Gamecocks Wrap Up Practice with Annual Spring Game

Dick Cox

April 23, 2023 at 5:29 pm.

South Carolina completed its spring football practice with the annual Garnet vs. Black Game under the lights in front of an enthusiastic crowd of over 51,000 fans at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC.

The Black team outlasted the Garnet team in double overtime to win. D.J. Twitty’s 3-yard plunge up the middle in the second overtime lifted the Black team to a 19-17 victory. Both teams failed on pass attempts from the 3-yard line in the first overtime period, and the Black team stopped Garnet quarterback LaNorris Sellers just inches away from the goal line to begin the second overtime.

The Black team, quarterbacked by Spencer Rattler, drove 75 yards on the first possession of the game and scored on a three-yard touchdown pass from Rattler to Arkansas transfer Trey Knox. The touchdown was set up by a 55-yard pass from Rattler to All-SEC wide receiver Antwane “Juice” Wells Jr. on 3rd-and-12 from the 23-yard line. Rattler completed 5-of-7 passes for 68 yards on the scoring drive. He finished the game 12-of-20 for 120 yards and one touchdown.

“You can’t complain when you have guys like this. Trey Knox, AB, DK, Xavier and many other guys,” said Rattler. “It would have looked a lot better if I would have hit them on the fade ball. Missed them a little bit. We will connect on that in the season, and work through the summer.

“Trey has been a great add-on to our team. Very selfless and a great leader. He is an experienced guy in this conference. He played really well tonight. I was happy to give him his first touchdown in Willy-B.”

The Gamecock starting quarterback led the Black team on another scoring drive in the second period. The 14-play drive stalled out on the Garnet’s 21-yard line, but Alex Herrera booted a 39-yard field goal giving the Black team a 10-0 advantage.

The Black team extended its lead to 17-0 late in the second quarter when redshirt freshman quarterback Tanner Bailey found a wide open Wells Jr. for a 34-yard scoring strike. Wells caught two passes on the night for 89 yards and scored his first receiving touchdown in Williams-Brice Stadium.

Neither team was able to score again until Dante Miller rambled 6-yards into the end zone early in the fourth quarter. That score was set up by a 50-yard pass completion from true freshman quarterback LaNorris Sellers to D.J. Black on a 4th-and 4. Bradley Dunn added 35 yards rushing on the 97-yard scoring drive.

Trailing 17-0 late in the first half and still behind, 17-3, in the final stanza, the Garnet team tied the score at 17-17 on a Colin Bryant 45-yard interception return sending the game into overtime.

The Gamecocks came into the spring game with questions at the running back position and those questions were not answered. Look for South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer to dive into the transfer portal to give the running back room depth and a short yardage power running back that they need. Converted quarterback, receiver and now running back Dakereon Joynter was the leading rusher for the Black team.

Rattler, Wells Jr, and Knox all look ready for a big season and will be valuable weapons for the Carolina offense.

“That was my first touchdown out there,” Wells said. “It was definitely a good feeling. I never had a receiving touchdown out there. It was fun. I am definitely loving the atmosphere, especially the fans. I wasn’t expecting that many fans. It just feels good. I am happy to be here.”

“We are very deep, and we have a lot of guys that can play,” Knox added. “This guy right here (points at Joshua Simon) also. Very, very good and very talented guy.

“We can just plug and play guys. We have a lot of talent. Spencer (Rattler), he is a great quarterback. He is very smart, strong arm. He is very intentional. He knows what he is doing. He knows who to look at, what to read, where to place the ball, what shoulder. If I am coming out of a stick route, what shoulder to put it on so I can avoid the defender. He thinks about all of those things. He is very cerebral. You just love playing with guys like that who are on the same page as you are. It makes the game fun.”

Sellers, a true freshman early enrollee, sparked the Garnet team with his athleticism as he rushed for 32 yards on eight carries, and he completed 3-of-8 passes for 66 yards. He also showed great poise playing in front of the large crowd.

The spring game capped off big weekend at South Carolina with many 5-star recruits on campus. There was live music, food, a 5K run and many other activities for fans that attended.

The following Spring awards were awarded during a halftime ceremony:


Joe Morrison Offensive Player of the Spring: Spencer Rattler
Rex Enright Defensive Player of the Spring: T.J. Sanders
Jim Carlen Special Teams Players of the Spring: DQ Smith and Juju McDowell
President’s Outstanding Student-Athletes Award: Tyreek Johnson and Kai Kroeger


Harold White GPA Award
Offense: Colten Gauthier
Defense: Joseph Byrnes
Special Teams: William Joyce

Most Improved Award
Offense: Dakereon Joyner and O’Mega Blake
Defense: O’Donnell Fortune
Special Teams: Bradley Dunn

Gamecock Toughness Award
Offense: Nick Gargiulo and Josh Simon
Defense: Tyreek Johnson

South Carolina Spirit Award
Offense: Juju McDowell
Defense: Alex Huntley and T.J. Sanders


Coach’s Spring Game Report