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  R.J. Roderick couldn't stop worrying about the future. He worried about his falling grades, about COVID-19 and the nagging hip pointer injury that made it painful for him to play. Then South Carolina fired football coach Will Muschamp - the coach who had recruited him - and Roderick decided to step away from the game altogether. The Gamecock safety from Summerville opted out last November, midway through his junior season, and turned his attention toward himself. The NCAA and schools allowed such a move during the pandemic while preserving his scholarship and eligibility. Months later, Roderick is back in garnet and black, rejoining the team for spring practice under a new coaching regime. On Monday, Roderick spoke to reporters for the first time since he opted out, explaining what it was like to spend those months away from football.

"It was hard, just dealing with it, just still watching my boys play, watching football period," Roderick said. "But I just spent that time committing myself to working harder, bringing my grades up, making sure that I stay eligible, making sure that my grades are good, to make my mom proud. So I just focused on making myself better in different areas, as well, just to kind of take my head off of it. "I mean, it's depressing just to not be able to play football. So I'm appreciative that I'm here and that spring has started and just loving everything." - Rock Hill Herald

(DS#16 SS) Sr/2022 SS R.J. RoderickSouth Carolina
News Source: Rock Hill Herald



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