Watch: Deebo Samuel discusses senior year, advice he’s received from former Gamecock NFL players
South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp will face dozens and dozens and dozens of questions at SEC Media Days while in Atlanta on Thursday. We’re predicting the five he will hear the most often, including about senior wide receiver Deebo Samuel, starting quarterback Jake Bentley, the loss of Skai Moore, the promotion of Bryan McClendon to offensive coordinator, and the Georgia game. Just for fun, we’re also predicting how he will answer.
How’s Deebo Samuel?
“Fast. (Insert chuckles here, Muschamp generally works the big room pretty well.) We’re very excited to have Deebo back. We were maybe overprotective of him this spring but we wanted to make sure he got to the fall 100 percent healthy, and he is. He’s a difference-maker. He’s proven that. Heck, the guy scored six touchdowns in 11 quarters of football last year. We need to put the ball in the end zone more, and Deebo can do that. We’re going to put a lot of responsibility on his shoulders this year, and I expect him to handle it well. I think he’s going to have a big year.”
Will this be a big year for Bentley?
“First of all, Jake Bentley positively affects his teammates and the people around him every single day, and that’s what I want from my quarterback. He’s in the film room all the time. He’s a passionate guy, and he’s the same guy at practice on Tuesday that he is in the games on Saturday, and his teammates appreciate that. Are there some passes he’d like to have back from a year ago? Yes, but Dan Werner has spent a lot of time with him concentrating on his footwork, and I think his accuracy will be improved this year. Jake’s our guy, and we feel very comfortable with Michael Scarnecchia as our backup if something happens to Jake.”
How will your defense recover from losing Skai Moore?
“T.J. Brunson is going to be a very good linebacker for us this year. I’m more worried about how my defense is going to recover from losing defensive linemen Taylor Stallworth, Dante Sawyer and Ulric Jones. We need more depth up front defensively. I might be playing three true freshman defensive linemen in the SEC this year with Kingsley Enagbare, Tyreek Johnson and Rick Sandidge. That’ll keep you up at night.”
Why did you promote Bryan McClendon?
“It’s all about fit. We had a lot of people interested in coaching Jake Bentley and Deebo Samuel, let me tell you, but the players all believe in Bryan. He’s ready for this opportunity, and he proved that by beating Michigan in the Outback Bowl even after we got off to a really ugly start. Your players have to believe in what you’re doing, and they believe in Bryan. I know you’ll all make jokes about my offenses, but with Bryan calling plays and Dan Werner coaching quarterbacks, I think we’ve got it figured out this year.”
What do you think about that Week 2 matchup against Georgia?
“We’ve got Coastal Carolina on Week 1. We need to win that game. That’s all I’m worried about.” (Narrator’s voice: Listeners may choose to believe this response as much or as little as they choose.)