From the time South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp and his coaching staff starting thinking about the 2017 signing class, the focus was on defense. That has been clear during fall practice in the fact that there are many more defensive newcomers who will see the field for the Gamecocks this season.
That’s more an indication of the emphasis of the signing class and the fact that the defense has a lot more holes to fill than the offense than an indictment of the signing class. With that in mind, don’t get too freaked out by the fact that there may be only two or three offensive newcomers who see the field this year.
▪ Wide receiver OrTre Smith: The 6-foot-4, 219-pound freshman hasn’t gotten as many fall camp headlines as the next player we will mention but that may be because he enrolled early and participated in spring practice. OrTre Smith is the heir apparent to wideout Bryan Edwards and will be on the field because his size provides a valuable weapon.
▪ Wide receiver Shi Smith: The 5-foot-10, 179-pound freshman is the new wide receiver who has gotten all the praise this fall. A weapon in the slot right away because of his quickness, Shi Smith will play this year and then take over the Deebo Samuel role whenever Samuel leaves for the NFL.
▪ Offensive lineman Dennis Daley: The 6-foot-6, 319-pound junior transferred from Georgia Military College and currently is the second-team left tackle. If Malik Young runs with the starting job at that position, it’s possible the Gamecocks redshirt Daley. Or it’s possible Young is injured or doesn’t seize the job and Daley starts at the most important offensive line spot on the field.