Right before the frenzy of SEC Media Days which are set to begin this week, the South Carolina Gamecocks released their football two-deep depth chart.
This gives the fans slightly more perspective on what the team will look like coming into the fall camp, though it seems like a few select folks are putting a little too much stock in this pre-camp list.
do we seriously only have 2 QBs?— Mingo (@BBallr803) July 9, 2017
I struggle with understanding how BOTH Alan Knott and Cory Helms are on the 2-deep. Pick one, DADGUMIT!— Jeb Benson (@JebBenson) July 10, 2017
Before we go into why fans shouldn’t freak out, take a look at the two-deep itself and gather your thoughts.
Here’s some things you need to know about a two-deep depth chart before you read into it too deep:
- It’s called a “two-deep” for a reason. It only shows backups and starters, no third or fourth string players.
- The only players listed are the ones returning from last year and early enrollees. Walk-ons, incoming freshman and JUCO tranfers are not listed on the chart.
- It is totally subject to change once fall camp starts
That being said, here are some things to think about before we head into fall camp.
There could be a handful of freshman who could find themselves on the two-deep by August’s end. Jamyest Williams would be the one to watch considering how thin the secondary appears be from the outset. Chris Lammons has a lot on his plate being the No. 3 corner and the starting nickleback — an incredibly important position in today’s era of football.
If Williams is as good as he’s been billed, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see him in either one of Lammons’ spots come fall. Two other freshman to watch are Ortre and Shi Smith — both wide receivers who could see some minor playing time this season. Ortre is already listed on the two-deep, but keep in mind Shi was the more coveted recruit of the two coming out of high school.
Keep an eye on defensive tackle too. Kobe Smith is listed as the backup at both spots, and South Carolina brought in two four-star guys who could add quality depth in Aaron Sterling and MJ Webb. Again, this all depends on how things shake out in fall camp.
Speaking on the defensive tackle position, the JUCO transfers could definitely shake up that slot. Javon Kinlaw was the No. 1 defensive tackle recruit from the JUCO ranks and chose South Carolina over Alabama, Southern Cal and Louisville. Safe to say a player of his caliber could be a challenger to possibly overtake Taylor Stallworth and Ulric Jones as a starter.
Keisan Nixon is another player to watch in another position of need — corner back. It’s possible to see the No. 3 JUCO CB and Williams in the mix to provide depth if not start at some point in the secondary. At six-foot, 200 pounds Nixon is a strong candidate to start at nickleback and be a good match up for slot receivers in the SEC.
But the wildcard in the JUCO ranks is Dennis Daley, the No. 3 ranked offensive tackle from Georgia Military College. The OT position has been one of much speculation throughout the summer considering the two guys penciled in as starters have question marks around them.
Zack Bailey is a quality lineman who will try a crack at LT for the first time and Malik Young only started nine games last year, so don’t be surprised to see some shifting at that position come fall.
Returning position battles
Last but not least don’t forget the position battles already going on without the disturbance of newcomers. As well as Rico Dowdle played last season, he’s got two very strong backs behind him in the depth chart. Ty’son Williams made a big splash in the spring game and could challenge Dowdle for a starting spot come fall.
Donnell Stanley isn’t guaranteed his spot at left guard either. He was injured in the first series against Vanderbilt and never had a chance to prove himself in 2016, leaving open a battle with DJ Park or even Bailey is things go awry at left tackle.
Lastly keep an eye out for defensive end too. DJ Wonnum, Daniel Fennel and Keir Thomas would all compete for a spot opposite Dante Sawyer to try and revive a Gamecock pass rush that’s been dead since 2013.