South Carolina Football: Will Xavier Legette, others play today?

South Carolina football wide receiver Xavier Legette. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina football wide receiver Xavier Legette. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports /

South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer and his staff have had to navigate an unusually high number of injuries to their team in 2023. The perception is even worse than the reality as most of the injuries have affected just two positions (offensive line and wide receiver).

Heading into this Saturday’s road contest with the Texas A&M Aggies (kickoff is at 12:00 on the SECNetwork and ESPN app), the injury report remains long.

On the offensive line, season-long injuries to two starters at tackle (Jaylen Nichols and Cason Henry) have been compounded by two more season-ending ailments for two-deep interior linemen Markee Anderson and Ryan Brubaker. Now, starting center-turned-right-tackle Vershon Lee will miss his second straight game. Freshmen Tree Babalade and Tro Baugh took over starting jobs up front during the season and are questionable for today’s game.

At wide receiver, preseason All-American Juice Wells remains out. He will be joined on the inactive list by starting slot receiver Ahmarean Brown, who has missed more time than he’s been available this year, just like Wells. Midseason All-American and breakout star Xavier Legette was knocked out of last week’s game against Missouri. He is set to try to play on Saturday against the Aggies.

Having Legette available is a big boon for an offense that will need to score a significant amount of points to compensate for their struggling defense. Legette’s size and speed make him an ideal candidate to have passes come his way in what is sure to be a quick passing game on Saturday.

With the Gamecocks’ offensive line struggles and A&M dominance on the defensive line, offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains likely will dial up some one-step drops, screens, and jump balls, play calls that seemingly would favor targets for Legette over any other receiver on the roster.

South Carolina football fans can expect freshman Nyck Harbor to continue playing an expanded role in the passing game, as well. Harbor has played his most snaps of the year in the last two weeks, and he has made a couple of nice plays on balls in the air.

The Gamecocks and Aggies both need a win in a big way (for different reasons), but South Carolina football will return home for the entirety of their November schedule, starting with a matchup with the “other” Gamecocks of Jacksonville State next weekend.

Related Story. South Carolina Football: How to watch, storylines, injuries, predictions vs. Texas A&M. light