South Carolina football: Gamecocks ready for SEC Media Day

South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer will speak on day 1.

Talking season is officially upon us, with the SEC Media Days signaling that the start of college football is right around the corner. For the Gamecocks, that season will kick off in early September with a home matchup versus Eastern Illinois. The program will be trekking through Shane Beamer’s inaugural campaign as head coach, looking to erase the memories of last year’s two-win season.

Beamer has a couple of pieces in place to surprise some folks on the upcoming slate. Returning are 1,000-yard rusher Kevin Harris, leading sack man JJ Enagbare, pass catcher Nick Muse, five-star defensive lineman Jordan Burch, and rising star Cam Smith. The coaching staff was also able to reel in a few instant impact performers in the form of Jordan Strachan, Ahmarean Brown, EJ Jenkins, and Karon Prunty. Strachan led the NCAA in sacks last year, while Prunty was a freshman All-American at cornerback. Jenkins and Brown will add much needed depth at receiver.

Coach Beamer will get a chance to elaborate on the outlook of the team this afternoon, as he’s slated to speak to the media at 4 PM. Questions are sure to revolve around how the new leader will handle his first stint in a head coaching role, as well as his plan to turn around a program that was trending in the wrong direction under the previous staff.

Beamer will bring with him two team leaders, one on offense and one on defense. Super senior Nick Muse returns for one final season in Columbia. He’s the team’s leading returning receiver after hauling in 30 catches for 425 yards last year. He’ll hopefully be able to expand upon the changes in the offensive scheme under new coordinator Marcus Satterfield. Satterfield brings with him NFL experience with the Panthers, and worked closely with former LSU assistant Joe Brady throughout his time in Charlotte.

Representing the defense is Enagbare, the squad’s leading sack getter. In eight contests as a junior, the end recorded six sacks and two forced fumbles. He returns for one final go, and has his eyes set on a career year. Should he do so, a first-round selection in next season’s NFL Draft isn’t out of the question.

The Gamecocks are expected to get after the quarterback under new defensive coordinator Clayton White. White’s units are known to be aggressive and the South Carolina front four will be the strength of the group. Enagbare will team up with Jordan Burch, Zacch Pickens, Rick Sandidge, Aaron Sterling, Tonka Hemingway, and Jordan Strachan to harass opposing signal callers. He should be able to give a little insight to the new defensive philosophy.

Be sure to tune in to the SEC Network this week to see how SEC coaches think their teams will stack up in the 2021 season. Beamer, Ed Orgeron, and Dan Mullen kick things off today. Check out the full event schedule here.