A key change for USC's O-line heading into 2017 season
There are less than two weeks until South Carolina opens the 2017 football season against North Carolina State, so it seems like a good time to check the Gamecocks depth chart.
We’ll begin with the offensive starters, where there aren’t many changes from the preseason depth chart.
Quarterback – Jake Bentley. This one was never in doubt. The only question in camp was who would earn the backup job, and that looks like junior Michael Scarnecchia’s job.
Left tackle – Malik Young. Coach Will Muschamp said Saturday that Dennis Daley still is competing for the job, but offensive line coach Eric Wolford indicated that Young has the clear lead.
Left guard – Donell Stanley. The junior entered 2016 as the starting right guard but suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 1. Now he’s back on the job at left guard, having beaten D.J. Park, who will be the top reserve at guard.
Center – Alan Knott. The senior was never threatened for this spot in camp. After missing last offseason because of shoulder surgery, Knott is much stronger after a summer spent lifting.
Right guard – Cory Helms. The senior played on a fractured leg much of the 2016 season. He’s healthy now and has performed well this summer.
Right tackle – Zack Bailey. The junior is South Carolina’s best offensive lineman and was moved from guard to tackle this year. The experiment will get its first game test on Sept. 2.
Wide receiver – Deebo Samuel and Bryan Edwards. The top two in the rotation is not a surprise. The next three in the rotation will be junior Terry Googer and freshmen OrTre Smith and Shi Smith. Randrecous Davis and Chavis Dawkins are competing for the sixth spot.
Tight end – Hayden Hurst and K.C. Crosby. Hurst is the clear No. 1, but Crosby is likely to get some starts for a team that will use a lot of two tight end sets. Jacob August and Kiel Pollard will play, too.
Running back – Rico Dowdle. It’ll likely be a game-week decision about whether Dowdle or Ty’Son Williams will get the first turn. Both will play and probably get some starts.