OFFENSE: Syvelle Newton-QB, Andy Boyd-TE, Noah Whiteside-WR, Thomas Coleman-OG, Chris White-C, Seth Edwards-OG
DEFENSE: Fred Bennett-CB
Receiver/Defensive Back

Sidney Rice and Kenny McKinley already know their roles for success. The same goes for a secondary that can improve on its recent 22nd ranking.

Offensive Line

Too much experience leaves with Coleman and White for this area to be as strong.

WR Sidney Rice
LB Jasper Brinkley

* DEPTH CHARTS were only designed as a simplistic gauge for listing players that departed and players that received the most playing experience (consistent starters). NationalChamps.net recognizes the importance of missing personnel data not listed such as redshirts, transfers, injuries, incoming recruits, back ups and alternates. Their coverage will begin with our full 2007 Preseason Preview due out this coming spring.
Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Blake Mitchell-Sr Chris Smelley-So / Tommy Beecher-So
FB Lanard Stafford-Sr Bryan Kingrey-Sr
TB Cory Boyd-Sr Mike Davis-Jr
WR Sidney Rice-Jr Mike West-Sr
WR Kenny McKinley-Jr Freddie Brown-So / Moe Brown-So
TE Robert Pavlovic-Sr Jared Cook-So
OT Jamon Meredith-Jr Hutch Eckerson-So
OG William Brown-Sr ..
C .. ..
OG Garrett Anderson-So ..
OT Justin Sorensen-Jr ..
K Ryan Succop-Jr ..
DE Casper Brinkley-Sr ..
DT Nathan Pepper-Jr Marque Hall-Jr / Lemuel Jeanpierre-So
NT Joe Reaves-Sr Stanley Doughty-Sr
DE Jordin Lindsey-Sr Ryan Brown-Sr / Eric Norwood-So
OLB Cody Wells-Sr Yvan Banag-Jr
MLB Jasper Brinkley-Sr ..
OLB Rodney Paulk-So Marvin Sapp-Jr
CB .. ..
CB Carlos Thomas-Jr Captain Munnerlyn-So
ROV Chris Hampton-Sr Emanuel Cook-So
FS Stoney Woodson-Jr ..
P Ryan Succop-Jr ..

Expectations will be higher this upcoming year for the Gamecocks as the Old Ball Coach (aka Steve Spurrier) enters his third year in Columbia. This means his recruiting choices will become juniors and will have been exclusively in his system(s) since arriving. But the one area Spurrier specializes in – the passing game – still sees Blake Mitchell at QB, and as a senior, he isn’t a Spurrier find. Can Mitchell take the reigns as fleet-footed Syvelle Newton departs and claim this position with worthy play of Spurrier’s (and boosters) high expectations? Look for either sophomore - Alabama Gatorade Player of the Year (2005) Chris Smelley or highly-touted Tommy Beecher – on gameday as they battle for the vaunted 2008 starting QB spot. USC offers plenty of targets, led by All-American candidate Sidney Rice. In all, the team’s top five in receptions return from the nation’s 24th-ranked passing offense. And though the top three RBs also return, questions surrounding the OL’s interior won’t be answered until the first real-game snap. Regardless, expect Spurrier to produce improvements on offense. Even bigger improvements will come on the other side of the ball. The Gamecocks will see 12 guys with starting experience back on defense, including seven seniors. The DBs look strongest after finishing 22nd against the pass, though they play at the line of scrimmage just as well in blitzes and run support. Replacing their best corner (Bennett) will be the only challenge. The front seven benefits from the sibling rivalry of the Brinkley brothers – MLB Jasper (12.5 TFLs, four sacks, team’s leading tackler) and DE Casper (11.5 TFLs, five sacks). The overall run-stopping efforts have to improve with the entire DL and LB corps returning, or it will be another mediocre year. P/K Ryan Succop gives Spurrier a huge leg with which to work - he averages 43+ per punt and was 15-for-18 in FGAs…a big special teams advantage that will continue in close games. Spurrier builds teams a few pieces at a time, and his squads have traditionally improved steadily year by year. 2007 should see almost all of those pieces in place for a genuine run at their conference half.



9-1 Louisiana-Lafayette
9-8 @ Georgia
9-15 South Carolina State
9-22 @ Louisiana State
9-29 Mississippi State
10-6 Kentucky
10-13 @ North Carolina
10-20 Vanderbilt
10-27 @ Tennessee
11-3 @ Arkansas
11-10 Florida
11-24 Clemson