South Carolina Football: 10 players the Gamecocks will need to see step up after the Bye Week

South Carolina football 5-star freshman Nyckoles Harbor. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina football 5-star freshman Nyckoles Harbor. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports /
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Watching Shane Beamer’s South Carolina football team has been an up-and-down experience over the last two-and-a-half seasons. Since Beamer was hired after the disastrous 2020 season, the Gamecocks have looked unbeatable at times and incompetent at others.

This was best illustrated by a two-week stretch last season in which USC lost to unranked Florida 38-6 (only scoring on a special teams fake) and demolished College Football Playoff-bound Tennessee 63-38.

One consistent over the first two years of the Beamer era, however, has been that the ups and downs still have resulted in two seasons of the Gamecocks outperforming expectations.

The South Carolina football team was projected to win between 3 and 5 games in 2021. Beamer’s squad won 7. The Gamecocks were projected to win between 5 and 7 games in 2022. They won 8.

The trend of overachieving is in danger of ending in 2023. The Gamecocks’ over/under win totals sat between 6 and 7 for this season, and just matching that number will be an uphill climb based on how the season has gone so far.

Tough games against North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi State, and Tennessee have left the Gamecocks sitting at 2-3 in the middle of their Bye Week, and Shane Beamer’s team still has to play tough road games against Missouri and Texas A&M and has home contests with ranked Kentucky, Florida, and rival Clemson still on the schedule.

Contests against Vanderbilt and Jacksonville State in Columbia will likely bring USC’s win total to 4 with five other tough games on the schedule.

The current losing record can be attributed to several factors, but one of the major issues has been player performance at several positions. With Bye Weeks famous for personnel changes, which ten South Carolina football players will be called to step up to bring the Gamecocks back to bowl eligibility in 2023?

This list won’t be for players like Spencer Rattler, Xavier Legette, or Jalon Kilgore who have been unquestioned successes through this portion of the season. Instead, this list will be for players who have underperformed or been underutilized in 2023. These 10 players will be some of the most important contributors for the Gamecocks moving forward in 2023.