South Carolina football: 4 key position battles in 2021 season

Cam Smith #9 of the South Carolina Gamecocks. (Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images)
Cam Smith #9 of the South Carolina Gamecocks. (Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images) /
4 of 4
south carolina football
Nov 16, 2019; College Station, TX, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks wide receiver Xavier Legette (17) leaps over Texas A&M Aggies punter Braden Mann (34) during the fourth quarter at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports /


This is maybe the single-most important position battle of the offseason. The Gamecocks lost their only reliable receiving option in Shi Smith, and now have a plethora of unproven contributors on the sidelines. Last year, Smith accounted for more than a third of the receiving production on the roster. No other wide receiver tallied more than 115 yards.

Returning are Xavier Legette, Josh Vann, Dakereon Joyner, Jalen Brooks, Rico Powers, and Ger-Cari Caldwell. Those six players combined for 38 catches and 380 yards a season ago. That production needs to improve drastically if the Gamecocks want to field a balanced offensive attack.

Coming in to help out are newcomers Ahmarean Brown and EJ Jenkins, both of whom are considered to be top 150 transfers. Brown broke a few of Calvin Johnson’s freshman records at Georgia Tech a couple of years ago, while Jenkins recently set a program record for receiving touchdowns in a single season at St. Francis. Both will find themselves squarely in the mix come season’s start.

A couple others looking to make an impact are OrTre Smith and Randrecous Davis. Both former four-star recruits opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, but have shown moments of promise in previous campaigns. Also coming in are freshmen O’Mega Blake and Sam Reynolds.

South Carolina has to have someone develop into a reliable outlet for sophomore signal caller Luke Doty. If the passing attack can’t get off the ground, it will be another long year for the offensive unit.

light. Must Read. 5 key players on offense