South Carolina’s football team had a few players who had to wait their turn last season.
After sitting out, getting stronger and developing, these Gamecocks redshirts have a chance to step into new roles (or back into old ones for one older player).
Skai Moore, linebacker
The fifth-year senior has more All-SEC nods as the rest of the roster put together, but he also hasn’t played a down since 2015 and went through serious surgery. That said, Moore’s journey back will be worth keeping an eye on because when he’s right, he makes a ton of tackles and is one of the better coverage linebackers you’ll find.
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Sadarius Hutcherson, offensive lineman
The second-year lineman was listed at 230 pounds on his National Signing Day, with the potential to land at tight end or defensive end if offensive line didn’t happen. He added 44 pounds before arriving on campus, and came along so well, defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth said he could be a starter as early as this year (it helps USC’s tackle spots are unsettled).
Stephon Taylor, defensive tackle
The run defense was an issue much of last season, and Taylor could provide some bulk on that front. The 6-foot-4, 293-pound tackle from Louisiana was a four-star prospect with offers from Alabama, Florida State, Texas and Oklahoma. If that talent can translate, he could carve out playing time.
Alexander Woznick, kicker
Yes, he’s a kicker, but the Gamecocks are turning over both the kicker and punter spots, and outgoing placekicker Elliott Fry tagged Woznick as an heir apparent. The full field isn’t yet clear, as there are only three listed kickers or punter on the roster, but there’s a chance he can build an early lead for the job.
Aaron Thompson, defensive lineman
Another possible source of help for South Carolina’s inconsistent defensive front, Thompson held offers from several top schools and was committed to former Will Muschamp protege D.J. Durkin at Maryland. Where he fits is unclear, as his listed weight of 271 pounds could land him inside or at the team’s thicker defensive end spot.
Bonus non-traditional redshirt: Ty’Son Williams
The former North Carolina running back sat out last season as a walk-on because of transfer rules. That didn’t stop teammates from raving about the Crestwood product’s speed and ability as a scout teamer or predicting big things for him. Unless Rico Dowdle’s development stalls for some reason, he’s likely a feature back, but at worst, Williams has the credentials to make a strong run at the No. 2 spot.