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Will Muschamp talks up N.C. State defense
South Carolina coach Will Muschamp met with reporters on Tuesday to preview South Carolina’s season opener against North Carolina State.
“[N.C. State] has 18 returning starters, eight returning starters on defense … a very efficient, experienced quarterback in Ryan Finley,” Muschamp said in his opening remarks.
The South Carolina coach went on to break down the Wolfpack’s playmakers on offense and disruptive defensive line.
Gamecocks release depth chart
South Carolina football released its official depth chart on Tuesday.
The list is devoid of any major surprises, but there are a few interesting developments, including sophomore defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw in the two deep, freshman wide receiver Shi Smith listed as a starter and redshirt junior tight end Jacob August posted as a starter over redshirt junior K.C. Crosby.
Update on starting running back
Despite South Carolina’s top 3 running backs all listed as co-starters on the official depth chart, rising sophomore Rico Dowdle will “probably” get the nod against N.C. State, according to Muschamp.
“I’m very comfortable playing all three. All three are quality players. Rico will probably start the game,” Muschamp told reporters on Tuesday. “Certainly, Ty’Son [Williams] is going to be a guy who’s going to spell him. A.J. [Turner] will probably be on in the third series of the game.”
Dowdle led the Gamecocks in rushing in 2016 with 764 yards on 113 carries, with 6 rushing touchdowns and 1 receiving score.
South Carolina football injury report
Freshman cornerback Tavyn Jackson (foot) and redshirt freshman WR Randrecous Davis (leg) are both out for South Carolina’s game on Saturday.
Despite missing part of preseason camp with a foot injury, junior CB Steven Montac should be available on Saturday.
“He’s going to practice [Wednesday],” Muschamp said of Montac. “He ran around, looked good [Tuesday], so I think Steven is going to be back up for the game, which is good, especially as thin as we are in the secondary.”
Improving punt returns
The Gamecocks got plenty of production in the punt return game last season but are looking to improve their fielding of punts.
Senior defensive back Chris Lammons is the Gamecocks’ most reliable option, but former 4-star prospects and true freshmen Smith and Jamyest Williams could push for playing time.
“Some young guys have stepped in and done a nice job, Jam Williams [and] Shi Smith,” special teams coordinator Coleman Hutzler told reporters earlier this month. “Those guys have really stepped in and pushed Chris Lammons, pushed Rashad Fenton, and Chris has been the [steadiest] throughout fall camp, so we’re excited to have more depth there, which a year ago — we didn’t.”
Class of 2019 RB targets
Thanks to the hard work of running backs coach Bobby Bentley, South Carolina is in the mix for Class of 2019 5-star RB Quavaris Crouch. The Charlotte, N.C., native is rated as the No. 18 overall prospect in the Class of 2019, according to 247Sports composite rankings.
Several other 4-star running backs have offers from the Gamecocks, including Devyn Ford (Stafford, Va.), Derrian Brown (Buford, Ga.) and Jonathan Sewell (Athens, Ga.). Both Brown and Sewell have already visited Columbia.
Other Class of 2019 running back targets include Syheam McQueen (Laurinburg, N.C.), Michael Dukes (Charleston, S.C.), Knowledge McDaniel (Bradenton, Fla.) and Aidan Robbins (Louisville, Ky.).
Depth chart zinger
With Jim Harbaugh causing quite the fracas by not releasing Michigan’s updated 2017 roster, Muschamp saw fit to throw out a quick depth chart-related quip in his meeting with the media on Tuesday, via Go Gamecocks on Twitter.
Don’t ever change, Coach Boom.
— GoGamecocks (@gogamecocks) August 29, 2017
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The post Will Muschamp previews North Carolina State; plus, breaking down the Gamecocks’ depth chart appeared first on SEC Country.