South Carolina entered fall football camp needing some good surprises, players who popped up in positions of need to give the Gamecocks a chance to have the kind of season they hope they can have in 2017.
Through the first 13 practices of fall camp, here are five surprise players who have answered the call:
Shi Smith, WR
Everyone knew the 5-foot-10, 179-pound wide receiver was a good player – ESPN considered him the best prospect in the state – but cornerback Jamyest Williams was supposed to be the newcomer everyone was talking about this fall. Instead, it’s Smith who is turning the most heads and headed for a big role.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Mon Denson, RB
The 5-foot-10, 209-pound sophomore is going to have a tough time breaking into the running back rotation, but he earned a compliment from quarterback Jake Bentley this week, which is saying something for a player who once looked like he’d never make an impact at South Carolina.
Dennis Daley, OL
The 6-foot-6, 319-pound left tackle seems to be out of the starting left tackle competition at least for year one, but the junior college transfer was in the mix for a while and could be the future on the edge.
Sherrod Greene, LB
The 6-foot-1, 223-pound linebacker was lightly recruiting but looks like he’ll make a big impression on South Carolina’s defense. In a thin linebacking corps, he’s a key reserve and looking like the fourth-best linebacker on the team.
Michael Scarnecchia, QB
The 6-foot-4, 209-pound junior was supposed to be a heated battle with true freshman Jay Urich for the backup quarterback job. Instead, Scarnecchia has cemented himself into the role behind Jake Bentley.