South Carolina football: Jordan Burch, Luke Doty among SEC’s top freshmen

Two South Carolina football players land on list of SEC’s top freshmen.

Saturday Down South, a site focused on sports news within the Southeastern Conference, recently revealed its projections for the top 25 freshmen ahead of the upcoming season. This list looks to rank players by potential impact in 2020 only, not necessarily by who will have best career.

The list includes two Gamecocks from South Carolina’s most recent signing class in Jordan Burch and Luke Doty. Here’s what the site had to say about each.

24. DL Jordan Burch, South Carolina

South Carolina already looked to have some solid depth on the defensive line heading into the season and that was before the Gamecocks signed several promising prospects, headlined by Burch. All of these players are going to see the field now with the NCAA handing out a free season of eligibility. Look for Burch to play a role in South Carolina’s defense, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be an immediate star this fall. That time will come, it just won’t be immediate.

Burch was considered by ESPN recruiting rankings to be the fourth-best player in the nation coming out of the high school ranks, regardless of position. He was rated as a five-star prospect and the second-best defensive end in the country.

Burch’s recruitment went down to the wire, with the Gamecocks having to fend off a late push by defending national champion LSU, as well as Georgia and Clemson. He will look to make an impact at the BUCK position in the Carolina defense.

9. QB/WR Luke Doty, South Carolina

After 2 weeks of fall camps, there might not be a true freshman being mentioned more by his head coach than Luke Doty. South Carolina fans were initially perplexed to see the freshman quarterback get reps at receiver, but when you consider the Gamecocks’ current need for help at that position and Doty’s elite athleticism, the decision to give him multiple looks makes a ton of sense. Now with the NCAA allowing freshmen to play without losing a season, that’s going to clear Doty to be on the field in every game, if called upon to do so. Doty might prove to be the most versatile freshman in the SEC this fall.

Doty was viewed as the 83rd best player in the country according to ESPN. The dual threat quarterback was considered a four-star prospect and the second-best player in the state of South Carolina, just behind the previously mentioned Burch.

Doty has received rave reviews from the South Carolina coaching staff this fall. The athletic rookie has been taking reps at both quarterback and wideout, as Will Muschamp looks to get Doty on the field as much as possible.  Look for him to be heavily involved in the offensive plan for the Gamecocks this season.

South Carolina would’ve had three players in these rankings had it not been for the unfortunate injury of freshman running back MarShawn Lloyd. Lloyd was poised to compete for a starting role at tailback, which probably would’ve put him close to the top of this list. Instead, he’ll look to come back stronger in 2021.

These newcomers will get their first opportunities to make their names know on September 26th when the Gamecocks take on Tennessee in Williams-Brice Stadium.