Hale McGranahan/SEC Country
WR OrTre Smith is one of the most exciting additions to the Gamecocks' offense in 2017.

OrTre Smith’s skill set conjures memories of former South Carolina star Alshon Jeffery

Welcome to SEC Country’s Chicken & Waffles, your daily dish for all things South Carolina Gamecocks football, basketball and more. Miss a previous edition? Find every edition of SEC Country’s South Carolina Gamecocks Chicken & Waffles right here.

The Gamecocks were razor-thin on experience at wide receiver entering the 2016 campaign. Now, just a year later, Carolina has flipped the script, as it’s loaded with young playmakers and promising prospects.

RELATED: OrTre Smith gives South Carolina another big threat in passing game

One of those youngsters is 4-star WR OrTre Smith, who is expected to play a major role in his rookie campaign.

“At 6-foot-4, he’s the tallest wide receiver on USC’s roster, tied with junior Terry Googer,” writes The Big Spur’s John Del Bianco. “Pair that with a 229-pound body, the biggest of any Gamecock receiver, Smith is the most physically gifted wide out the Gamecocks have had since Alshon Jeffery (6-foot-4, 225 pounds as a senior in high school).

The former Wando (Mount Pleasant, S.C.) star enrolled in January at South Carolina and spent much of spring practice recovering from ankle surgery.

The No. 130 overall prospect in the nation in 2017, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, made the most of his limited time on the practice field this spring — showing off his speed and body control in catching a 42-yard touchdown pass from former Wando teammate and USC reserve QB Bailey Hart in the spring game.

RELATED: Garnet & Black Spring Game analysis

Smith’s unique blend of speed and size mixes perfectly with the potent Carolina attack — now boasting talented wideouts Deebo Samuel and Bryan Edwards, with the reliable Hayden Hurst and touchdown-magnet K.C. Crosby both at tight end.

Jamyest Williams shines off the field

Jamyest Williams-South Carolina-South Carolina football
Jamyest Williams with Mary Persons student Gerald Walton, 19. (Mike Wilson/SEC Country)

As bright as incoming DB Jamyest Williams’ star is on the field, it might shine even brighter off of it.

The 4-star cornerback’s work with students with special needs was recently highlighted by SEC Country’s Mike Wilson — in particular, Williams’ relationship with Forsyth, Ga., student Gerald Walton.

RELATED: Jamyest Williams’ ‘different side’ found with students with special needs

Prior to the rally, Williams spent time talking with Walton’s class, getting to know the 9 students and hearing Walton talk about his love for football and wanting to play running back and wide receiver. There was a little bit of playful Georgia-South Carolina trash talk before Williams rolled a Gamecock football wristband off his arm and handed it to Walton, who wore it throughout the class.

Wilson’s piece is a must-read, not matter which team you root for. Spoiler alert: You’re going to become an even bigger fan of Williams, if that’s even possible.

Joyner talks Gamecocks

One of the Gamecocks’ top prospects for 2018, 4-star QB Dakereon Joyner, revealed to Phil Kornblut that South Carolina and North Carolina State are currently his top 2 schools.

“Come run the state, come be the man, stay in state, stay home an hour and fifteen minutes from my house, and I can be the face of the program,” Joyner said of the Gamecocks’ pitch. “And N.C. State has told me the same thing. I trust the Carolina staff completely only because USC as a whole was here for me since like Day 1.”

RELATED: Quarterback developments

While the Fort Dorchester quarterback names the Gamecocks and Wolfpack as his favorites, he does identify a third team in the mix: Alabama.

Update on Gaelin Elmore

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Gaelin Elmore, left, played in all 13 games for Minnesota last season, starting 6. (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Minnesota graduate transfer DE Gaelin Elmore wrapped up his official visit with the Gamecocks last week and had nothing but good things to say about the USC program.

“I liked it a lot,” Elmore said. “I’ve never been to S.C., so it was dope. Great people and great facilities.”

RELATED: Elmore talks official

Elmore took an official to Houston this past weekend and is headed to East Carolina sometime this week. As of now, the 6-6 defensive end has no plans for additional visits or a decision date.

Baseball bounces back

Despite dropping their last 3 SEC series, the Gamecocks baseball team ended the weekend on a high note, besting the Mississippi State Bulldogs 6-1 in the series finale on Sunday afternoon.

RELATED: Big eighth-inning rally sparks South Carolina to series-finale win

“It was a big relief for us to win this one today after the way we lost the first two,” Gamecocks coach Chad Holbrook said. “Live to fight another day and keep our head above water in the SEC. I think this was a significant game.”

The Gamecocks host Davidson on Tuesday night before heading to Gainesville for a 3-game series against Florida starting on Thursday.

USC grad wins PGA event

Former South Carolina golfer Wesley Bryan won his first PGA Tour tournament on Sunday, the RBC Heritage.

RELATED: South Carolina grad Wesley Bryan wins first PGA event at RBC Heritage

Bryan has only been on the PGA Tour since August, when he earned a promotion from the Web.com Tour.

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