Looking back, Mike Peterson didn’t get enough quality time to work with Jordan Burch during his freshman season with South Carolina football.
Because of his class structure at Hammond School, Burch wasn’t able to enroll at USC until June. Then with COVID-19 protocols in place, the practices and workouts weren’t like they would be in a normal year.
Now, with things getting back to normal and Burch going through his first spring practice season, the Gamecocks’ outside linebackers/defensive ends coach is getting more time for development and likes what he has witnessed so far from the former five-star recruit.
The Gamecocks have a week of spring practice left before the spring game on April 24.
“Freshman season, he was a freshman. I hate it that we didn’t have a chance to go over a full spring. Really didn’t get a chance to get my hands on him and coach him up a little bit,” Peterson said Friday. “Everything he was doing over the summer was me going really, really fast with him.
“He has made really, really big strides this spring as far as a player. I think you are going to get a glimpse of that this season. I’m excited about him and still got a long ways to go. But the work is in progress and I am thrilled to coach him.”
Burch was the highest-ranked prospect to sign with the South Carolina since Jadeveon Clowney a decade ago. He appeared in eight of the Gamecocks’ 10 games last season and finished with 19 tackles.
So far this spring, Burch has been working with the second-team in practices open to the media. He has occupied one of the spots in the 4-2-5- system with Rodricus Fitten the other. Seniors Aaron Sterling and J.J. Enagbare will likely start the season at the two edge spots.
In addition to Peterson’s teaching, Burch has been leaning on guys like Sterling and Enagbare to help with his development, especially in the little nuances of the game.
“I hold the old guys to a very, very high standard. So when Burch isn’t 10 minutes early to the meeting, I look at JJ — Why are you on time and he is not on time?” Peterson said. “The same thing DJ Wonnum did for Sterling and JJ, it is their turn to do it for the Tonka Hemingways and all the younger guys.”