Although key Gamecocks such as Zerrick Cooper, Tylan Grable, & Josh Samuel were lost to graduation or the transfer portal, there’s still plenty to be excited about on the 2022 Gamecocks roster.
QB’s: All-Conference QB Zion Webb & NC State transfer Aaron McClaughlin headline a talented QB room. Webb is returning from leg injury that caused him to miss the 2021 fall season. He’ll aim to continue his play as a premier FCS talent.
RB’s: Pat Jackson and Ron Wiggins return as explosive threats from the backfield. Not only should we expect fireworks, but this group could be the most exciting backfield we’ve seen in years.
WR’s: Ahmad Edwards and PJ Wells, along with Texas Tech transfer Sterling Galban, offer depth and experience outside. Look for this group to have a few breakout stars.
TE’s: All-Conference TE Sean Brown aims to build upon an impressive 2021 campaign.
OL (WARPIGS): All-Conference OL’s Zack Cangelosi & Cam Hill, alongside veteran mainstay Ye’Majesty Sanders, the experienced Josh Wegener, & Treylon Brown offer depth amongst the trenches as well. UGA transfer Clay Webb will look to establish himself as a key member of the group. A nasty and versatile group, the OL will be key to success.
Overall, the talent and production did not coincide with points last season despite the Gamecocks averaging 360 yards per game. Coach Rich Rodriguez aims for his up tempo spread to lead to improvement on the 22 points per game from the 2021 season.
On defense, key departures include DJ Coleman, Malik Feaster & Nicario Harper. Losing players of their caliber will certainly be a blow. However, the Gamecock defense will not lack for talent or experience.
DB’s: The DB room, even with key departures, is as talented as any on the team. Former All-American CB Yul Gowdy leads a seasoned group in the defensive backfield. Additionally, Jeremiah Harris, Yessman Green & Marco Baker have unquestionably all played plenty of productive football in the back end as well.
LB’s: All-Conference LB’s Markail Benton and Stevonte Tullis will be looked on to provide leadership for not only the defense, but the entire team. For this reason, expect these men to step into a more vocal and visible role of action this season.
DL: Without a doubt, the most interesting group on the team is the defensive line. All-American Jaylen Swain headlines a group along on the front that aims to make strides this season. Furthermore, Chris Hardie, Jackson Luttrell & Anthony Nesby look to anchor and provide pressure.
ST: Jack Dawson and Alex Karajic are steady presences that will also be key in controlling ball games this year.
At this time, improvement on the 28 points per game allowed and nearly 400 yards of offense allowed is the focus. With time, this group is primed to return to the form of old.