COLUMBIA, S.C. – Just over a week into the South Carolina football preseason camp, the No. 2 quarterback battle is still up for grabs.
Redshirt tight end Kyle Markway told reporters on Tuesday morning that redshirt junior Michael Scarnecchia, for the most part, has “been in charge” of the Gamecocks second-team offense.
“He’s leading that group,” Markway said. “Actually, today, Jay was taking some reps with garnet group and he had a 1-minute drive. He looked really good. He moved the ball down the [field], got down to like the 3-yardline.
“We weren’t able to get it in, but he moved it all the way down there, led us. He looked good.”
Scarnecchia, according to co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper, is a comparable type of quarterback to Jake Bentley, in that they’re both traditional, drop-back passers.
“Mike may have a little bit more oomph on [throws],” Markway said. “He likes using the tight ends a lot, too, which is good for me so far, because he always finds a way to get the ball to me. They’re very similar. Both good leaders, easy to get along with, fun to play with.”
Redshirt junior Donell Stanley is in line to win the starting job at left guard. To his left, at tackle, that spot is up for grabs. Redshirt junior Malik Young and junior Dennis Daley, a junior college transfer, are the primary candidates.
“It’s going good,” Stanely said. “I think both of them are making good strides. I mean, Dennis, he just got here and he’s learning the system. Malik has experience.”
Young, who started nine games at right tackle last season, isn’t opposed to showing Daley the ropes.
“At the end of the day, it’s competition,” Young said of the position battle. “You need it. You need somebody behind you that’s good, to keep you going. You can’t get complacent. That’s how I feel. When I was younger, I didn’t really have anybody to show me the way, show me the plays and help me out.”
As for the rest of the starting offensive line: Alan Knott remains at center with Cory Helms handling the right guard job and Zack Bailey at right tackle.
Challenge for the top 2
It might be a bit premature to start touting the vast amount of depth on South Carolina’s wide receiver roster, but it’s still a position group that remains relatively inexperienced, including its top two performers.
“We return some guys that played a lot of ball, as far as last year,” co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon said. “We’ve got Deebo Samuel. He’s played a bunch ball, ended up playing really good for us, late last year. And Bryan [Edwards] had a really good freshman year.
“Now, both of those guys are still kind of young, when it comes to things. When you look to how much they played before last season, it’s not a lot.”
Samuel, now a redshirt junior, spent most of that season sidelined with a hamstring injury while Edwards was a senior at Conway (S.C.) High School.
“They still have to make sure we do a good job of growing, still,” McClendon said. “We have a lot of practice left and we start with an opponent that is, quite frankly, one of the better ones that we play.”