How talented is South Carolina’s football team?
That’s become the most asked question of the 2015 football season thanks to the Gamecocks’ 1-2 start. It’s hard to give a definitive answer, but there are several ways to look at it. Here’s one: 247Sports ranks the Gamecocks No. 22 in the country in what it calls “Team Talent Composite.” The measure is based on how each player on the team was ranked at the time of their enrollment.
That ranking takes into account more than 80 players, though. So we thought we’d look at just the 22 expected to start Saturday against UCF. That group features 17 three-star players and five four-star players, giving the lineup an average of 3.23 out of five stars.
Three of the five four-star players are first year players – freshman quarterback Lorenzo Nunez, freshman center Zack Bailey and junior college transfer defensive end Marquavius Lewis.
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Of the 29 players who were the most highly ranked by 247Sports entering school, only four are expected to start against the Knights – Nunez, Bailey, Lewis and left tackle Brandon Shell.
“We have a lot of players who have practiced very well and all of a sudden, they’re in the ball game and don’t quite play as well as they’ve practiced,” head coach Steve Spurrier said. “Some guys can maybe play the game better than they’ve practiced.”
USC starter rankings
WR DJ Neal, Stone Mountain, Ga., 3 Stars
WR Pharoh Cooper, Havelock, N.C. 3 Stars
WR Terry Googer, Atlanta, Ga. 3 Stars
LT Brandon Shell, Goose Creek 4 Stars
LG Mike Matulis, Boynton Beach, Fla. 3 Stars
C Zack Bailey, Summerville, S.C. 4 Stars
RG Will Sport, Milton, Fla. 3 Stars
RT Mason Zandi, Chapin 3 Stars
TE Jerell Adams, Pinewood 4 Stars
QB Lorenzo Nunez, Kennesaw, Ga. 4 Stars
RB Shon Carson, Scranton 3 Stars
DE David Johnson, Lithonia, Ga. 3 Stars
DT Taylor Stallworth, Mobile, Ala. 3 Stars
DT Gerald Dixon Jr., Rock Hill 3 Stars
DE Marquavius Lewis, Greenwood 4 Stars
LB Skai Moore, Cooper City, Fla. 3 Stars
LB T.J. Holloman, Stone Mountain, Ga. 3 Stars
NB T.J. Gurley, Cairo, Ga. 3 Stars
CB Rico McWilliams, Hampton, Ga. 3 Stars
S Isaiah Johnson, Cary, N.C. 3 Stars
S Jordan Diggs, Fort Myers, Fla. 3 Stars
CB Al Harris, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 3 Stars