No SEC program will have a spring game before the Gamecocks take the field for the Garnet & Black game on March 31. That date is a week before Ole Miss, Arkansas, and Auburn all have their spring games the following weekend.

Will Muschamp was asked about his thoughts on South Carolina’s early spring game Tuesday during his media availability. Before pointing to the advantages Muschamp sees in having an early spring game, he acknowledged there would be one challenge on his mind.

“The biggest challenge is to really be able to watch your film and digest your film from the season because we send a lot of time working on what we did and what we need to do to improve,” Muschamp said. “Obviously, having a change on the offensive side of the ball (to offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon) we spent some weekends up here and some late nights up here trying to get things done to get ready for spring.

While admitting some extra film prep would have been nice, Muschamp considers the date a huge positive for South Carolina in the two aspects of his program he cares the most about.

“The two most important things to me, as far as our team is concerned, is our team and their health and recruiting,” Muschamp continued. “When you are able to have a spring game as early as, there’s no other SEC teams having a spring game on March 31st, so I’m not competing with anyone to get a young man on campus on March 31st.

“When it comes to our team and their health, we have a spring game March 31st, if there is an injury, I’ve got another month for a young man to get back for the fall. That’s a whole nother month to get ready. Instead of having (an injury) on April 21st and you have to have a wait a week to have surgery and now you’re drifting into May. So the two most important things to me — our team and recruiting — that’s going to help us as much as anything.”

Those are two great points. Expect the Gamecocks to get the first crack at hosting the majority of the elite prospects on their recruiting board come March 31, thanks to a lack of competition from fellow SEC schools. With the extra recovery time, South Carolina’s roster very well could be the healthiest unit heading into fall camp of any program in the conference. Muschamp will likely exchange an early spring game for those two factors every year the SEC is willing to give it to him.