Deebo Samuel and Bryan Edwards emerged last season for South Carolina to form one of the best wide receiver duos in the SEC.
In 10 games, Samuel led the Gamecocks with 59 catches for 783 yards with a touchdown. He also had 6 rushing touchdowns. Edwards was third on the team in receptions (44) and receiving yards (590) and tied for the team-lead with 4 touchdown catches.
There was a sharp drop after those two.
South Carolina’s next most productive wide receiver was Chavis Dawkins, who caught 8 passes for 69 yards. Three other receivers caught passes for the Gamecocks in 2016: Terry Googer (7), Randrecous Davis (3) and Korey Banks (1). Jerad Washington did not see any game action.
Health and happiness
Samuel’s ongoing battle with hamstring injuries carried over from 2015 to 2016. He played through the injury against Mississippi State before shutting it down against East Carolina, Kentucky and Texas A&M.
An injury suffered late against Kentucky forced Edwards to miss the Texas A&M game, but he was a starter in the other 12 contests.
Like Samuel, Davis dealt with a hamstring injury, but his forced him to miss almost the entire season. Davis caught 3 passes for 45 yards.
Davis was in prime position to be South Carolina’s third receiver and though he could have returned late in the season. But Will Muschamp and the Gamecocks coaches opted to keep him sidelined in order to preserve his medical redshirt.
Injuries also kept Davis out of the majority of spring practice this year.
He wasn’t the only pass-catcher to miss time. Freshman OrTre Smith, who suffered an injury at the end of his senior season at Wando High School (Mount Pleasant, S.C.), was limited through the first part of spring ball.
Smith, a former 4-star recruit, is one of three freshmen wide receivers on the Gamecocks roster. He was joined this summer by Shi Smith (Union, S.C.) and Chad Terrell (Bogue Chitto, Miss.).
Shi Smith, another 4-star signee, was ranked by the 247Sports composite as the No. 9 athlete in the Class of 2017. Terrell was given 4 stars by Rivals and was ranked as the No. 32 wide receiver in the country.
Official roster listing
(6) Terry Googer (6-4, 217) – RS Junior
(1) Deebo Samuel (6-0, 215) – RS Junior
(7) Korey Banks (5-11, 187) – Sophomore
(83) Chavis Dawkins (6-2, 212) – Sophomore
(89) Bryan Edwards (6-3, 215) – Sophomore
(9) Jerad Washington (5-8, 171) – RS Sophomore
(8) Randrecous Davis (5-10, 186) – RS Freshman
(18) OrTre Smith (6-4, 219) – Freshman
(13) Shi Smith (5-10, 179) – Freshman
(86) Chad Terrell (6-3, 212) – Freshman
The depth chart
Samuel, Edwards and Googer were listed as first-team wide receivers on South Carolina’s official preseason depth chart.
The second team included Davis or Banks, Dawkins and OrTre Smith, in the respective positions.