College Sports

Newest addition to South Carolina roster is playing a surprising position

Sights and sounds from South Carolina’s Friday football practice

The South Carolina football team practiced Friday, Aug. 10, in preparation for the 2018 season.
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The South Carolina football team practiced Friday, Aug. 10, in preparation for the 2018 season.

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp surprised some when he announced last February that 6-foot-4 freshman Israel Mukuamu would get a shot at corner at that height.

His team could go into 2019 with a pair of towering options on the outside.

Senior safety Steven Montac said Southern Cal transfer Jamel Cook, who stands at 6-foot-4, 186 pounds, has been working at corner in his first camp with USC. The Miami product has also impressed his new teammates early.

“That’s my dog,” Montac said. “He’s going to be good too. When it’s his time to play on the field, he’s going to be very, very good. I like Jamel a lot. He’s trying to learn a lot. Just always talking to me, wanting to watch film.”

Cook was a top-100 prospect out of high school who went across the country to play for the Trojans. An injury cost him his first season, and he played sparingly last fall before deciding to transfer.

If he goes it at corner, it means the Gamecocks will have three up-and-coming options with him, Mukuamu and four-star freshman Jaycee Horn. South Carolina appears to be set to start a trio of seniors this fall.

Montac said the position Cook is playing isn’t the only surprise with him.

“He’s physical,” Montac said. “He looks skinny and all, but he’s physical. He’s going to come up and hit you. And he’s tall too, so you’re not completing a lot of deep balls right over his head.”

Cook and Gamecocks senior starter Rashad Fenton go back to facing each other in high school in Miami. The third-year starter was asked about the idea of USC putting two 6-foot-4 players at the corner spots.

“I have never seen nothing like that,” Fenton said.

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