Welcome to offensive line week! The Final Cockdown is going take the next two weeks to appreciate the underappreciated big guys who make room for big runs and clean pockets. Here’s a list of who we’ll go through the next 13 days:
DJ Park | Zack Bailey | Christian Pellage | Alan Knott | Cory Helms | Donell Stanley | Malik Young | Blake Camper | Dennis Daley | Jordon Carty | Eric Douglas | Chandler Farrell | Summie Carlay | Jordan Rhodes
#78 Zack Bailey
Junior / 6’6” / 311 / Summerville, S.C. / Summerville
God bless Zack Bailey. He was never scheduled to start or even play in 2015, but injuries to Mike Matulis, Alan Knott and Cody Waldrop forced Bailey into early action. He started at center and left guard for five games that disastrous season, but it would build the foundation for something better.
After being named to the SEC All Freshman team in 2015, Bailey would go on to start all 13 games at left guard in 2016. He graded out consistently as South Carolina’s best lineman and emerged as a leader on the team in only his second season on the team.
But now, Bailey has a big challenge ahead of him as he moves over to left tackle. For those unaware, tackle and guard are very different positions. Bailey will have the monumental responsibility of protecting Jake Bentley’s blind side against the SEC’s best edge defenders as well. So godspeed to Bailey, who could be in for a big season.
Select highlight: We’re not even going on the field for this highlight. Zack Bailey won social media last year by exposing Clemson Conor McGregor impersonator Ben Boulware as a sexual deviant.
2016 Stats: 13 starts
Recruitment: Four-star; offers from Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Miami, Ole Miss, Oregon, Wisconsin and South Carolina. Committed to the Gamecocks on June 10, 2012.
Next Up: Christian Pellage, looking to rebound after being redshirted as a sophomore in 2016.