Josh Kendall

Lots of linebackers, but few answers entering Gamecocks spring

South Carolina linebacker Darius English.
South Carolina linebacker Darius English.

South Carolina starts its first practice under Will Muschamp on March 15. The State will take the 15 days of the month leading up to that to look at 15 “keys” for the Gamecocks as they prepare for Muschamp’s first season.

South Carolina has 11 scholarship linebackers on its spring depth chart, and it’ll be interesting to see where they end up when spring practice is complete.

Two of them – senior Darius English and sophomore Boosie Whitlow – are listed as outside linebackers, and the rest are listed simply as linebackers. What’s unclear at the moment is how much English and Whitlow will be on the field. First-year South Carolina coach Will Muschamp has moved pretty seamlessly between a 4-3 and 3-4 look most of his career, and he’ll probably take a long look at the Gamecocks’ personnel before he decides which he favors this year.

The group that will fill out the three base linebacker positions (middle, strong side and weakside) includes a lot of veteran names – players like Jordan Diggs, T.J. Holloman, Larenz Bryant, Jonathan Walton and Bryson Allen-Williams, which means there are going to be some familiar faces whose main job in 2016 is going to be special teams.

And we haven’t even talked about Skai Moore yet. Will the Gamecocks leading tackler each of the last three seasons even be a linebacker? He could be playing safety under Muschamp.

Either way, mapping the linebacker depth chart will be one of the most intriguing parts of the next two months.