Noted college football prognosticator Phil Steele has recognized several Gamecocks with preseason honors.
Steele recognized two Gamecocks as preseason All-Americans. A.J. Cann made first-team guard and Mike Davis made third-team tailback. For comparison's sake, Todd Gurley and Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon were his first-team backs and T.J. Yeldon and Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah were second team. Steele has Miami's Duke Johnson alongside Davis on the third team.
Steele picked 10 Gamecocks on his All-SEC team. A.J. Cann is the lone Gamecock on the first team. Davis is on the second team along with Brandon Shell and Sharrod Golightly. Corey Robinson, J.T. Surratt, and Elliott Fry are on the third team. The fourth team includes Shaq Roland, Skai Moore, and Brison Williams.
What does everyone think about Steele's projections? A few things I noted:
- We only had four players on his preseason All-SEC team last year: Jadeveon Clowney, Rory Anderson, Cann, and Kelcy Quarles. Steele views this year's team as deeper in proven talent heading into the season.
- I like either Jerrell Adams or Anderson (if he's healthy) to make it onto this list after the season is over. Anderson's absence is likely due as much to his injury as to his somewhat disappointing 2013 season.
- Players I could see finishing higher than they're projected include Roland and Moore. If Roland consistently plays like he did at the end of last season, and he should have ample opportunity to do so as this year's unquestioned go-to receiver and because he's catching the ball from a gunslinging quarterback, he'll put up big numbers. Moore also showed tons of potential over the second half of last season.
- How about Golightly? The object of a lot of ire from the fanbase early last year, Golightly proved why his coaches had faith in him towards the end of last season and is now considered on the league's best linebackers by Steele. And he's still being pushed for playing time by Jordan Diggs. Linebacker is going to be an asset for Carolina this year.