbie Ashford is 230 pounds. Bigger quarterbacks, new running backs. We don’t have Xavier Legette anymore. We’ve got receivers that have a different skill set than what Xavier has. So it’ll be different from that standpoint. So that’s what spring practice is for. We’ve added two transfer receivers since the end of spring practice. Get them in here in a couple weeks and see how they can help us. And as you do every year, you want to put your offense, defense, and special teams together based on what you have and what their skillsets are.

Beamer on Running the Ball…
And hopefully, more important than anything, we can stay healthier than what we did last year. And then at the end of the day, we need to be able to run the ball more effectively than what we have. Not just last year, but since I’ve been the head coach. And that’s been very disappointing. We haven’t been as efficient running the ball the last three seasons as we need to be. And we need to be better there, and that’s where it all starts.

Beamer on New South Carolina Transfer Receivers…
Added depth, for one. With Dalevon (Campbell), he’s a guy that has played a lot of football, been very productive as a player. We were looking after spring practice to try and add a little bit more size in that room. He’s a big receiver as well, and he’ll certainly help us there, and with just being a veteran guy. And then with Vandrevius (Jacobs), he’s a guy that was highly recruited to come into high school, and he can run. That’s what we like. He’s still young.  I like the fact that he’s still got four more years of college as well.

Really, all we know about (the portal additions) right now is talking to high school coaches, talking to their coaches where they came from, spending time with them when they came in on a visit, watching their tape that they had going into this season. We’ll find out even more about him once they get on campus. But two great young men. Really enjoyed visiting with when they were here on visits and excited about how they can just continue to add to the overall depth and competition in that receiver room.

Beamer on Nyck Harbor’s Summer Plans…
We haven’t updated it. You know, watched on television the SEC meet down in Gainesville this past weekend. I talked to Nyck’s mom yesterday. We talked about a couple non-football related things. But he and I will, he and I will kind of touch base here this week at some point. And nothing new or nothing update in that direction.

Beamer on Upstate native Mazeo Bennett…
Yeah, absolutely. He certainly was very productive at Greenville for Coach Porter there. And fortunate to have he and Blake Franks both from there. But both of those guys went through spring practice for us. Mazeo’s a guy that I remember watching him when his team came to our 7-on-7 camp last summer. And just when the game begins, there’s like a competitive switch that flips with him that you notice. You saw that last summer at camp. And I saw that in practice this spring as well. So he’s a guy that going through spring practice was huge for him. He’ll be better for it now when he gets into the summer. But absolutely. He can do a lot, special teams and offensively.

And there’s great competition in that wide receiver room. Because, like I said, we lost Xavier. And there isn’t a guy that you point to that you say, that’s the guy to replace him. We’ve got a lot of guys in that room. And it’s a really good competition in that room. And honestly, if you sat here and asked me today, who are going to be your top 6-8 receivers, I don’t know. And that’s the truth. And that’s exciting for the summer, exciting for preseason camp to see who separates themselves and who we’re able to work with.

Beamer on Connecting with Fans…
You’ve got to know where you are, first of all. So here in the Upstate, there’ll definitely be a Clemson-centric theme being up here.

That’ll be the topic of conversation, that they’re living here in the upstate and how important that game is. That game’s important across the state, but extra important up here. But, you know, for us, I love coming to these because it’s just an opportunity to get around so many of our awesome Gamecock fans, hear their stories about what Gamecock athletics mean to them, love seeing people.

It’s my second time to this venue, so seeing people that I’ve already recognized that were here a couple years ago when I was up here, that’s always fun. But then just being able to talk about the… the great things that are going on in Columbia. Obviously, the season our women’s basketball team had, the season our men’s basketball team had, but then the excitement about football and where we’re headed and what we’ve done, but what we’re getting ready to do also. So it’s a pretty common theme at each of them. A lot of fun, a lot of energy, and each locale is different, and that tweaks it a little bit.

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Beamer on which newcomers could surprise…
Yeah, I think, not to try and dodge the question, I think there’s a lot of guys that really I felt stronger about coming out of spring. Probably, one with the freshman class we brought in, they were all there for spring practice except for three of our freshman signees. Everyone else went through spring practice, which is huge. So, coming out of spring, there’s not a guy that we say, eh, we might of missed on him, he’s not what we thought.

I feel great about the freshman class, but probably the biggest, it wasn’t really a surprise, but with the transfers that we brought in along the line of scrimmage, nobody got fired up when we signed Torricelli Simpkins from North Carolina Central. I think Torricelli’s going to be a heck of a player for us this season. On and off the field. When we signed, to add some depth to the defensive tackle position, DeAndre Jules from Pittsburgh, and Monkell Goodwine from Alabama, I don’t know, there probably wasn’t as much excitement as when we brought in Rocket Sanders from Arkansas.

But, Monkell and DeAndre are two guys that have jumped right in and we’ve said, ooh, these guys are going to help us and help us a lot this upcoming season. So, that’s probably the biggest thing is just feeling even better about the transfers that we brought in, but then also saying, okay, we got this freshman class right, and we got a lot of really good players that are going to help us sooner than later.

Beamer on Mike Furrey’s Impact…
Oh, man, it’s awesome. Just driving up here today, I was calling a lot of high school coaches up here in the Upstate particularly that he had been in their schools last week, and they’re all talking about how awesome he’s been just recruiting their schools. He’s just got an edge to him.

The fact that, I mean, if you go from college walk-on to NFL starter at wide receiver, get told you’re not good enough to play receiver anymore, go start at defensive back for a year, which is what he did with the Rams, then get cut, then get re-signed by the Lions, and then become the leader in the NSC in receptions. He’s got something to you. And just his story and the way it’s resonated with our players, the fact that he played the game, he’s worked his way up and grinded.

He easily could have gotten done with an NFL career, and gone and probably not worked again for the rest of his life if he needed to. But he didn’t do that. He worked his way up, whether it be at Limestone or Kentucky Christian University and places like that. So he’s just brought a different demeanor in that room. He’s made that group better. He’s just, the biggest thing I can say is he’s hungry, and he’s hungry to make this place a great place, and it’s very evident in his actions.

Beamer on Summer…
We’ve got some guys that are in Columbia right now. They don’t have to be, but we’ve got a group of guys that are in Columbia, but most of our guys are at home for a couple weeks before they start summer school. So the challenge in the month of May was stay out of trouble. The challenge in the month of May was make sure you’re making good decisions, and when you come back in June, you’ve gotten yourself better since the time you left.

But then when they come back in June, the biggest challenge will be we’ve got to come together as a team, and we’ve got to get better. And every coach in America says it, but the summer’s critical, is because it’s the first time the 2024 football team will be together because you don’t know who your team is going to be in college football because of the transfer portal. You don’t know until May. So the portal’s closed.

We’ve added some guys to our roster, and now you know, okay, here’s who the team is. So now it’s how quickly can that team come together between now, or when they come back in a couple weeks, and August 31st. So that’s the biggest challenge is we’ve just got to, leadership has got to show up. We’ve got to get better as a team, and we’ve got to come together as a team really, really quickly.

Beamer on High School Football in Spartanburg County…
There’s great football across the state. We’re always going to start with recruiting in the state of South Carolina. Starts at home. Saw that firsthand when I was at South Carolina before with Coach Spurrier, how important that is. It’s great coaching. There’s great programs. There’s great tradition. There’s great players.

And, you know, I tell our coaches all the time, like, we need to, there’s a lot of players in this state that maybe get overlooked. And it’s our job as coaches to make sure that we’re in every school and we’re finding out about guys and trying to make them Gamecocks as well. And we’ve had a lot of success, and there’s great players in this area specifically, and we will always recruit this area, and that won’t ever stop.

Beamer on South Carolina Kicker Competition…
Yeah, that’s a situation where we’ve got competition going and we’ve got to replace our kicker. We’ve got some guys in the program. We signed a freshman last year that has that ability as well. And really coming out of spring practice, there’s probably a three-man competition for the place kicker position, and it’s very, very close right now. So I’ve got to do a great job as a head coach in August of putting those kickers in pressure situations in practice and seeing how they can perform under pressure and who can be consistent.

I mean, I go back to two years ago, my first year as the head coach, or second year after we lost Parker White. Parker graduated, and the competition between Alex Herrera and Mitch Jeter was literally went to about three days before the first game, and we finally just went with Mitch Jeter and just said that, you know what, he’s been just a little bit better, but, I mean, it was that close, meaning we have confidence in Alex Herrera because he’s still there, but also the other guys that are in the program, they had a fierce competition in spring practice, and this summer will be a big competition for those guys also.

Beamer on if Harbor made the Olympics…
Yeah, no, it would be really, really cool for our university, for our football program, for our track program, but more importantly for Nyck. I know how passionate he is about track. He’s a great young man, so humble as well, so I’m hoping it happens. Now, it wouldn’t be great from a football standpoint because of the amount of time that he would miss with football, but he and I have talked about it. We met in my office at the end of spring practice, and I told him that, man, if you could get a chance to run in the Olympics, that is, like, so cool and something that would be really, really awesome for him and our entire university.

On how NIL changes events like this one…
A lot, you know, that I’ve got players here signing autographs. But it’s changed, but it’s great, though. You know, we’ve had players at all of our events. We were in Florence with Lenora Sellers and Josiah Thompson and Kelvin Hunter, and we were in Charleston last week with Josh Simon, Cam, Pringle, and O’Donnell Fortune. You know, so I think it’s great.

We’ve got awesome young men in our program, and I think it’s great that fans, kids, whoever can come out and get a chance to meet those guys, our players get a chance to meet with them and connect and build relationships for the future as well. But, yeah, it’s certainly different. The first one of these that we went to kind of did a double take when I saw our players there as well. But it’s great. It makes it even more energetic and lively and fun for them, too, to be able to sit in there and get to know our awesome fans.

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