Video: Shane Beamer News Conference 03/02/23

Tonka Hemingway is among Gamecocks who’ll miss or be limited for spring practice

South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer told reporters that defensive lineman Tonka Hemingway and offensive lineman Cason Henry likely won’t be available for spring practice due to minor surgeries. The purpose of those procedures was to “clean up some things” from the end of the 2022 season to be fully healthy for this year. Hemingway totaled 33 tackles and four sacks last season. He made a few highlight plays on special teams, catching a fake field goal against Vanderbilt and taking a direct snap for a two-point conversion against S.C. State.

Henry played in two games as a true freshman for South Carolina in 2022. Jordan Strachan and Mo Kaba will be “limited” as they recover from their season-ending injuries. Both players tore an ACL in Week 2 against Arkansas last season. Beamer said their rehab had gone well so far, and they can move around with what they’ve been allowed to do.

David Spaulding, who missed the end of last season due to a foot injury, will be “more likely” to participate in spring practice activities, according to Beamer. He hopes for him to become more involved in the second half of spring practice. “Other than that, knock on wood, we’re in great shape from a health standpoint,” Beamer said. “Off-season’s been good, pleased with the progress we’ve made and excited to finish up everything in the weight room this week. And then, get into phase two for us, which is spring practice.” Spring football practice begins on March 14. The Gamecocks’ annual Garnet & Black Spring Football Game is 7 p.m. on April 15.

All three players who were suspended last month Monteque Rhames, Anthony Rose, and Cameron Upshaw are still not with the team and Beamer does not believe they’ll be with the team “in the near future.” The three players were suspended on Feb. 3 and later removed from the team’s official online roster. At the time, Beamer issued a statement that said: “Our student-athletes know what is expected of them. They know that both the University and the football program will hold them accountable for their actions and decisions.” USC didn’t provide details as to why those players were suspended, but Richland County jail records showed that Rhames had been arrested on charges of “carrying weapons on school property” and obstructing justice.