Jake Bentley talks about his final spring practices, updates his progress
See the full depth chart below.
Note: The following players are not listed because they did not go through spring drills because of injuries “and will have to earn their position in fall camp,” according to the media guide: WR OrTre Smith; RBs Rico Dowdle and Lavonte Valentine; Javon Kinlaw and Tyreek Johnson; B/S Daniel Fennell; and LBs TJ Brunson and Rosendo Louis.
OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THE DEPTH CHART
1. Of those eight not listed on the depth chart because of injury, two are sure-fire starters (Kinlaw and Brunson) and two have a solid to great chance to be starters at some point, if not Week 1 (Smith and Dowdle).
2. Ten newcomers — including JUCO defensive lineman transfer Devontae Davis — participated in spring practice, but only three made the first depth chart: QB Ryan Hilinski, linebacker Derek Boykins and offensive lineman Jaylen Nichols. Boykins’ inclusion is likely in part due to Brunson’s temporary omission.
3. Speaking of Hilinski, he’s listed with Dakereon Joyner as one or the other being the backup QB behind senior Jake Bentley. And that gives fans and media the super-popular storyline of backup quarterback to watch this preseason.
4. Senior A.J. Turner is listed at running back and cornerback. He’s expected to be used mostly on offense as the season begins and then play where he’s most needed. His ultimate role might be dictated more by the health and performance of the other players at the positions. And oh yeah — he’s also the starting kick returner.
5. Sophomore R.J. Roderick is listed as the starter at safety and nickel. And there are effectively no backup corners locked in yet (Turner is listed No. 2 behind Jaycee Horn and Israel Mukuamu). This should mean plenty of opportunities for USC’s newcomers to carve out roles.
6. One of the least familiar names on the depth chart might be Christian Kinsley, who’s listed as the backup punter to Joseph Charlton (instead of USC veteran Michael Almond). Kinsley was a standout at Lexington High and transferred to the Gamecocks from Kennesaw State. He was the Owls’ first scholarship kicker in program history.
DEPTH CHART: OFFENSE
QB: Jake Bentley (Dakereon Joyner -- OR -- Ryan Hilinski)
RB: A.J. Turner (Mon Denson)
WR: Josh Vann -- OR -- Randrecous Davis
WR: Bryan Edwards (Chad Terrell)
WR: Shi Smith (Chavis Dawkins)
TE: Kyle Markway (Will Register)
TE: Kiel Pollard (Evan Hinson)
LT: Sadarius Hutcherson
LG: Donell Stanley (Jordan Rhodes)
C: Hank Manos (Chandler Farrell)
RG: Jovaughn Gwyn -- OR -- Eric Douglas
RT: Dylan Wonnum (Jaylen Nichols)
DEPTH CHART: DEFENSE
DE: Aaron Sterling -- OR -- Kingsley Enagbare
DT: Keir Thomas -- OR -- Rick Sandidge
DT: Kobe Smith (Jabari Ellis)
Buck: DJ Wonnum (Brad Johnson)
SLB: Eldridge Thompson
MLB: Ernest Jones (Derek Boykins)
WLB: Sherrod Green (Damani Staley)
CB: Jaycee Horn (AJ Turner)
S: JT Ibe (Jamyest Williams)
S: RJ Roderick (Jaylin Dickerson)
CB: Isreal Mukuamu (AJ Turner)
N: RJ Roderick (Jaycee Horn)
DEPTH CHART: SPECIAL TEAMS
PK: Parker White (Alexander Woznick)
P: Joseph Charlton (Christian Kinsley)
DS: Collin Bunch
H: Joseph Charlton (Bailey Hart)
PR: Bryan Edwards (Josh Vann -- OR -- Shi Smith)
KR: AJ Turner (Shi Smith)