College Sports

South Carolina practice observations: Old and new faces seen, depth chart update

First look: USC freshman defensive lineman Joseph Anderson

Freshman defensive lineman Joseph Anderson goes through drills during spring practice with the University of South Carolina football team.
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Freshman defensive lineman Joseph Anderson goes through drills during spring practice with the University of South Carolina football team.

The South Carolina football team went outside in the chilly morning air on Wednesday for practice, with the first three periods open to the media. A few familiar faces were back after missing the start of spring.

A few observations from the opening three periods:

Of Will Muschamp’s list of players who started spring injured, several were back, or at least in non-contact jerseys. That included offensive guard Jovaughn Gwyn, safety J.T. Ibe, running back Rico Dowdle (non-contact jersey), safety Jamyest Williams (non-contact jersey), linebacker Eldridge Thompson (non-contact jersey). Defensive lineman Keir Thomas was full-go.

Also present were new enrollee Traevon Kenion, who was just watching the tight ends and not in uniform, and signee Xavier Legette, who has not yet enrolled but dropped by.

Players with the injured group included offensive lineman Jordon Cary and receivers OrTre Smith and Darius Rush.

Five-star defensive end Zacch Pickens wasn’t out for stretching or the first period, but rolled in soon after that.

The Gamecocks ran skeleton offense and a defensive pursuit drill, which gave a sense of what the offensive and defensive depth charts might look like, give or take a number of injuries. USC was running three-receiver sets.

The depth chart as was seen:

1st team

QB: Jake Bentley

RB: Mon Denson (Rico Dowdle was out)

WR: Shi Smith, Bryan Edwards, Josh Vann (OrTre Smith was out)

TE: Kiel Pollard

OL: Sadarius Hutcherson (LT), Donell Stanley (LG), Hank Manos (C), Jovaughn Gwyen (RG), Dylan Wonnum

2nd team

QB: Jay Urich got the first snap, but Dakereon Joyner, Ryan Hilinski rotated in

RB: AJ Turner

WR: Chad Terrell, Randrecous Davis, Chavis Dawkins

TE: KeShawn Toney

OL: Eric Douglas (LT), Jordan Rhodes (LG), Summie Carlay (C), M.J. Webb (RG), Jaylen Nichols (RT)

USC’s offense was working on screens, mostly getting guards and tackles out and blocking in space.

Former Gamecocks Rashad Fenton and Keisean Nixon were on hand to watch. They’ll go through Pro Day on Thursday.

The quarterbacks were doing a somewhat interesting drill built around unblocked rushers. They were going through the various moves of grounding the ball, tossing over rushers and moving around them.

Four-star freshman Joseph Anderson was working with the likes of Pickens, Rick Sandidge and Kobe Smith to the side when USC was doing special teams work. That migth be a sign those guy just aren’t involved or could point to Anderson and Pickens getting some work at tackle.

See all the bells and whistles in the Gamecocks' new Long Family Football Operations Center in this 360 video.

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