But how he played the former four-star prospect said a lot.
After a missed block in the first half, Wonnum went in for Blake Camper at right tackle. By game’s end, he’d played about half the snaps, and there didn’t seem to be a highly noticeable drop-off.
“He’s been improving and getting better and deserves the opportunity,” Muschamp said.
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USC came into the season relatively confident in its starting offensive line. The group overall hasn’t been dominant, but has been solid enough, and many of the struggles in the running game were put at the feet of the backs by Muschamp (outside the Missouri game).
The staff didn’t know much about its second group, outside senior Malik Young. Reserve guard Jovaughn Gwyn was lost for the year with an injury. Wonnum had not played since garbage time in the opener, but he was being played like more of a factor against the Aggies.
Wonnum came to Columbia as the No. 148-ranked recruit in the country. The mobile 6-foot-5, 323-pound lineman played for a powerhouse in Georgia and followed his brother D.J. Wonnum to the Gamecocks.
Like most young linemen, there were expectations he’d take it slow. Muschamp promised to play him in the opener, a blowout of a Sun Belt team, but after not playing in four games, it appeared a redshirt might be in the cards with the new four-game rule.
After South Carolina’s last game, that looks less likely, with a larger role for the first-year lineman perhaps being more realistic.
“He’s earned the right,” Muschamp said.