ESPN.com reported that Marcus Lattimore will enter the NFL draft this year. So where does that leave the South Carolina Gamecocks at running back?
Well, next year, it pretty much leaves them where they would’ve been had Lattimore stayed. The plan was to redshirt the star running back next year, and bring him back fully healthy in 2014.
The presiding knowledge around Columbia is that Mike Davis will be handed the starting RB duties next year. The presiding knowledge forgets there’s a guy on the roster who filled in just as well for Lattimore when he went down last year, though.
Brandon Wilds, who used a medical redshirt this season, was the second leading rusher as far as running backs went last year for the Gamecocks. He had 107 carries, gained 486 yards and scored three touchdowns to go along with 136 yards receiving on 15 catches. He rushed for 100+ yards in three games; At Tennessee, vs Florida and vs The Citadel.
This year, Davis provided a spark off the bench behind Kenny Miles. Davis carried the ball 52 times for 275 yards and two touchdowns, and caught the ball three times for 30 yards.
In my opinion, neither has a clear edge heading into the Spring.
In 2014, when Lattimore was reportedly scheduled to return, Carolina will now be without one of the best running backs in the nation.
With Wilds a junior, and Davis a sophomore, the team will be deep at the position.
South Carolina has a commitment from three-star RB recruit Jamari Smith this year, and according to ESPN.com, the team is being considered by seven RB recruits, two of whom are on the ESPN Watch List.