South Carolina opens spring practice on Feb. 28. Between now and then, The State will take a position-by-position look at the Gamecocks roster.
Jake Bentley, Junior, 6-3, 220 pounds – The only quarterback on the roster who has thrown a pass last year, Bentley will be the starter barring injury. He completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 2,794 yards, 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last year, and he’ll be under the direction of a new quarterbacks coach this year (Dan Werner). Bentley has started 20 straight games for the Gamecocks.
Michael Scarnecchia, Senior, 6-4, 209 pounds – Scarnecchia earned the backup role last year after missing the 2016 season due to injury. He has thrown one collegiate pass, for 9 yards in 2015. Head coach Will Muschamp has praised Scarnecchia’s physical tools and said repeatedly he’d be comfortable if Scarnecchia has to play important minutes.
Jay Urich, Redshirt Freshman, 6-4, 194 pounds – Urich didn’t have much chance to win the backup job last year simply due to inexperience. His athleticism will give him a chance to move in front of Scarnecchia if he can close the experience gap.
Dakereon Joyner, Freshman, 6-1, 200 pounds – An early enrollee, Joyner will be able to gain valuable experience this spring, but he’s not a good candidate for playing time in 2018 despite being a heralded four-star prospect.