Hale McGranahan/SEC Country
Guard Cory Helms is one of three injured offensive linemen who could return for the Gamecocks this week.

Gamecocks get good news on injury front; plus, South Carolina climbs in latest SEC rankings

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Good news for O-line

According to South Carolina coach Will Muschamp, “all three [offensive] linemen will be back this week.”

The trio the second year South Carolina coach is referring to is Zack Bailey, Cory Helms and Malik Young. The linemen have all been out with ankle injuries the last few weeks.

In their absence, the Gamecocks have improved their offensive line depth by getting valuable playing time and experience for younger linemen such as Dennis Daley, Sadarius Hutcherson and Alan Knott.

Update on Deebo Samuel

Injured wide receiver Deebo Samuel could return during the regular season, according to Muschamp.

“There’s a possibility that he could play in the regular season, but I don’t want to speculate,” Muschamp said during his teleconference on Sunday night.

Samuel’s been out since suffering a fractured fibula against Kentucky in Week 3. In less than three full games, the redshirt junior had 2 kickoff return touchdowns, 1 rushing touchdown and 3 receiving scores.

South Carolina’s place in the SEC

With Kentucky losing 45-7 to Mississippi State on Saturday, the Gamecocks jumped the Wildcats in the latest SEC County SEC Power Rankings. South Carolina is ranked No. 8 in the Week 8 rankings.

The Gamecocks held the No. 9 slot for three consecutive weeks before this latest edition.

South Carolina’s next opponent, Vanderbilt, is ranked No. 13.

Will Muschamp’s outlook on recruiting

“Will Muschamp’s philosophy for South Carolina recruiting is simple,” wrote Hale McGranahan of SEC Country. “First, mine the state. Next, look directly north and immediately south.”

Thus far, Muschamp’s stuck to his recruiting plan.

Since Muschamp took over, the Gamecocks have signed 16 South Carolina natives. Georgia (12), North Carolina (7) and Florida (5) are the next most-represented states.

Big day for 4-star QB commit

Multiple South Carolina commits had outstanding performances for their schools this past weekend, but 4-star quarterback Dakereon Joyner was perhaps the most impressive of the bunch.

Joyner passed for 348 yards and 2 touchdowns in leading Fort Dorchester High School (North Charleston, S.C.) to a 52-0 win against West Ashley on Friday night.

The 6-foot-2 dual-threat quarterback has been committed to the Gamecocks since June. He’s rated as the No. 222 overall player in the Class of 2018, according to the 247Sports composite.

Darius Rush learning WR position

In his first full season at wide receiver, 3-star athlete and South Carolina commit Darius Rush is finding his groove.

The C.E. Murray High School (Greeleyville, S.C.) standout had 32 catches for 478 yards and 12 touchdowns through his team’s first seven games this season.

“It’s a huge adjustment, from playing quarterback [and] running back. Just me focusing on wide receiver, it’s good for me and it’s really impacting the whole game,” Rush said. “Usually, we’ve been a running team, but we’ve opened up our playbook and we’re doing much better as a whole, mixing up the run and the pass.”

FSU commit talks Gamecocks

Three-star safety and Florida State commit Israel Mukuamu took an official visit to Columbia two weeks ago to see South Carolina play Arkansas.

The Moncks Corner, S.C., native, now residing in Bossier City, La., was impressed by the Gamecocks’ defense and has continued to hear from Muschamp.

“[Muschamp] keeps telling me to come home,” Mukuamu told SportsTalk’s Phil Kornblut. “I still got Georgia and South Carolina in the back of my head. They both want me to play corner and they have a lack of depth.”

Mukuamu is rated as the No. 44 overall safety for 2018, according to 247Sports.

Monday motivation

How about a little vintage Marcus Lattimore to start your week off right? The former All-America running back takes a Stephen Garcia pass 52 yards for a score against Vanderbilt in 2011.

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