USC’s OrTre Smith will undergo surgery, miss season
South Carolina football got bad news about promising wide receiver OrTre Smith.
After Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp revealed that Smith has been battling a genetic issue that affects his knee, the team announced Tuesday that Smith will have surgery next week and miss the remainder of the season. He will be able to redshirt this season because he has played only two games.
“It is very, very painful and something he has been dealing with over a long period of time,” Muschamp said Tuesday. “Certainly, it’s really affected him this training camp. He’s had a hard time with it. We’ve exhausted about every measure we could medically to alleviate the pain, days off and different things, and I’m really frustrated for him.”
Smith, a sophomore whose kneecap regularly moves out of its joint, is expected to be back in time for spring practice. He caught three passes for 25 yards in the team’s first two games, but could not play against Vanderbilt.
Smith came to Columbia as a four-star recruit in 2017 and the No. 1 player in South Carolina. He tore his ACL as a high school senior, but ended up starting 10 games as a freshman after Deebo Samuel was lost for the season.
“I know he’s been extremely frustrated this fall not playing at his full-go potential,” Muschamp said. “We’ll have the surgery that will end his season for this year, He should be back for spring ball.”
He had 30 catches for 326 yards and three touchdowns last year. This year he’d been a No. 3 outside option behind Samuel and Bryan Edwards. The Gamecocks have Chavis Dawkins and perhaps Josh Vann behind them now (Chad Terrell might return from his ACL injury as well).
Senior wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who missed 10 games last year because of a broken leg, said he will tell Smith, “Just don’t let this get you down, you have to attack rehab like you attack practice.”
“I really haven’t had the chance to talk to him about it, but when I get the chance, I am going to talk to him and make sure I keep his head up,” Samuel said.
In other injury news, tight end K.C. Crosby had surgery to repair a broken finger but is expected to play against Kentucky on Saturday. Wide receiver Chad Terrell (knee) practiced Tuesday for the first time this season but has not been cleared for contact.