Josh Kendall

Who will play in South Carolina’s bowl game, who might and who won’t

As in the rest of South Carolina’s injury-ravaged season, Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp won’t know for a while exactly who will be available to play in the Belk Bowl.

South Carolina (7-5) takes on Virginia (7-5) in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium at noon on Dec. 29. In addition to the injured players who are questionable, the Gamecocks could have some players skip the bowl game to prepare for professional careers. Wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Bryan Edwards were asked Saturday after the Gamecocks beat Akron if they would play in the bowl game and neither gave a definitive answer.

“Who knows, that’s a good question though,” said Edwards, a junior.

Muschamp said Sunday night that he hasn’t had any conversations with players who expressed an interest in skipping the bowl game to prepare for the NFL Draft.

“We will visit that at the appropriate time,” he said.

Asked what he would do if a player came to him about that decision, he said, “I’m going to support the student-athlete.”

The Gamecocks do expect senior defensive end Bryson Allen-Williams to play after missing the last four games due to an ankle injury.

“He’s doing extremely well,” Muschamp said.

Junior defensive end D.J. Wonnum, who has missed seven games due to an ankle injury, remains questionable, as does defensive end Aaron Sterling due to a knee injury.

Defensive backs Jaycee Horn (ankle) and Jaylin Dickerson (hamstring) will play.

Freshman linebacker Ernest Jones might be held out of the game because he has only played four games this year and could take a redshirt season if he does not play in another game.

Related stories from The State in Columbia SC