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Three Gamecocks make All-SEC preseason media teams

Plus where the media thinks South Carolina will finish in the East.

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Three South Carolina Gamecocks were honored with placements on the preseason All-SEC teams as voted on by the media Friday afternoon.

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel made the first-team offense, and also got two nods as a first-team specialist at kick returner and the all-purpose spot. Offensive lineman Zack Bailey made the cut for the third-team offense, while punter Joseph Charlton landed on the second-team specialists.

Samuel is looking to build on an explosive season that was cut short by injury just four games into 2017. Through those contests, the versatile Samuel had five receptions for 250 yards and three touchdowns, a rushing score, and two kickoffs returned for touchdowns.

Bailey, who will move back to his natural position at guard this season, is expected to be a veteran anchor on the offensive line for South Carolina. He submitted his name for NFL consideration this past offseason, but decided to come back to school.

While placekicking was a tad bit tumultuous for the Gamecocks last season, Charlton ensured the punting was not, averaging 43.5 yards on 55 attempts with a long of 73 (!).

The media also voted on its projected order of finish for each division. South Carolina was tabbed as the second-place Eastern Division team behind consensus favorite Georgia, and the Gamecocks received eight first-place votes as well. Following South Carolina is Florida, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt.

Unsurprisingly, Alabama was picked to win the 2018 SEC Championship. Auburn, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, LSU, Ole Miss, and Arkansas trail the Tide in the West.