The Gamecocks worked in helmets and shorts on Friday evening as Clark was able to mix all of his signees with the returning players.
“It was exciting,” Clark said following the two-plus hour workout. “Anytime you get out there for the first time, there is a lot of energy and enthusiasm. I felt like our guys really came back in great shape and that was something that we really stressed.
“We wanted to get bigger, faster and stronger in the off-season. We saw that and we practice at a pretty high rate of speed, so to see them handle that and do it with a lot of effort and enthusiasm is great to see,” added Clark.
Clark, a 1990 graduate of JSU and the 13th head coach in the modern era of Gamecock football, was hired to lead the program on Dec. 18 said that he was very pleased with the first day of practice.
“You are just getting acclimated to helmets,” Clark said of the first workout of the preseason. “Now, you are also trying to install as much of your offense, defense and special teams you can, and there is a system to doing that. But, just being back out there as a unit is the biggest thing when you start.”
Clark and his staff inherited a program that has had 10-straight winning seasons but won just one conference title since 2004. The Gamecocks are picked fourth in the preseason OVC polls with new systems to be installed on both sides of the ball before the Gamecocks open the season on August 31 at Alabama State.