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The Final Cockdown: #31 Chris Smith and #30 Daniel Fennell

It’s a two-for-one Freshman special!

Vanderbilt v South Carolina Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Chris Smith

5-10 / 168 lbs.
Rock Hill, SC


Smith received offers from a plethora of mid-major and FCS programs, none of which were more appealing than playing in the SEC for South Carolina.

247 rates the true freshman as a three-star prospect and the 24th best player in the state of South Carolina in his class.

A summer of 2015 commit, Smith had second thoughts and de-committed from South Carolina in December, only to change his mind back around six days later.

College Career

Smith is a true freshman who enrolled on campus in January of 2016. The 2016 season will be his first with the Gamecocks.

2016 Outlook

After battling some nagging injuries in 2015, Smith’s high school production dipped from his Junior season to his final season, that said, there was enough this new coaching staff saw in him to convince the Rock Hill native the Gamecocks would need his versatility and can maximize his talent.

Part of that may stem from the fruitful branch South Pointe High School has provided the Gamecocks recruiting tree in recent history.

It’s uncertain how big of, if any, of a role Smith will play for the Gamecocks this season, but Will Muschamp and Travaris Robinson believe he’s worth the development as potential starter in years to come.

Daniel Fennell

RS Freshman
6-2 / 235 lbs.
Loganville, GA


247 lists Fennell as a three-star prospect and 54th best player in the state of Georgia for his class.

Between his over 20 FBS offers, Fennell’s recruitment was split between two schools: Michigan St. and South Carolina. The Gamecocks didn’t show heavy interest in the inside linebacker until his senior season had already begun, but they did enough to get Fennell to commit to the Gamecocks in December of 2014.

College Career

Fennell redshirted the 2015 season and participated in his first spring practice this year.

2016 Outlook

The Georgia native and converted linebacker was listed as one of Muschamp’s starting defensive ends over the Gamecocks’ leading sack returner Darius English once spring practice ended.

Yep. You did read that correctly.

Wether this was a sheer motivational tactic by Muschamp and d-line coach Lance Thompson on English, or if this is really how they will line up come September 1, against Vanderbilt remains to be seen, but this is definitely one of the bigger story lines to watch play out once fall camp commences.

While that’s not to say Fennell doesn’t possess the ability to gain greater production at the position for the Gamecocks, there just wasn’t a lot of momentum surrounding him until the change was made public.