HOOVER, Ala. — South Carolina junior tight end Hayden Hurst and linebacker Skai Moore were named to the preseason All-SEC second team on Friday.
Joining Hurst and Moore on the team were receiver Deebo Samuel (third team) .
Hurst, who played high school football in Jacksonville, Fla., caught 48 passes for 616 yards and a touchdown for the Gamecocks last season. He was also the first sophomore in school history to be voted as a permanent team captain by his teammates.
“The guy lives in the weight room,” South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said. “If he’s not there, he’s in the film room. He’s asking questions. He is as coachable a guy as there is on our football team and that I’ve been associated with. … to see his work ethic and the example he sets for the younger players is invaluable for me as a coach.”
Before joining the Gamecocks as a walk-on wide receiver in 2015, Hurst played professional baseball in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.
Now, just under two months before the start of his junior season at South Carolina, he’s expected to also have a shot at professional football.
“To me, it’s all about the respect you have from your peers, and he’s as respected a young man on our football team,” Muschamp said.
Moore, a 6-2, 221-pound senior from Cooper City, Fla., was one of the candidates named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy preseason watch list.
Moore received a medical redshirt last year to rehab a herniated disk and did not play last year. He was second team All-SEC in 2015.
Moore had 111 tackles in the 2015 season, making him the first Gamecocks player with more than 100 tackles in a season since 2006.
Samuel, a 6-foot, 208-pound junior from Inman, S.C. , had 59 catches for 783 yards in 10 games last year to lead all South Carolina receivers. He won the Steve Spurrier Award as the offense’s MVP, shared the Steve Wadiak MVP award with quarterback Jake Bentley and was named “most explosive player” on offense by his teammates last year,
RELATED: The 2017 All-SEC Team