Hayden Hurst and Deebo Samuel were staples of an emerging South Carolina football offense in 2016.
Now, the duo is expected to take big leaps forward to boost the Gamecocks more in 2017. On Tuesday, Athlon Sports pegged the junior wide receiver Samuel and junior tight end Hurst as first-team All-SEC performers for the coming season.
Samuel made 59 receptions for 783 yards and a touchdown as a sophomore, missing three games with a hamstring injury. He also rushed for six touchdowns, being utilizing as a red-zone weapon on jet sweeps consistently throughout the season.
Hurst caught 48 passes for 616 yards and a touchdown in his first season as a full-time tight end after playing wide receiver in his first season at South Carolina.
Linebacker Skai Moore was pegged as a second-team selection and Zack Bailey was named a third-team offensive lineman.
Moore is returning to South Carolina for his senior season after sitting out last year following neck surgery. Bailey excelled at left guard for the Gamecocks in 2016, but is on the move to play right tackle as a junior for a South Carolina offensive line that is looking to solidify the overall offense.