With kickoff just over two weeks away, let’s take a look at how the Gamecocks could be lining up this season.
It is important to note that these are not predictions for week one, rather for a little later in the season once things have started to play out and guys have settled in a little bit.
QB1, Ryan Hilinski QB2, Collin Hill QB3, Luke Doty
If these were predictions for week one, Collin Hill would be the pick.
However, Hilinski is the superior talent of the two and he gets more comfortable with the playbook and terminology every day.
Whether it be because Hill isn’t stepping up in his first season against Power 5 competition or Hilinski showing that he has more to bring to the table, Hilinski should take over the QB1 role at some point.
Luke Doty is going to be a very good quarterback for the Gamecocks one day, but for the time being he is getting reps at receiver and has been called the fastest player on the team by coaches.
RB1, Deshaun Fenwick RB2, ZaQuandre White RB3, Kevin Harris
A lot of unknowns in the running back room from top to bottom this season, but potential is there to end up with multiple productive players.
In what should at least start the year as a committee approach, Fenwick has the most versatile skill set to become a three-down starter.
With that said, Zaquandre White is talented enough to carve out a role and Kevin Harris should be the go-to guy in short yardage situations.
In any case there will be a lot of carries to go around and expect to see all three of them getting their share early on.
WR1, Shi Smith, Jalen Brooks, Xavier Legette
WR2, Josh Vann, Rico Powers, Dakereon Joyner
The receivers have been somewhat overlooked by most of the Gamecock fanbase.
Many believe this is the weakest position group on the team, and if that is true, then the 2020 season could be a surprising one for South Carolina. Jalen Brooks hit the ground running in camp, and if his waiver is cleared by the NCAA, then he will be one of the top receivers for this team in 2020.
Shi Smith returns as the seasoned vet, and hopes to find more consistency in his senior season. Beyond that, Josh Vann, Xavier Legette, Dakereon Joyner, and a pair of four-star true freshman provide very solid depth.
TE1, Nick Muse TE2, KeShawn Toney TE3, Will Register
It seems to be well known that tight ends are going to be very prominent in new OC Mike Bobo’s system.
We should expect plenty of 12 personnel (two tight ends) and they will be heavily involved in both the run game and the pass game. Senior Nick Muse should be the leader of this group.
Redshirt freshman KeShawn Toney has impressed coaches with his athleticism and should find his way onto the field a good amount this year.
The depth at this position is young but talented.
Traevon Kenion and Keveon Mullins are a pair of redshirt freshmen who were both blue chip recruits. Also, incoming freshman Eric Shaw is a player that the coaches are very excited about for the future.
OL1 (left to right), Jazston Turnetine; Sadarious Hutcherson; Eric Douglas; Jovaughn Gwyn; Dylan Wonnum
OL2 (left to right), Jakai Moore; Vincent Murphy; Hank Manos; Jordan Rhodes; Jaylen Nichols
Eric Wolford deserves a lot of credit for how solid his offensive line groups have been the past couple years and this year should be another good group.
JUCO transfer Jazston Turnetine is off to a hot start so far and looks to have a starting role at left tackle. Stud guard Sadarious Hutcherson returns after flirting with the NFL Draft and will be an anchor for the group.
Eric Douglas has outperformed Hank Manos thus far and seems to have earned the job at center.
The right side of the line has continuity and experience with Gwyn and Wonnum returning, and the backups at those positions also have games with starting experience.
This group is deep, versatile and somewhat interchangeable since many of the lineman have experience at multiple positions.