Yesterday saw the arrival of twelve players from the class of 2021. Just like normal students, the football players had to navigate South Campus, unload the parental vans, and start setting up their dorm rooms. Clothes, snacks, shower caddies, and Playstations will be unpacked and then the freshmen can begin acclimatizing to Carolina and all it has to offer.
Drake Maye, Caleb Hood, Diego Pounds, J.J. Jones, Gavin Blackwell, Kobe Paysour, Keeshawn Silver, Jahvaree Ritzie, Raneiria Dillworth, Power Echols, Dontavius Nash, and DeAndre Boykins are now on campus and will participate in spring practice. This will give them a head start incorporating into a team that will begin the season with high expectations, but with question marks in key spots.
Jace Ruder’s entry into the transfer portal puts Drake Maye in direct competition for the back-up quarterback job with Jacolby Criswell.
Jones, Blackwell, and Paysour will be in the mix with returnees Josh Downs, Khafre Brown, and Beau Corrales for snaps at receiver.
Caleb Hood will compete for backfield snaps with Tennessee transfer Ty Chandler and the potpourri bag of returning rushers to replace the irreplaceable duo of Michael Carter and Javonte Williams.
Silver, Ritzie, Dillworth, Echols, Nash, and Boykins will look to build depth in an improving defense.
Spring practice will begin on March 23 with the Spring Game on April 24. The rookies will have to successfully negotiate college coursework, workouts, and maintaining social distance from other students to keep Covid-free. As this past season proved, every date is fluid. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it stays on schedule.