Special Teams Coleman Hutzler With (VIDEO)
August 08, 2019
Coleman Hutzler Media Availability — 8/8/19
Who will replace Deebo Samuel. The Gamecocks are also looking for a kick returner. And when it comes to that spot, special teams coordinator Coleman Hutzler is still weighing his options.
“A.J. Turner’s comes to mind, he is a guy, along with the likes of Shi Smith, Josh Vann, Rico Dowdle, Bryan Edwards, those guys are all competing,” for the job, Hutzler said Thursday. “And you know, A.J. has obviously been back there as an off returner for Deebo, but now he gets a chance to go back there and be the guy as well. So we haven’t named a guy yet, but we’re excited.” For what it’s worth, Turner sees himself as the front-runner, thanks to his time back there with Samuel last year.
“I think (I’m the kick returner),” Turner said at media day. “I haven’t been told necessarily, but I would assume so since I’ve done some in the past.”
If the senior is right and he does earn the job, it’ll be yet another role in his expansive resume — Turner spent his first three seasons at running back, contributing as a gunner and at other spots on special teams, and he switched over to defensive back for last season’s bowl game. He’s continued to train at all those spots this training camp, and coach Will Muschamp has said he’ll likely contribute in all phases during the season.
“I definitely take pride in that. I mean, like I keep telling people, just having the opportunity to do it and Muschamp actually letting me do that is crazy, but I mean it’s great for me,” Turner said. “So I just gotta take advantage of this opportunity.”
Keeping straight how often Turner works at one spot over another is an adventure unto itself, one that Hutzler said is above his pay grade.
“I just balance his kick return reps. I got nothing to do with that other stuff, that’s on (coordinators Travaris Robinson and Bryan McClendon) and coach Muschamp,” Hutzler said. “But A.J.’s a war daddy, man. He’s a guy that’s that’s been a great player for us on offense, played defense last year and obviously for us on special teams.”
Doing all of that in one game will add up to a lot of snaps. But more work is something Turner is looking forward to, not shying away from. “Say it was 100 plays (per game). Out of those 100 plays, I’ll probably be playing around like 70, 65,” Turner said.And it’s not as though he’s strategically resting in drills this camp to preserve his energy.“Hundred miles an hour (every drill), man, that’s why we love him,” Hutzler said.
Turner has some advice for what it takes to be an effective returner. “Catch the ball, see the hole, hit the hole, no dancing,” Turner said. “That’s how you get laid out.”