Gamecocks Position Unit Preview: Wide Receivers
Key returners, highly touted youngsters look to shine in 2017
By Chris Phillips - August 4, 2017
The Gamecocks receiving corps had all kinds of question marks entering the 2016 season. After losing Pharoh Cooper, Carolina had just one player who had actually caught passes in a collegiate game for the Gamecocks.
Funny how much can change in a year. South Carolina return’s play-makers Deebo Samuel and Bryan Edwards, along with a veteran presence in RS Jr WR Terry Googer. Youngsters such as Shi Smith, Randrecous Davis, and OrTre Smith will have their opportunity to contribute this fall.
Meet The Wide Receivers…
WR – #1 Deebo Samuel, Jr / #8 Randrecous Davis, Fr
WR – #89 Bryan Edwards, Soph / #83 Chavis Dawkins, Soph
WR – #6 Terry Googer, Jr / #18 OrTre Smith, Fr
Bold denotes starter
The young guns. Someone out of this group as a whole has to step up. Beyond Deebo Samuel and Bryan Edwards, there are a ton of players who have plenty of potential. The problem is, they have either never done it in a collegiate game or have just shown brief flashes of brilliance. Players like Shi Smith,OrTre Smith, Chavis Dawkins, and Randrecous Davis will need to step up to take the heat off of those two main guys and help give the Gamecocks a full WR rotation. It will be very interesting to see who emerges out of this group. Carolina will need them to in order for this offense to click on all cylinders.
Deebo Samuel. Samuel’s versatility give him the nod here. Not only is he an extremely efficient pass catcher, he is a major threat out of the backfield as a runner. He also showed his ability in the KR game as well. Deebo only caught one passing TD last season but accounted for six rushing TD’s, mainly on the speed sweep play. HC Will Muschamp hinted that they will be creative with Deebo’s playmaking ability. His speed, agility, and pass catching ability make him a nightmare match-up for defenses. It will be interesting to see how the staff uses him and I expect Samuel to have an All-SEC caliber season.
Season Will Be Successful If…
5 Man WR Rotation. When it comes to a receiving corps, there’s strength in numbers. It will be up to the younger players to step up and fill the void in order to help the veterans make this offense click. With the arm talent of Jake Bentley, the Gamecocks will be at a huge advantage if they can spread the field with five wide-outs. If Roper and company can find just a couple of young guys to step up, the sky is the limit for this group.
B. While the pieces are there, the younger players in the rotation will need to step up. South Carolina has one of the most versatile players in the conference in Deebo Samuel. Bryan Edwards should become the next great big WR at South Carolina and has a chance to be one of the best in the SEC this season after a stellar freshman campaign. Players such as Shi Smith, Chavis Dawkins, and OrTre Smith have caught rave reviews in pre-season camp and will need to transition that to field this fall.