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With all eyes on Rattler, the Gamecocks begin preseason practice

With some high profile additions, South Carolina is looking to improve upon last season's seven-win campaign in Shane Beamer's rookie season as head coach.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Going on his eighth month in Columbia, Spencer Rattler has settled into his role as one of the leaders on the South Carolina football team.

The Gamecocks kicked of preseason drills Friday morning with Rattler taking charge in the huddle and in drills, setting the tone for the long process that is preseason camp.

But the high profile quarterback was not the only former Oklahoma Sooner on the practice fields as tight end Austin Stogner took part in his first official practice at Carolina. Stogner spent the spring working out back home in Texas while taking online courses.

Carolina is coming off a season where he rookie head coach led the team to a seven-win season capped off by a win over North Carolina in the Duke's Mayo Bowl in Charlotte. But there was no Rattler bump as far as the preseason polls are concerned as the Gamecocks were picked to finish fifth in the SEC Eastern Division, that according to the SEC media poll. Also, there were no Gamecock players who were named to the Preseason All=SEC First Team. So while the seven wins may have surpassed expectations for Shane Beamer's first team, it is obvious there are still plenty of doubters who still need a little more evidence that Carolina is ready to be a factor in the SEC. 

But the first day of preseason is the first step in the process of surpassing those expectations.

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