First look: South Carolina freshman LB Davonne Bowen
It feels like football season just ended, but spring practice will starting soon enough. With that in mind, we picked five South Carolina football players who redshirted during the 2017 season who are worth watching this spring and next fall.
LB Davonne Bowen
South Carolina’s defensive coaches were very excited about Bowen’s signing specifically because of his quickness, but that didn’t translate into playing time for the 6-foot-1, 218-pound linebacker from Simpsonville. Head coach Will Muschamp started to mention Bowen’s name late in the season, indicating the player’s progress, and Bowen’s potential pass rush ability makes him worth watching.
S Jaylin Dickerson
None of last year’s early enrollees drew more praise during spring practice from Muschamp than Dickerson, a 6-foot-1, 188-pound defensive back, but a shoulder injury forced surgery and a redshirt season. Dickerson is expected to be full strength again this spring, and the Gamecocks are looking to replace three starters in the secondary.
OL Eric Douglas
Versatility could put Douglas ahead of his fellow redshirt freshmen offensive line this spring. The 6-foot-4, 308-pound Charlotte product could play center or guard or tackle. With starting spots open at center and right guard due to the graduation of Alan Knott and Cory Helms, Douglas will get a long look this spring.
CB Tayvn Jackson
Jackson arrived on campus last fall and immediately looked like he was heading for playing time, but, like Dickerson, he suffered an injury at a critical time. Jackson suffered a severe hamstring pull that cost him the season, but he was working back into practice during bowl preparations and is expected to participate fully this spring, making him one to watch for a starting cornerback spot.
DL M.J. Webb
Another early enrollee, the 6-foot-3, 290-pound Webb will get an opportunity in the middle of the defensive line, where South Carolina needs help after the departure of Taylor Stallworth, Ulric Jones and Dante Sawyer. The Georgia native was a four-star defensive end prospect but has the girth to play inside at least at times.