Coming off a 9-4 season in Year 2 under coach Will Muschamp, there will be plenty of South Carolina football fans with sky-high expectations in 2018.
SEC Country is here to help guide those Gamecocks fans toward some realistic goals for the upcoming season, which begins on Sept. 1 against Coastal Carolina, followed by two more home games against Georgia (Sept. 8) and Marshall (Sept. 15).
Which South Carolina players could finish 2018 on All-SEC teams? Below are some of the most likely first-team candidates.
WR/KR Deebo Samuel (senior)
Before exiting the Kentucky game with a broken left leg in Week 3, Deebo Samuel had established himself as an early candidate for the Heisman Trophy, catching 15 passes for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns. His rushing score and two kickoff returns for touchdowns firmly planted him in the mix for the SEC’s best return man and the league’s top all-purpose player.
As long as Samuel can stay on the field in 2018, he’ll be right back in the middle of those same conversations.
OL Zack Bailey (senior)
Assuming Zack Bailey doesn’t declare for the NFL draft over the next few days, he’ll be back for one final season as the Gamecocks’ top offensive lineman.
Over the last three seasons, he’s played center, guard and tackle. In 2017, he was the team’s starting right tackle.
DE/OLB D.J. Wonnum (junior)
D.J. Wonnum had a breakout sophomore campaign, leading South Carolina in sacks (6) and tackles for loss (13). Before the Outback Bowl, his teammates voted him as a permanent team captain, along with three other players.
MLB T.J. Brunson (junior)
After leading the team for most of the season in tackles, T.J. Brunson eventually gave way to Skai Moore, who’s now off to a career in the NFL. The middle linebacker finished second on the team with 88.
Also in the mix
- OLB/DE Bryson Allen-Williams (senior)
- QB Jake Bentley (junior)
- RB Rico Dowdle (junior)
- CB Rashad Fenton (senior)
- WR Bryan Edwards (junior)
- DT Javon Kinlaw (junior)