Josh Kendall

Depth chart observations: Safety a surprise at South Carolina

What Coach Muschamp said about the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp talks about the Gamecocks' first opponent during his weekly press conference.
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South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp talks about the Gamecocks' first opponent during his weekly press conference.

Among the most pressing questions about South Carolina’s preseason depth chart was whether or not the Gamecocks would actually release one. There is a growing trend in college football that coaches either don’t release a depth chart or sprinkle in so many “ORs” – as in this guy will start OR that guy will start – the paper provides no useful information.

South Carolina participated in the no-information campaign last year by keeping its preseason depth chart in its media notes throughout the season, leading some folks to wonder each week if Deebo Samuel really had made a miraculous recovery from a broken leg and would start that week.

On Tuesday, Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp did in fact release a depth chart. There weren’t a lot of questions to be answered for his third team at South Carolina. Essentially every top spot on the offense and most on the defense was a known commodity last week. The one exception to this was in the secondary, and there was in fact some news there Tuesday.

The biggest surprise was to see Rice graduate transfer J.T. Ibe in the starting lineup at safety. Ibe missed the first two weeks of fall practice after hip surgery, and Texas A&M graduate transfer Nick Harvey was talked about by the coaching staff much more in fall camp. Harvey, though, is listed as a backup headed into the Coastal Carolina game.

“J.T. after being cleared I think did a fantastic job of grasping our defense and what we do,” said Muschamp, who mentioned being impressed with Ibe’s “physicality.”

Another player listed as a backup is Jamyest Williams. This would not be a surprise for most true sophomores, but Williams is not most true sophomores. Last year, he was the jewel of South Carolina’s signing class and he started six games at nickel back last year. This year, heralded freshman Jaycee Horn has taken over the starting nickel back position, according to the depth chart. (Williams will play some nickel this year, Muschamp said.)

“It’s all about getting your best four and five out there. We recognized very early in camp that Jaycee was going to be one of those guys,” Muschamp said.

Williams missed spring practice after having shoulder surgery and his spot with the second team is not necessarily a bad sign for his future. It is interesting, though.

Horn is the only true freshman listed as a starter, but he’s not the only true freshman on the two-deep. Wide receiver Josh Vann, offensive linemen Jovaughn Gwynn and Dylan Wonnum, defensive lineman Kingsley (J.J.) Enagbare, cornerback Israel Mukuamu and linebacker Rosendo Louis also found their names there.

Defensive lineman Rick Sandidge almost found his name there, Muschamp said.

“I see J.J. and Ricky playing about the same snaps on Saturday, I don’t see any difference there,” Muschamp said.

The only remaining question mark about the offense is at running back where Rico Dowdle, Ty’Son Williams, A.J. Turner and Mon Denson all are listed as “OR” starters.

“I would envision all four playing. All four deserve it,” Muschamp said. “We need to get competition at every position like that. They have made our football team better because of that competition.”

Orevoe

USC Depth Chart

WR

Deebo Samuel

Josh Vann

WR

Bryan Edwards

OrTre Smith

WR

Shi Smith

Randrecous Davis

OT

Blake Camper

Dylan Wonnum

OG

Zack Bailey

Jovaughn Gwyn

C

Donell Stanley

Chandler Farrell

OG

Sadarius Hutcherson

Jordan Rhodes

OT

Dennis Daley

Malik Young

QB

Jake Bentley

Michael Scarnecchia

RB

Rico Dowdle

OR Ty’Son Williams

OR A.J. Turner

OR Mon Denson

TE

Jacob August

Kyle Markway

TE

K.C. Crosby

Kiel Pollard

DE

D.J. Wonnum

Daniel Fennell

OR Brad Johnson

DT

Javon Kinlaw

Kobe Smith

DT

Keir Thomas

J.J. Enagbare

DE

Aaron Sterling

Shameik Blackshear

WLB

Sherrod Greene

Eldridge Thompson

MLB

T.J. Brunson

Rosendo Louis

SLB

Bryson Allen-Williams

Daniel Fennell

CB

Keisen Nixon

Jaycee Horn

S

Steven Montac

Jamyest Williams

S

J.T. Ibe

Nick Harvey

CB

Rashad Fenton

Israel Mukuamu

Nickel

Jaycee Horn

Jamyest Williams

PK

Parker White

Alexander Woznick

KO

Parker White

Alexander Woznick

P

Joseph Charlton

Michael Almond

LS

Ben Asbury

Matthew Smith

KOR

Deebo Samuel

A.J. Turner

PR

Bryan Edwards

Nick Harvey

H

Danny Gordon

Michael Almond

South Carolina coach Will Muschamp fielded a question about the new turf that was installed at Williams-Brice stadium.

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