The South Carolina football roster includes just about every possible scenario why a player has to redshirt and sit out for a season.
Some freshmen aren’t ready. Others are, but their path to playing time is blocked by upperclassmen. Injuries happen, so do transfers.
The Gamecocks redshirt roster from 2016 features a little bit of everything. Those listed below are among the players across the team’s entire roster — not just the freshmen — who could make an impact in 2017.
After reporting last summer from Huntingdon (Tenn.) High School, Sadarius Hutcherson immediately converted from defensive end to offensive tackle. Now listed on the team’s roster at 6-foot-4, 316 pounds, he’s gained 40 pounds since reporting to South Carolina. He’s also one of the strongest guys on the team.
During preseason camp, Hutcherson will resume competition with Malik Young for the No. 1 left tackle job. Junior-college transfer Dennis Daley is another name to consider for the spot.
It’s pretty tough to forget Skai Moore and the neck injury he faced last year. His inclusion on this list is to serve more as a reminder for what he could add to a defense that needs to improve at every level in Year 2 under Will Muschamp. When healthy, Moore (6-2, 218) is one of the top defenders in the SEC. Once his career is over, he’ll be considered among the all-time greats at South Carolina, having led the team in tackles in each of his first three seasons.
The 6-foot-3, 297-pound redshirt freshman isn’t the only 2016 signee who saw time on the field last season before injuries got the best of him. Randrecous Davis got the nod in another preseason preview, and depth at defensive tackle is more of a question mark than at receiver, so Aaron Thompson lands on the list.
Thompson played briefly against Mississippi State, but his 2016 campaign was cut short by an ankle injury. Heading into preseason camp, he’ll compete with M.J. Webb and Javon Kinlaw for work in the Gamecocks’ defensive tackle rotation.
Anyone who watched the spring game saw what Ty’Son Williams adds to South Carolina’s stable of running backs (Williams had 11 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown in that contest). Along with sophomore Rico Dowdle and fellow redshirt sophomore A.J. Turner, there are plenty of reasons why fans should be excited about the Gamecocks’ run-game possibilities in 2017.
Williams, who’s listed a walk-on after transferring last summer from North Carolina, will compete for the starting spot in the season opener against N.C. State at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. He last played in that stadium in 2015, when South Carolina beat North Carolina, 17-13.
After four years of dependable kicks from Elliott Fry, the all-time leading scorer in school history, South Carolina turns to Alex Woznick, the most recent prospect to emerge from the kicking factory that is Eastside High School (Taylors, S.C.). Last fall, as he zeroed in on the Gamecocks’ scoring record, Fry told reporters plenty of good things about his soon-to-be successor.