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Calling 'ball plays' a group effort for Gamecocks

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said during the SEC media days that the Gamecocks hadn't really formalized who would be the primary play-caller on offense this season.

The Head Ball Coach's son, Steve Spurrier Jr., took over a lot of the play calling last season and will be involved again this season. But look for running game coordinator and offensive line coach Eric Wolford to also take a pretty active role in calling plays after making the move from Illinois.

Spurrier likes what Wolford has to offer in the running game, and the Gamecocks have no choice but to get better. They were last in the SEC a year ago in rushing offense (and 112th nationally). They were the only team in the SEC to average fewer than 100 yards a game on the ground.

At the end of the day, as Spurrier has repeatedly pointed out, he will be "in charge" of the play calling.

But it's clear he's doing a lot more delegating in that area than he used to.

Quarterback Stephen Garcia said Tuesday that as many as four of the South Carolina coaches will have a hand in calling players. In addition to Spurrier, Spurrier Jr. and Wolford, you can also throw quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus into that mix. Mangus was the offensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee for the past three seasons.

"I think it's going to be a lot better for us having a bunch of experienced coaches seeing the field," Garcia said.

As for Garcia's maturation into a leader, Mangus likes what he's seen over the summer. Now it's time to take that next step.

"I think he is slowly but surely earning some respect," Mangus said. "He has to earn the respect of all of his teammates."