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Tavien Feaster runs well, but he can also catch ‘like a receiver,’ Muschamp says

Greg Hadley

Tavien Feaster’s time at South Carolina has been slow to start — first the grad transfer didn’t announce his commitment until just before fall camp. Then he had to actually graduate from Clemson. Then he had an infected tooth that kept him out of contract drills.

But on Saturday, he got in on his first live action with the Gamecocks in the team’s final scrimmage before the season opener on Aug. 31. And he left an impression on coach Will Muschamp.

“Caught the ball well, ran the ball well, had a nice, really nice cut on a touchdown on an inside zone,” Muschamp said, summing up Feaster’s performance. “So it was good. I thought he looked good.”

In a USC running backs room that has a pair of seniors in Rico Dowdle and Mon Denson, as well as a potential impact freshman in Kevin Harris, Feaster has a skill that sets him apart, Muschamp said.

“He catches the ball extremely well. I mean, he’s like a receiver running routes as far as those things,” Muschamp said after Saturday’s scrimmage. “He’s got really good ball skills. But again, I thought he made a couple really nice cuts on some runs today, the first live contact he’s had since he’s been here, so I thought he ran the ball really well.”

Over his last two seasons at Clemson, Feaster caught 23 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown. He’s known to feature top-end speed and could be a threat out of the backfield like Dowdle, who has 40 catches for 316 yards and three touchdowns in his receiving career.

Overall, Muschamp gave no indication of who the lead back will be for the Gamecocks against North Carolina. But he did say he has been pleased with the job the offensive line has done blocking ahead of the team’s running backs.

“I thought we had some creases in the run game. We did so much situational work (in the scrimmage), so it wasn’t as much just moving the ball. So it’s kind of hard in some situations to look, but again, I think we’ve done a nice job in the run game throughout training camp, blocking a pretty good front,” Muschamp said.