Part of me really wants to say Jay Graham. That is probably the homer in me. Though it would be pretty awesome to see Tennessee’s run game drastically improve, and to see the Gamecock running game flounder. But with Marcus Lattimore back and presumably healthy, that seems unlikely. Still it was amazing to see third string tailback Brandon Wilds run roughshod over the Vols last year.
However, I am going to go with the 10th pick in the NFL draft Stephon Gilmore, the junior left school early to enter the NFL draft, and he was clearly worth it. There aren’t a lot of athletes like Gilmore, and he will be tough to replace.
The smallest loss was Stephen Garcia.
Most Important Returning Player
This one was tough for me to pick. Jadeveon Clowney is back, and he should be a terror in the SEC this year, but I am going to go with the above-mentioned Marcus Lattimore. If he recovered from his knee injury, he will be the most important Gamecock, if he isn’t back in form, South Carolina could suffer without he and Jay Graham.
Highest Ranked Recruit
Again, depending on the recruiting services there is some variability. Mike Davis, running back from Stone Mountain, GA seems to be the closest thing to a consensus for the ‘Cocks. Davis ultimately chose South Carolina over Tennessee and Florida State
Most Important Off-season Acquisition
Joe Robinson, special teams coordinator/tight ends coach. With the loss of Stephon Gilmore, the return game may be in a bit of trouble. Maybe Joe Robinson will be there to train an adequate replacement.
October 6th at home vs Georgia, with Missouri entering the SEC, this game, which was recently each team’s first exposure to conference play, has been moved back. Many will tell you that this game will decide the East. I doubt that, but what I do know is that the winner will certainly have a leg up on the other.
August 30 @ Vanderbilt – W
September 8 v East Carolina –W
September 15 v UAB – W
September 22 v Missouri – W
September 29 @ Kentucky – W
October 6 v Georgia – W
October 13 @ LSU – L
October 20 @ Florida – W
October 27 v Tennessee – W
November 10 v Arkansas – W
November 17 v Wofford –W
November 24 v Clemson – W
December 1 SECCG v ?
Projected regular season record 11-1