With almost two weeks before South Carolina next takes the field, center Cody Waldrop could make his return to the lineup after missing two games with a foot injury.
The question I’ve gotten most the last two days is: So what happens to Clayton Stadnik then? After a lot of hand-wringing about how the No. 12 Gamecocks would be able to get along without Waldrop, suddenly a lot of folks are Stadnik fans. And rightly so.
The redshirt freshman, whose twin brother Brock was the more highly regarded recruit, was named the SEC’s offensive lineman of the week for his performance against Vanderbilt. The last time offensive line coach Shawn Elliott was available to the media (which was Wednesday) he said the plan remained to get Waldrop back in the lineup as soon as possible, and I imagine that remains the plan. Waldrop has been groomed for the starting job since T.J. Johnson left campus, and played well against North Carolina.
So then, what does happen to Stadnik? The answer right now is probably that he goes back to the bench and South Carolina feels very comfortable about its depth at center. The long term answer may be different, though. Waldrop also is a redshirt freshman, meaning Stadnik may be moving to guard in coming years. Right now, the Gamecocks are set with Ronald Patrick and A.J. Cann at guard, and Stadnik won’t be replacing either one of those stalwarts.
For now, if this is a problem, it’s a good problem, but it gives you an idea of the kind of roster management issues that are always going on behind the scenes in a football program.
Around the SEC:
In Tennessee, Rock Hill native Justin Worley, a junior, has indeed lost his grip on the Volunteers starting quarterback job. He may get it back, but coach Butch Jones says freshmen Nathan Peterman, Riley Ferguson and Joshua Dobbs will get a shot at this week. The Vols better figure it out quickly because Florida awaits on Saturday.
Gamecocks fans who are waiting on Georgia to lose a couple SEC games this season and let South Carolina back in the SEC East race have an ally in the Bulldogs defense, which stinks right now. Georgia thinks it can get better, but for now the Bulldogs are 13th in the conference in yards allowed (460.5 per game) and points allowed (34 per game).
And, finally, you have to watch this Johnny Manziel tribute song: