COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The moment Jadeveon Clowney announced his intentions to play at South Carolina, you could hear the thunderous rejoicing coming from Gamecocks country and a nervous shudder from opposing SEC quarterbacks.
Well, both will get a very early look at the 6-foot-6, 254-pound freak of a defensive end. Coach Steve Spurrier said the former No. 1 recruit in the country, who has been very impressive in the few practices thus far, is expected to contribute on defense immediately this fall -- like Game 1.
"He's blending in well with the guys," Spurrier said. "He realizes he has a ways to go. He's worked hard, done a good job, but we definitely plan on him getting a lot of action first game on."
Sorry East Carolina ...
Clowney arrived with a wealth of hype, but the gargantuan athlete is surprisingly soft-spoken and humble. He understands the lofty expectations set for him, but just like most players, he's taking each day as it comes and is working on getting better.
"I just take it as coming out here, playing with some better, faster athletes," Clowney said of feeling any added pressure or living up the hype. "It's speeding up, so I gotta speed up. It's panning out pretty good, so I'm getting the hang of it now."
Shell fine after heat issue
Freshman offensive tackle Brandon Shell suffered a heat-related illness following Saturday's morning practice. The 6-6, 316-pounder was treated by the South Carolina medical staff at the practice fields and was taken to a local hospital, but was released Saturday. He attended team meetings Saturday afternoon and Spurrier said Sunday that he expects Shell to be out at practice Sunday night, even if he isn’t participating.
Spurrier also regretted keeping Shell out in the heat Saturday.
"We should have held him out, to tell you the truth, when we made that last run across the field" Spurrier said. "But he got a little dizzy and our trainers acted quickly, got his temperature down and got him in the cold tank there.
"It's always a scare anytime one of your players gets a little dizzy, but our trainers were super, though.
"That was a good lesson for us because I never want to see that, hopefully, again -- a player get dizzy and so forth in the heat -- and we should have held him out. He's a big young man and he wasn't ready to run across the field that many times."
Swearinger could get kickoff duty
Cornerback Stephon Gilmore called safety D.J. Swearinger the "quarterback of the defense" Sunday, but Swearinger might also be quarterbacking the Gamecocks' special teams.
Spurrier said Swearinger will “probably” be the Gamecocks' first kickoff returner this fall.
"He hits it hard and he breaks some arm tackles, and he's a physical young man," Spurrier said.
Lattimore not running from Heisman talk
Most players tend to shy away from Heisman trophy talk, but not running back Marcus Lattimore.
The super sophomore made it clear that he would love to not only go to the ceremony in New York, but he wouldn't mind bringing home the hardware either.
“It would be an honor,” Lattimore said of winning the Heisman. “The last two Heisman winners have a national championship, so that’s a team award and it would be great to win it.
“It’s there now, and I have a legitimate shot at winning it. It’s something I’ve dreamed about it all the time.”