Josh Kendall

Observations from USC’s first preseason depth chart

As South Carolina and the rest of the SEC gets ready to for the unofficial (read as beat writer) beginning of football season at the conference’s annual media days this week, the Gamecocks released their official preseason depth chart Sunday.

There were only cosmetic changes, which we’ll get to shortly, and the incoming signing class and transfer safety Isaiah Johnson are not listed anywhere on the chart, but, hey, it’s football.

▪  The Gamecocks will try Brandon Shell at left tackle rather than the right tackle he has played since he was at Goose Creek High School, and they are moving Cody Waldrop from right guard/center to left guard to be beside Shell. South Carolina has tried Shell on the left side before. We’ll see if it takes this time. 

▪  Senior wide receiver Shamier Jeffery started spring with the honorary upperclassman’s position of No. 1 on the depth chart, but that didn’t last long. Senior Carlton Heard, a former walk-on, and redshirt freshman Terry Googer now share the top spot at the third wide receiver position, while Jeffery is listed as the top backup for redshirt freshman Deebo Samuel. Jeffery has eight catches for 41 yards in his career.

▪  Clayton Stadnik was listed as a fullback entering spring, but it looks like his future will be at tight end. Taking his place at fullback, in fact jumping to the top of the fullback depth chart, is walk-on Rivers Bedenbaugh, a Lexington High graduate who redshirted at Georgia Southern in 2013 and then played at Gray College last year.

▪  Junior Chris Moody has surpassed D.J. Smith as the starter at free safety.

View the full preseason depth chart here

View key updates and jersey number changes from the latest USC roster