South Carolina Football: The Gamecocks are hiring a running backs coach

According to reports, South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer has his man at the running backs coach spot.
South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer
South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer has overseen a few changes to his coaching staff this offseason.

Coming off a 5-7 campaign in which the Gamecocks put out their worst-ever rushing output (per game), Beamer fired running backs coach Montario Hardesty. Then, reports surfaced all around the same time about additional moves.

Long-time SEC assistant James Coley was joining the staff in an unspecified role and tight ends coach Jody Wright was heading to Murray State for his first head coaching gig. Then, reports came out stating that Coley would be coaching wide receivers, and former wide receivers coach Justin Stepp would be moving to a new position or to a new program.

That left the Gamecocks with a vacancy at running backs coach and tight ends coach, and Justin Stepp may or may not stay with the program. At least one of those issues was resolved on Friday.

According to a new report from 247Sports' Matt Zenitz, Beamer has found his new running backs coach. Marquel Blackwell, who spent the past two seasons coaching running backs at Ole Miss (2022) and Texas A&M (2023), is on his way to Columbia to take the same position within the South Carolina football program.

Blackwell, after a short stint in the NFL as a quarterback with the New York Jets and several other professional teams in multiple leagues, has coached for over 15 years. He had stops at Florida, West Virginia, Houston, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M.

Blackwell coached star running back Quinshon Judkins during his breakout 2022 season. He also signed a 4-star running back during his one season in Oxford.

A&M hired him away from Ole Miss with a bigger contract, and he had signed a new deal with the Aggies in November before new head coach Mike Elko decided to hire Trooper Taylor for the same position.

Blackwell spent the 2023 season coaching alongside fellow Gamecock assistant James Coley with A&M. If Justin Stepp stays with the program and coaches tight ends, Beamer and the Gamecocks might have their 2024 South Carolina football coaching staff finalized.

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