Josh Kendall

Five things to watch when USC takes its turn at SEC media days

South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp and three Gamecocks football players will make their appearance Thursday morning on the final day of SEC media days. Here are five things to look for:

1. Muschamp’s Mood

South Carolina’s head coach has some reasons to be optimistic and some reasons to be concerned headed into his second year. It will be interesting to see what kind of tone and expectations he sets when he steps to the podium as the day’s first coach in the main media room.

2. Media’s Mood

One national writer has said this week that the Gamecocks are his “sleeper” pick to win the SEC East, and there is optimism on some level among the regional media that USC could be improved. How that might come across in questioning will be interesting.

3. Bentley’s Moment

Eight months ago, South Carolina sophomore quarterback Jake Bentley was off limits to the media. Thursday he will be exposed to the SEC’s biggest media circus and more than 1,000 interested observers. It can be an overwhelming experience even for veterans.

4. Deebo’s Suit

The Gamecocks most versatile offensive player, junior wide receiver Deebo Samuel, has a history as a snazzy dresser. More importantly, he seems to be finding his voice with the media and should make a good impression here.

5. Hurst’s Recognition

The junior tight end still is flying under the radar. Many people who know Bentley and Samuel well still aren’t familiar with Hurst. (SEC Network analyst Marcus Spears got his name wrong earlier this week.) An appearance here will help Hurst begin to get on the radar.

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