Athlon Sports has released its 2018 SEC preseason all-conference teams and seven South Carolina football players were recognized.
Deebo Samuel garnered first-team honors as both a wide receiver and kick returner. Samuel, a 6-foot, 210-pound senior from Inman S.C., was limited to just three games last season due to injury. However, in those three contests, Samuel scored 6 touchdowns, including a pair of 99-yard kickoff returns. He caught 15 passes for 250 yards. For his career, he has 86 receptions for 1,194 yards.
Three more Gamecocks picked up second-team honors, offensive lineman Zack Bailey, linebacker T.J. Brunson and punter Joseph Charlton.
Bailey (6-6, 309), a senior from Summerville, S.C., moves back to his more natural position of left guard after starting at right tackle in 2017. He has made 26 starts at three different positions over the last three seasons.
Brunson (6-1, 225), a sophomore from Columbia, was second on the team with 88 tackles last season. A member of the AP All-Bowl Team following a dominating performance in the win over Michigan, Brunson was selected as the Rex Enright co-Defensive Player of the Spring.
Charlton, another Columbia area product, averaged 43.5 yards per punt a season ago. He earned the Jim Carlen Most Valuable Player Award for special teams as well as the Most Productive Player Award for special teams.
Junior defensive linemen, Javon Kinlaw and D.J. Wonnum, garnered spots on the third-team. Kinlaw is 6-foot-6, 302-pound tackle. He played high school ball in Goose Creek, S.C. before spending one season at the junior college level. Wonnum (6-5, 258) is an edge player out of Stone Mountain, Ga. He was voted a team captain as a sophomore, after leading the team in sacks and tackles for loss.
Senior cornerback Rashad Fenton, who’s from Miami, grabbed a spot on Athlon’s fourth-team All-SEC squad. He had 1 interception and 8 pass breakups while collecting 48 tackles a season ago.