South Carolina gives ‘green light’ to several freshmen wide receivers
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Will Muschamp breaks down his freshmen into three categories.
“Green-light guys are guys we’re going to play, no matter what,” Muschamp said. “Yellow-light guys are guys (offensive coordinator) Kurt (Roper) may need to know, offensively, this guy is in the game — (defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson) may need to know this guy is in the game.
“Red-light guys are guys we’re not really sure we want to play them. There may be a discussion about redshirting them, but they are on the trip. They certainly could contribute to the team, but let’s have a discussion before the game.”
All four of the freshmen wide receivers listed on South Carolina’s newly-released depth chart have been green lit for action on Thursday night at Vanderbilt.
Bryan Edwards, who arrived from Conway, S.C., in January, has been a starter since the day he stepped foot on campus. By the time August rolled around, Gamecocks coaches were focused on figuring out which of the other freshmen wideouts could join him.
It didn’t take long for Chavis Dawkins, Korey Banks and Randrecous Davis to show they were ready to play in 2016.
Dawkins signed with South Carolina via in-state power Byrnes High School. He’s listed as Deebo Samuel’s backup.
“Chavis is a very polished guy, from a standpoint of playing the receiver position for a long time,” Muschamp said. “Catches the ball really well down the field.”
Banks, who’s from Tyrone, Ga., is counted as Jamari Smith’s backup at the slot position.
“Korey Banks is a guy that really has top-end speed. He’s got some things — he’s naturally running down the field and creates some issues, as far as top of the coverage,” Muschamp said.
Davis, another Georgia product, by way of Mays High School in Atlanta, occupies a spot on the depth chart behind Edwards.
“Randrecous is all-around, talent-wise, as far as catching the ball, finishing plays, having natural instincts at the position,” Muschamp said. “He’s done a fantastic job. We’ve got to keep him healthy. He’s had a little bit of a hamstring. He’s fine now. He’s been practicing.”
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Though he wasn’t listed on the depth chart, tight end Kiel Pollard will play this season. The 6-foot, 230-pound freshman from Moultrie, Ga., signed as a wide receiver, but was moved to his new position upon his arrival.
“He’s going to play a bunch for us, and he’s a guy that can do a lot of stuff, because he is a bigger-bodied guy, but he’s a hard guy for the defense to count,” Muschamp said. “What is he? That’s why we’re able to use him in some different spots.”
Hale McGranahan covers South Carolina athletics for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Follow him on Twitter: @Hale_AJC