Newcomers will play a big role in USC secondary
Nick Harvey’s time with South Carolina football started out with such promise.
The former top recruit said goodbye to Texas A&M, joined the Gamecocks as a graduate transfer, ready to shore up a thin secondary. In the end, his USC career lasted less than four games, and he’ll finish his career at North Texas.
Harvey, who announced his transfer in January, tweeted Monday he’ll join the Mean Green for his final season of eligibility.
Harvey joined the team last spring, projecting to be a cornerback. By the end of August practice, he’d moved to safety, but injuries limited him to four games, and he even played sparingly in those contests.
He was the No. 60 recruit in the country coming out of high school, and he flourished with the Aggies. He grew from freshman contributor to the top defensive back off the bench as a sophomore. His junior season, he started 12 games, broke up 10 passes and made 66 tackles, with a punt return touchdown thrown in for good measure.
But an ACL cost him the 2017 season. Last year, he made six tackles, but first couldn’t break through a group of starting safeties (USC hard trouble at that spot from the start), and then never came out of concussion protocol. Without him, the Gamecocks ran through everybody they had at the position, eventually starting true freshman R.J. Roderick and playing an array of banged up player in the bowl.
Harvey is joining a team that has won nine games in each of the past two seasons. Although Seth Littrell’s program is known for dynamic offense, it did mange to allow only 24.2 points per game last year and rank in the top 45 in yards allowed per play.
The Gamecocks are still looking for some answers at safety. Roderick might stay there or might move to nickel. Fellow injured grad transfer J.T. Ibe hopes to fill one role, and oft-injured former top recruit Jamyest Williams could fill a starting spot. Behind them, it’s injury-prone third-year sophomore Jaylin Dickerson, maybe freshman Jammie Robinson and perhaps another one of the newcomers.