South Carolina football: Colten Gauthier, Jason Brown battle for QB opening

South Carolina Football helmet. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina Football helmet. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports /

The Gamecocks just can’t catch a break. Last year, highly touted rusher MarShawn Lloyd went down with a non-contact preseason ACL tear that cost him his freshman campaign. Now, fast forward to this Fall, starting quarterback Luke Doty has gone down with foot injury that has his status uncertain just two weeks away from the South Carolina football opener.

In practice Saturday, a teammate accidentally stepped on Doty’s foot, reportedly causing a sprain. Coach Beamer has come out and said he believes it will not be season-ending, and he’s still hopeful that Doty can be ready to roll by game one. Still, with that uncertainty, the battle at the quarterback position has never been more of a focus.

Incoming players Colten Gauthier and Jason Brown will battle it out for that reserve role, and possibly a start in the Gamecocks’ season opener. Brown came to the South Carolina program following a stint at St. Francis University, where he set school records for passing yards and touchdowns. He received All-American recognition his last time on the field.

Gauthier was a four-star talent according to Rivals, and he enters his true freshman season. The signal caller chose South Carolina over offers from Arkansas, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia, among others. He and Brown will rotate over the next few weeks with the first-team offense as the coaching staff looks to identify the player that gives the Gamecocks the best chance to win.

Most believe that Brown’s experience may give him the nod, but coach Beamer is pumping the breaks at the moment.

"“We’re nowhere near that point (of naming a starter). (Jason) got reps, but Colton and Connor (Jordan) got a bunch of reps today and did a lot of really good things.”"

Updating South Carolina football’s QB situation

Beamer updated the status of both of the players moving forward, saying that each has earned the right to compete for the starting role, and that neither Brown nor Gauthier are throwing in the towel.

Beamer began by praising Brown for getting into better shape following a season away from football. St. Francis canceled their football season amid COVID last year, but he’s worked hard over the Summer to get back to being game ready.

"“His body looks different. He got himself out of trouble today in scramble situations… He makes plays when he’s in there… He just needs to get more experience in this offense with what we’re doing.”"

That’s welcomed news to Gamecock fans who’ve yet to really see Brown on the field. But Gauthier has caught the attention of his new staff, too, he just needs to get through some first year adjustments.

"“He’s got really good arm talent. The game is really fast… We’re trying to get the game to slow down.”"

The freshman has done well enough to this point to get a shot in the race, we’ll see over the coming days if he’s able to step up and beat out the senior, Brown.

As far as where things stand with Doty, Beamer was happy that the injury was not as severe as originally believed. What he wasn’t ecstatic about, though, was the ‘doom and gloom’ that seemed to take hold when the news first broke about his quarterback situation. Beamer, rather than sulk, was optimistic, re-affirming the confidence he has in his team, no matter who’s under center.

The Gamecocks will gear up for the season opener on September 4th versus Eastern Illinois. Between now and then, we should get our answer to who’s starting game one.

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