South Carolina starts its first practice under Will Muschamp on March 15. The State will take the 15 days of the month leading up to that to look at 15 “keys” for the Gamecocks as they prepare for Muschamp’s first season. This is No. 11.
They came to South Carolina with lots of promise and plenty of potential, but time is starting to run out for some of the Gamecocks who entered school as top recruits.
Linebackers Larenz Bryant and Darius English, safety Chaz Elder, defensive linemen Marquavius Lewis, Kelsey Griffin and Abu Lamin and offensive lineman D.J. Park entered USC as at least four-star recruits and have yet to have four-star impacts. Bryant, English, Griffin, Elder, Lewis and Lamin are entering their final year of eligibility, meaning this spring is crucial.
Lewis, a five-star JUCO prospect who was rated the No. 1 junior college player in the country last year, had a good year first season at USC (three sacks, 4.5 tackles-for-loss), but he’ll be expected to do more this year. Lamin was a four-star recruit who spurned Alabama for the Gamecocks but has only 13 tackles in two seasons.
Bryant and Griffin were the highest-regarded members of the 2013 signing class. Bryant was rated a five-star prospect by PrepStar and is hyper-athletic but has only started one game in his career. Griffin has no starts under his belt, with 34 tackles in three seasons.
Elder was a four-star prospect who made his commitment at the Under Armour All-America game but only played in two games last year. Park, a former four-star prospect who is a redshirt sophomore, must hold off a talented group of true sophomore offensive linemen this spring.