Gamecocks Set to Open Preseason Camp
Team Offically Reports August 17
University of South Carolina football student-athletes will officially report for fall camp on Monday, August 17. The first practice will be held on Tuesday, August 18. The first game is scheduled for Saturday, September 26 with the opponent, site and time to be determined. The team will conduct its practices at either the practice fields, located behind the Long Family Football Facility, in the Jerri and Steve Spurrier Indoor Practice Facility or at Williams-Brice Stadium. Most practices will begin at approximately 9 am and last approximately two hours.
Due to COVID-19, no practices will be open to the media or to the public.
QUICKLY: 2020 will mark the 127th season of intercollegiate football at the University of South Carolina, dating back to 1892. It is the 114th-consecutive year in which South Carolina has competed on the gridiron. The University did not field a team in either 1893 or 1906. Carolina owns an all-time record of 612-587-44, a .510 winning percentage.
IT JUST MEANS MORE: The 2020 season will mark South Carolina’s 29th year in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina and Arkansas joined the league prior to the 1992 campaign. The Gamecocks earned the SEC Eastern Division title in the 2010 season. The Gamecocks are 97-126-1 (.435) all-time in SEC regular-season play, but are 42-38 (.525) in conference action since the start of the 2010 season.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: The 2020 season will mark the 10th anniversary of the 2010 squad that captured the SEC Eastern Division title and went on to appear in the SEC Championship game in Atlanta against eventual national champion Auburn. It’s the Gamecocks only division title since joining the Southeastern Conference.
2019 IN REVIEW: South Carolina concluded its 126th season of intercollegiate football in 2019 with a record of 4-8, including a 3-5 mark in the SEC. The highlight of the season was a 20-17 double-overtime win at Georgia, a team that finished fourth in the final Associated Press poll. Four of the Gamecocks’ eight losses were to teams that finished the season in the top-20 in the A.P.’s final poll, including No. 2 Clemson, No. 6 Florida, No. 8 Alabama and No. 19 Appalachian State.
NO EXCUSES, BUT THAT WAS TOUGH: The Gamecocks faced the nation’s toughest schedule during the 2019 season. Gamecock opponents averaged 8.9 wins, the high-water mark for any school in 2019, and all nine of their opponents that appeared in bowl games, won a bowl game. South Carolina’s Division I opponents combined for a 101-44 record, a .697 winning percentage. Using the NCAA formula, the Gamecocks (99-46, .683) faced the toughest schedule in the country, just ahead of Auburn (107-50, .682).
HE’S THE CHAMP: Will Muschamp has posted a 26-25 record in his first four seasons as the Gamecocks’ head coach. His .510 winning percentage is exactly the same as that of the University’s through its first 126 years of intercollegiate football. The 26 wins ranks in a tie for ninth on the school’s all-time list with Sol Metzger, while his 51 games coached ranks 10th in school history. With a full 12-game schedule, he would pass Sparky Woods (55 games) and Brad Scott (56), moving into eighth-place on the school’s all-time games coached list. He needs three wins to move past Warren Giese (28 wins) into eighth place and eight wins to leapfrog Lou Holtz into seventh on the all-time wins list. Overall, Coach Muschamp has been a head coach for eight seasons, logging a 54-46 record, a .540 winning percentage.
COACHING CAROUSEL: Head football coach Will Muschamp made several changes to his coaching staff in the off season. On offense, former Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo was brought in to serve as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Joe Cox takes over as the wide receivers coach and Des Kitchings will mentor the running backs. On the defensive side of the ball, veteran SEC coach Tracy Rocker will coach the defensive line with former Gamecock Rod Wilson taking over the linebackers. Kyle Krantz assumes the duties as the special teams coordinator along with serving as an assistant defensive backs coach.
THEY DO THE HEAVY LIFTING: The strength and conditioning staff has been overhauled, with Paul Jackson now in charge. Joining Jackson on the strength staff are Scott Salwasser, Julian Whitehead, Anthony Henderson and Jordan Sims.
BREAKING IT DOWN: The 114-man roster consists of two graduate transfers, 15 seniors, 22 juniors, 20 sophomores, 17 redshirt freshmen and 38 true freshmen.
THEY’RE BACK: The Gamecocks welcome 43 returning letterwinners to begin the 2020 season. The lettermen consist of 21 offensive players, 21 on defense and one special teams player.
RETURNING STARTERS: The Gamecocks list 13 returning starters from the 2019 squad, six on offense, six on defense and one specialist. The returning offensive starters are RG Jovaughn Gwyn, QB Ryan Hilinski, LT Sadarius Hutcherson, LG Jordan Rhodes, WR Shi Smith and RT Dylan Wonnum. The returning defensive starters are LB Sherrod Greene, CB Jaycee Horn, LB Ernest Jones, CB Israel Mukuamu, S R.J. Roderick and DE Aaron Sterling. The specialist is PK Parker White.
EVERY TIME OUT: The Gamecocks had eight players start every game in 2019 includes LT Sadarius Hutcherson, TE Kyle Markway, OC Donell Stanley, CB Jaycee Horn, LB Ernest Jones, DT Javon Kinlaw, CB Israel Mukuamu and DE D.J. Wonnum. Hutcherson (a team-leading 26 consecutive starts), Mukuamu (14), Horn (13) and Jones (12) return in 2020.
IT’S A NUMBERS GAME: Carolina returns 20 percent of its rushing yards, 95 percent of its passing yards and 43 percent of its receiving yards from 2019. Kevin Harris (179 yards) and Deshaun Fenwick (111 yards) are the top returning rushers, while Shi Smith (489 yards) and Josh Vann (171 yards) are the top returning receivers. The Gamecocks also return their top passer in Ryan Hilinski (2,357 yards). Six of the squad’s top eight tacklers are back for the 2020 season, including team-leader Ernest Jones (97 tackles) and Jammie Robinson (62 tackles). Aaron Sterling returns after leading the team in tackles for loss (10.0) and sacks (6.0), while Israel Mukuamu paced the team with four interceptions.
NO SPRING FOR YOU: Several Gamecocks sat out the abbreviated spring while rehabbing from off-season surgeries. Those who were sidelined included wide receiver Randrecous Davis (lower leg), linebacker Spencer Eason-Riddle (knee), defensive lineman Kingsley Enagbare (hip), quarterback Collin Hill (knee), defensive lineman Tyreek Johnson (knee), linebacker Mohamed Kaba (knee), tight end Nick Muse (knee) and offensive tackle Dylan Wonnum (hip). All are expected to be ready to go this fall.
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: The Gamecocks said good-bye to 26 lettermen, 13 on offense, eight on defense and five special teamers. Included were 11 starters off last year’s team, five on both sides of the ball and one specialist. The departed starters include WR Chavis Dawkins, RB Rico Dowdle, WR Bryan Edwards, TE Kyle Markway and OC Donell Stanley on the offensive side of the ball, and LB T.J. Brunson, S J.T. Ibe, DT Javon Kinlaw, DT Kobe Smith, B/S D.J. Wonnum on defense, along with punter Joseph Charlton.
I FEEL A DRAFT: The Gamecocks had four players from the 2019 team selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. Defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw was selected in the first round by the San Francisco 49ers with the 14th pick overall. Wide receiver Bryan Edwards went to the Las Vegas Raiders in the third round at number 81 overall. Defensive end D.J. Wonnum was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth round, the 117th pick overall. Linebacker T.J. Brunson, was a seventh-round pick of the New York Giants, the number 238 overall
MORE DRAFT NEWS: Senior defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw was selected by the San Francisco 49ers with the 14th pick in the first round of the NFL Draft. Kinlaw became the Gamecocks’ 14th first-round NFL draft pick and the ninth since 2000. With Kinlaw’s selection, the Gamecocks have produced a selection in 18 of the last 19 NFL Drafts. Kinlaw also became the 16th first-round selection coached by Carolina head coach Will Muschamp.
ATHLON SAYS: Athlon magazine listed six Gamecocks among its 2020 preseason All-SEC teams. OL Sadarius Hutcherson and DL Aaron Sterling were second team selections, LB Ernest Jones, CB Jaycee Horn and S Jammie Robinson were named to the third-team unit, while PK Parker White was a fourth-team selection.
PHIL STEELE REPORTS: Phil Steele Publications recognized seven Gamecocks on his preseason all-conference teams. OL Sadarius Hutcherson, DB Jaycee Horn and DB Israel Mukuamu all earned second-team All-SEC accolades, while LB Ernest Jones and TE Nick Muse were third team selections. WR Shi Smith and DL Kingsley Enagbare were named to the fourth-team unit.
GETTING BUSY WITH IZZY: Junior defensive back Israel Mukuamu is getting plenty of preseason attention. Not only is he listed on the preseason second-team All-SEC squad by Phil Steele, Steele named him to his fourth-team All-America squad. He was also named to the Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list, which recognizes the nation’s top defensive back, and was selected to the Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List. The Lott IMPACT Trophy, is the only major college football award where the character of the nominee is considered. IMPACT stands for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
MUSE ON MACKEY: Senior Nick Muse, the latest in a long line of standout Gamecock tight ends, was named to the preseason John Mackey Award watch list, which recognizes the nation’s top tight end.
WE’RE SERIOUS ABOUT SADARIUS: Senior offensive lineman Sadarius Hutcherson was named to the preseason Outland Trophy watch list. The Outland Trophy recognizes the nation’s top interior lineman.
IT’S GOOD!: Senior Parker White has been named to the 2020 preseason Lou Groza Award watch list as the nation’s top placekicker.
TOTING THE SHEEPSKIN: Thirteen Gamecock football players will have their diplomas in hand when they take the field for the 2020 season. Those who have earned undergraduate degrees include: Slade Carroll, Spencer Eason-Riddle, Jabari Ellis, Chandler Farrell, Jaylan Foster, Collin Hill, Sadarius Hutcherson, Christian Kinsley, Sean McGonigal, Adam Prentice, Keir Thomas, M.J. Webb and Parker White.
FALL ACADEMICS: The Gamecocks placed 47 players on the 2019 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll including: Trey Adkins, Jake Bentley, Davonne Bowen, TJ Brunson, Eddie Buckhouse, Summie Carlay, Slade Carroll, Joseph Charlton, Devontae Davis, Chavis Dawkins, Mon Denson, Eric Douglas, Spencer Eason-Riddle, Chandler Farrell, Daniel Fennell, Corbett Glick, Sherrod Greene, Jovaughn Gwyn, Cole Hanna, Dawson Hoffman, Jaycee Horn, Sadarius Hutcherson, J.T. Ibe, Max Iyama, Tyreek Johnson, John Kanaan, Christian Kinsley, Rosendo Louis Jr., Hank Manos, Sean McGonigal, Israel Mukuamu, Jazuun Outlaw, Kiel Pollard, Patrick Reedy, Will Register, Jordan Rhodes, Darius Rush, Rick Sandidge, Kobe Smith, Will Tommie, Jay Urich, Jordan Villafane, Noah Vincent, MJ Webb, Parker White, Dylan Wonnum, and D.J. Wonnum.
FIRST-YEAR HONOR ROLL: Several Gamecock football players were named to the SEC’s First-Year Honor Roll including Joseph Anderson, Jahmar Brown, John Dixon, Rodricus Fitten, Mark Fox, Kevin Harris, Ryan Hilinski, Traevon Kenion, Xavier Legette, Jakai Moore, Vincent Murphy, Nick Muse, Jaylen Nichols, Matt Oliveira, Zacch Pickens, Will Rogers, Shilo Sanders and KeShawn Toney.
LOVE US FOR OUR MINDS: Gamecock football student-athletes posted a combined 3.614 GPA in Spring 2020, the highest mark on record. The previous high was 3.084 in the spring of 2019. They fell just short of obtaining another combined GPA of 3.0 or better in the fall of 2019, coming in at 2.985, despite being in-season.
NFL TIES: Jaycee Horn is the son of former NFL wide receiver Joe Horn. Damani Staley is the son of former Gamecock and NFL running back Duce Staley. Shilo Sanders is the son of former NFL and MLB standout Deion Sanders, a member of both the College and Pro Football Hall of Fame. Dylan Wonnum is the younger brother of former Gamecock, D.J. Wonnum, who is in his first season with the Minnesota Vikings. Fabian Goodman is the son of former Gamecock Andre Goodman, who logged 10 seasons in the NFL. Elisha Brooks is the son of former Gamecock and NFL star Robert Brooks.