SPARTANBURG, S.C. (CHARLOTTE SPORTS LIVE) – What a difference a year makes.

While training camp can be grueling, it’s also a great time for teams to bond heading into the season — especially if they leave home base like the Panthers.

For some members of the Black and Blue, the last two seasons with two different staff is all they know. Early on in camp, there’s already a noticeable change in the vibe around Wofford.

“Yeah, I think so. Guys are out here competing a lot,” said Ickey Ekwonu. “Obviously, there’s a lot of competition at a lot of positions, but we’re out here having fun too. I feel like we’re enjoying each other and building that chemistry more and more.”

Camp is always hard on the bodies of players, and it’s imperative the Panthers make it out of Spartanburg as healthy as possible. The team also wants to make sure it’s well-equipped to handle all kinds of situations they’ll see on Sundays.

“I’m not even going to talk about the other staff, but this staff they just know how to take care of players a little bit,” said Shaq Thompson. “You see how practice is; we come out here, get our work in, and get off the field. We try to beat the heat and come in and work. We’ll start to do situational stuff. He’ll bring in that because it’s all about situational football. Two minutes happens, four minutes happens, and it brings a lot of knowledge into us. We make sure everybody knows what to do and how to handle situations. Nobody folds under pressure, and that’s what they’re doing out here for us.”

We’ve talked all offseason about the key additions to this squad. One of those in receiver, DJ Chark, is already making his presence known, and he feels right at home in the Carolinas.

“As far as chemistry and things like that, I feel great,” Chark said. “I’m from the south, so being back in the South is refreshing. I’m used to the heat and mosquitoes that’s all around. It’s what I know.”

Safe to say the vibes and the heat here in Spartanburg are rather immaculate.