South Carolina football: OrTre Smith and Randrecous Davis opt out

OrTre Smith #18 of the South Carolina Gamecocks. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
OrTre Smith #18 of the South Carolina Gamecocks. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Two South Carolina football players are opting out of the upcoming season.

South Carolina saw two linemen opt out of the 2020 college football season earlier this year, with Jordan Rhodes and Mark Fox deciding to sit out amid the Coronavirus pandemic. The Gamecocks received a bit of good news last night, as Rhodes, a former starter at left guard, has opted to return to the team and compete this year.

Rhodes started 10 games in 2019, and getting him back in the mix will improve the depth and athleticism on the interior of the Gamecock offensive line. Fox remains firm on his decision to forego the season, though he plans to return to the squad in 2021.

Though Rhodes’ return is something to be celebrated, the Gamecocks also received word that two wide receivers have decided to opt out. Senior Randrecous Davis and junior OrTre Smith will miss the 2020 season due to COVID concerns.

Davis has been on campus since 2016, but injuries have slowed his progress in Columbia. As a freshman, he made his first career start, and logged three catches for 45 yards before missing the year’s final 11 games with a hamstring pull.

The following year, he appeared in 11 games, making two more starts and catching seven passes for the season. In 2018, Davis caught his first touchdown pass but missed seven contests with another muscle injury. And last season, he missed the entire year with a high ankle sprain.

For his career, Davis has made three starts, logging 12 receptions for 123 yards and a score. He was expected to be in the mix for a starting role prior to opting out.

Smith has also been productive when healthy, but has sustained nagging knee injuries that have halted his development. As a freshman in 2017, Smith caught 30 passes for 326 yards and three touchdowns. He seemed primed to take over a starting role at wideout in his sophomore season before an injury and ensuing surgery forced him to miss most of the year.

Last season, he worked his way back from the knee issues, but never quite got back to 100%. Most of his time was spent in a reserve role behind Shi Smith and Bryan Edwards. He was expected to compete for a starting role alongside (Shi) Smith prior to the fall, but unfortunately, sustained another knee injury in the offseason. He’ll look to return to full health in 2021.

The two losses, and one addition, put the Gamecocks at three opt outs for the upcoming year. That number is second-most in the Southeastern Conference, just behind LSU, who’s lost four players for 2020.

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