Akeem Auguste out for opener

August, 30, 2011
8/30/11
1:07
PM ET
South Carolina senior cornerback Akeem Auguste won't start in Saturday's opener against East Carolina after he re-injured his foot during Monday's practice.

Auguste has been bothered by an arch injury during preseason camp this season.

“He was doing well, then he twisted it and hurt his foot again,” defensive coordinator/cornerbacks coach Ward said. “We’ll see an evaluation in the morning. I don’t know if he reinjured to the point it was at first, but he was doing well and then all of a sudden he made a cut on it and hurt it again.”

Senior C.C. Whitlock will start opposite junior Stephon Gilmore Saturday. As a junior, Whitlock played in all 14 games, making five starts at cornerback, including each of the Gamecocks' last three games. He finished the season with 21 tackles and broke up four passes.

If Auguste has had to struggle through this injury for most of the preseason, it might be smart for the Gamecocks' staff to keep him out Saturday and let him rest. Auguste is a proven veteran and missing this opener shouldn't set him back much. They'll need a healthy Auguste for week No. 2 when South Carolina travels over to Athens to play Georgia in a game that could go a long way in deciding the SEC East.

This summer, Gilmore said Auguste was having his best offseason training he's had as a Gamecock and thinks Auguste has the potential to be a top defensive back in this league.

Auguste moved to free safety last season, after playing cornerback in 2009, and is now back at corner. He's South Carolina's most experienced player in the secondary, playing in 35 games with 19 starts, and has been praised for his natural field instincts and ball skills.

The Gamecocks shouldn't miss him too much this weekend, but I think the priority is to have him ready for the Bulldogs the following week.

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