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Kevin Harris named Gamecocks’ starting running back

The sophomore gets his chance to step up.

Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

With the understandably attention-grabbing battle at quarterback settled, the South Carolina Gamecocks still had another offensive decision to make: Who gets the nod at running back?

After the departures of veterans Rico Dowdle and Tavien Feaster, South Carolina was left with an extremely young and unproven running backs room. The forecast at the position only got murkier when prized five-star recruit MarShawn Lloyd suffered a season-ending knee injury just a few days into camp.

But the Gamecocks do technically have a returning leading rusher, and so sophomore Kevin Harris will be the guy to get the first crack against Tennessee on Saturday.

Harris is known to fans for his stunning debut against Charleston Southern last season, in which he amassed 147 yards on just six carries and tied a school record for a true freshman with three touchdowns. He found the end zone again against Vanderbilt, carrying 10 times for 20 yards and a score, and finished the season with 21 carries for 179 yards.

Redshirt sophomore Deshaun Fenwick (111 yards in 2019) and newcomer Zaquandre White — formerly the country’s top junior college prospect at tailback — will round out the rotation. The running back position under Muschamp has been historically treated as a platoon and freely rotated in and out, but part of that has been owed to the lack of a clear No. 1 back during his tenure. We’ll see whether that philosophy continues in Mike Bobo’s offense — and whether anyone can stand out as the season unfolds.