• Will Kronsberg

Hardesty and Limbo speak on running backs and special teams ahead of spring game

Just nine days until the annual Garnet and Black Spring Game at Williams-Brice Stadium, South Carolina football running backs coach Montario Hardesty and associate head coach/special teams coordinator Pete Lembo spoke to the media Thursday about the team’s progress.


Hardesty, who has NFL experience as a player with the Cleveland Browns, opened up the day speaking about what he wants to see from the duo dubbed “Thunder and Lightning” and the running back rotation.


“I like guys that have a different skill set but also multiple personalities," said Hardesty of a group that includes not only MarShawn Lloyd and Kevin Harris but returning contributors ZaQuandre White and Rashad Amos.


As far as the new offense led by Marcus Satterfield, Hardesty called it extremely multiple in what they can do as far as personnel, formations and motion, depending on what the opposing defense presents.


"I'm really enjoying seeing how the guys are picking it up and how we have an answer for everything,” said Hardesty.


One of Shane Beamer’s first hires, Pete Lembo, then took to the podium and emphasized building a cohesive unit heading into their first SEC season, including using consistent terminology in the meeting rooms and implementing the same weight-lifting program for everyone from the punters to the offensive linemen, and it all starts on special teams.


“The culture we build will be reflected with our play on special teams,” said Lembo.


As far as returning specialists, Lembo praised the experience of redshirt senior kicker Parker White and sophomore punter Kai Kroeger, but said they can really benefit from a dedicated position coach.


"The good news is they're getting a lot more attention. The bad news is they're getting a lot more attention," joked Lembo.


Both coaches finished with a little glimpse into their recruiting process and how the transition in staffs combined with the effects of COVID-19 are influencing what has become the lifeblood of major college sports.


Lembo spoke highly of head coach Shane Beamer’s efforts, “It's been so impressive to see how hard he has personally been working at recruiting.”


On the other hand, Hardesty ended his session with a call to high school players: “Hey recruits, come home to Carolina."


Gamecock fans can get an early peak at the new-look team during the spring game on April 24, 2021, at 2 p.m. before the team reconvenes in the summer to begin preparation for their opener against Eastern Illinois in September.

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