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South Carolina releases 2014 preseason depth chart

The Gamecocks published their preseason depth chart today. Let's get into it.

Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

SEC Media Days are here! And so is our first look at the 2014 preseason depth chart. Mind you, this still does not account for 2014 signees, which is good news for South Carolina's two-deep at cornerback.

So everybody gather 'round the hearth and let's read far too much into a document that every coach probably resents having to fill out in the first place.

Quick, somebody change the rules so that cornerbacks are not allowed

Hoo boy. This is all getting a bit too real. South Carolina has named a former walk-on as its starting cornerback. Sure, Steve Spurrier issued Sidney Rhodes all of the plaudits he normally doles out to the overachieving, scrappy types, but make no mistake about what Sidney Rhodes is. He has come into this position thanks to attrition and poor roster management at the cornerback position, not because he's a sunken treasure brought to the surface by the Head Ball Coach.

CB1 Sidney Rhodes 5'10, 182 Senior
CB2 Jamari Smith 5'10, 197 Sophomore

The story is less about Rhodes earning this nominal honor than it's about Jamari Smith and Ali Groves not having done enough to win the position in spring practice. This reality is made more discouraging by the fact that four-star cornerback signees Wesley Green and Chris Lammons have yet to earn the test scores needed to make them academically eligible to play for the Gamecocks this fall.

CB1 Rico McWilliams 5'11, 184 Sophomore
CB2 Ali Groves 5'10, 187 Freshman

The surprise that we didn't see but could have was Brison Williams moving from strong safety to cornerback. The 5'11, 208-pound senior worked out at corner a great deal during spring practice and held his own by all accounts. And if there's a position in the secondary from which a body could be spared, it's one of the two safety positions. Williams, Kadetrix Marcus, Chris Moody, and T.J. Gurley have each logged meaningful snaps in the South Carolina secondary and would be well-suited to step up should one of their teammates be moved to cornerback.

As it stands, though, South Carolina will be fielding just one career start at cornerback -- thanks, Rico McWilliams! -- when the Gamecocks take the field on August 28.

Mitch rising, Nosovitch falling

Connor Mitch moving up to the backup quarterback spot isn't surprising. The big shocker here -- and a move that may foretell an impending transfer -- is Brendan Nosovitch falling all the way to QB4, one spot behind walk-on Perry Orth. Behind two quarterbacks who are as young our younger than you is not a good place to be, even when both are on scholarship.

With Tanner McEvoy transferring to Wisconsin before the 2012 season and Lorenzo Nunez's NLI not yet signed, the Gamecocks will have no dual-threat quarterbacks on their roster should Nosovitch elect to transfer. One of the recurring questions this offseason has been how Spurrier will adapt to not having a mobile quarterback for the first time since 2008.

Matulis' emergence at RG good for short and long term

Last summer it appeared as though Mike Matulis might be done with football. After undergoing surgeries to both shoulders, the game appeared to be taking too much of a toll on his body. One year later, he he's moved inside from tackle to guard and has claimed a starting spot heading into fall camp.

All of this is great news for Matulis and the Gamecocks. His emergence at guard fills an immediate need. Ronald Patrick was the lone offensive linemen to graduate following the 2013 season. Matulis represents an experienced replacement. Matulis' emergence at guard also allows South Carolina to keep Na'Ty Rodgers at tackle, where he'll likely be needed following the departure of Corey Robinson and Brandon Shell being a decent bet to forego his final year of eligibility and enter the 2015 NFL Draft.

Defensive line looking beefier

There's good news for people who enjoy confused broadcasters. It looks like defensive like coach Deke Adams intends to start both Gerald Dixons on Aug. 28 against Texas A&M. It also means that the Gamecocks' defensive front could be about 10 pounds heavier than it was when Phillip Dukes was slated to start alongside J.T. Surratt.

At a mean of 6'3, 306 pounds, Abu Lamin and Kelsey Griffin are as massive as ever. Even the defensive ends are sounding less rail-thin than some feared. Gerald Dixon is up to 274 pounds and Darius English is at an OK-fine-I-guess-we'll-take-it 241.

New position for Turner

The unimportance of the position and the player's generic name caused me to overlook this change at first, but Gerald Turner has been moved to fullback. Turner signed with South Carolina as a three-star defensive end in 2013. As far as I know no one on the coaching staff has commented upon the move. Whatever the reasons, given how shallow the Gamecocks' defensive end depth chart is, they must have been compelling.


Check out the full depth chart below, and let us know of any moves that we might have missed.


WR 4 Shaq Roland 6'1 176 JR-2L Lexington, S.C.
OR 1 Damiere Byrd 5'9 170 SR-3L Sicklerville, N.J.
8 Shamier Jeffery 6'1 198 JR-1L St. Matthews, S.C.
WR 11 Pharoh Cooper 5'11 201 SO-1L Havelock, N.C.
OR 1 Damiere Byrd 5'9 170 SR-3L Sicklerville, N.J.
80 K.J. Brent 6'4 192 JR-2L Waxhaw, N.C.
WR 3 Nick Jones 5'7 168 SR-3L Moore, S.C.
83 Carlton Heard 6'0 188 JR-SQ Athens, Ga.
85 Kane Whitehurst 5'11 169 JR-1L Duluth, Ga.
LT 53 Corey Robinson 6'8 344 SR-2L Havelock, N.C.
74 Mason Zandi 6'9 301 SO-1L Irmo, S.C.
LG 50 A.J. Cann 6'4 311 SR-3L Bamberg, S.C.
65 Brock Stadnik 6'5 287 SO-IL Greensboro, N.C.
C 51 Cody Waldrop 6'2 309 SO-1L Seffner, Fla.
OR 54 Clayton Stadnik 6'3 273 SO-1L Greensboro, N.C.
70 Alan Knott 6'4 280 FR-RS Tyrone, Ga.
RG 76 Mike Matulis 6'5 307 JR-2L Boynton Beach, Fla.
75 Will Sport 6'5 291 JR-2L Milton, Fla.
69 D.J. Park 6'4 328 FR-RS Dillon, S.C.
RT 71 Brandon Shell 6'6 333 JR-2L Goose Creek, S.C.
55 Na'Ty Rodgers 6'5 280 FR-RS Waldorf, Md.
OR 78 Cody Gibson 6'7 278 SR-3L Tallahassee, Fla.
TE 81 Rory Anderson 6'5 227 SR-3L Powder Springs, Ga.
89 Jerell Adams 6'6 242 JR-2L Pinewood, S.C.
88 Drew Owens 6'6 238 JR-1L Charlotte, N.C.
QB 17 Dylan Thompson 6'3 218 SR-3L Boiling Springs, S.C.
6 Connor Mitch 6'3 211 FR-RS Raleigh, N.C.
10 Perry Orth 6'1 204 SO-SQ Ponte Vedra, Fla.
5 Brendan Nosovitch 6'1 221 SO-SQ Allentown, Pa.
FB 41 Connor McLaurin 6'0 243 SR-2L Raleigh, N.C.
31 Jordan Diaz 6'1 236 SR-1L Hamilton, N.J.
44 Gerald Turner 6'2 250 FR-RS Goose Creek, S.C.
TB 28 Mike Davis 5'9 223 JR-2L Atlanta, Ga.
22 Brandon Wilds 6'2 222 JR-2L Blythewood, S.C.
7 Shon Carson 5'8 201 JR-1L Scranton, S.C.
33 David Williams 6'1 214 FR-RS Philadelphia, Pa.


DE 44 Gerald Dixon 6'2 274 SO-1L Rock Hill, S.C.
34 Mason Harris 6'3 235 JR-2L Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.
51 Devin Washington 6'3 221 FR-RS Orlanda, Fla.
DT 97 J.T. Surratt 6'2 310 SR-1L Winston-Salem, N.C.
52 Phillip Dukes 6'3 323 JR-2L Manning, S.C.
93 Deon Green 6'4 289 FR-RS Windemere, Fla.
DT 92 Gerald Dixon, Jr. 6'3 323 JR-2L Rock Hill, S.C.
99 Abu Lamin 6'4 302 SO-TR Fayetteville, N.C.
94 Kelsey Griffin 6'2 310 SO-1L Buford, Ga.
DE 5 Darius English 6'6 241 SO-1L Powder Springs, Ga.
55 David Johnson 6'1 275 FR-RS Lithonia, Ga.
18 Cedrick Cooper 6'2 225 JR-2L Lithonia, Ga.
MLB 8 Kaiwan Lewis 6'0 228 JR-2L Mays Landing, N.J.
11 T.J. Holloman 6'2 234 SO-1L Stone Mountain, Ga.
21 Marcquis Roberts 6'1 216 SO-1L Powder Springs, Ga.
WLB 10 Skai Moore 6'2 213 SO-1L Cooper City, Fla.
28 Jonathan Walton 6'0 228 SO-1L Daphne, Ala.
SPR 9 Sharrod Golightly 5'10 187 SR-3L Decatur, Ga.
42 Jordan Diggs 6'0 217 SO-1L Fort Myers, Fla.
32 Larenz Bryant 6'0 220 SO-1L Charlotte, N.C.
CB 30 Sidney Rhodes 5'10 182 SR-2L Easley, S.C.
23 Jamari Smith 5'10 197 SO-1L Jacksonville, Fla.
SS 12 Brison Williams 5'11 208 SR-3L Warner Robins, Ga.
25 Kadetrix Marcus 6'1 194 SR-2L Stone Mountain, Ga.
6 Chris Moody 6'1 210 SO-1L McDonough, Ga.
FS 17 Chaz Elder 6'2 195 SO-1L Union City, Ga.
20 T.J. Gurley 5'10 194 JR-2L Cairo, Ga.
26 Jasper Sasser 6'0 203 FR-RS Jacksonville, Fla.
CB 1 Rico McWilliams 5'11 184 SO-1L Hampton, Ga.
14 Ali Groves 5'10 187 FR-RS Stone Mountain, Ga.

Special Teams

KO 19 Landon Ard 5'9 178 JR-1L Rock Hill, S.C.
29 Elliott Fry 6'0 165 SO-1L Frisco, Texas
PK 29 Elliott Fry 6'0 165 SO-1L Frisco, Texas
19 Landon Ard 5'9 178 JR-1L Rock Hill, S.C.
P 13 Tyler Hull 6'2 207 SR-2L Mount Airy, N.C.
18 Patrick Fish 6'0 194 SR-1L Shelby, N.C.
KR 11 Pharoh Cooper 5'11 201 SO-1L Havelock, N.C.
PR 11 Pharoh Cooper 5'11 201 SO-1L Havelock, N.C.
SSN 58 Ryland Culbertson 6'4 267 SR-1L Laurens, S.C.
LSN 47 Drew Williams 6'2 201 SO-1L Irmo, S.C.
H 18 Patrick Fish 6'0 194 SR-1L Shelby, N.C.
13 Tyler Hull 6'2 207 SR-2L Mount Airy, N.C.