Predictions for the South Carolina football team's two-deep on defense this fall

South Carolina football is 76 days from their season opener. What might the two-deep on defense look like this fall?
South Carolina football linebacker Debo Williams, safety Nick Emmanwori, and tackle TJ Sanders
South Carolina football linebacker Debo Williams, safety Nick Emmanwori, and tackle TJ Sanders / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina Football Two-Deep Predictions on Defense:

Over the past two offseasons, South Carolina football has lost three starters at cornerback to the NFL Draft (Cam Smith, 2nd round, 2023, Miami Dolphins; Darius Rush, 5th round, 2023, Indianapolis Colts; Marcellas Dial, 6th round, 2024, New England Patriots), and several other contributors have graduated or left the program in the transfer portal.

O'Donnell Fortune is the only corner with real starting experience (Judge Collier has started in place of Fortune while the latter was suspended), so he seems poised to own one starting spot. After that, there is a deep competition between young players for the other outside corner gig.

While it is unknown which corners will get the most playing time after Fortune, the Gamecock coaching staff hasn't seemed nearly as worried about the inexperience at the position as the fanbase. Carolina didn't seem to push too hard in the transfer portal for a corner, indicating they are confident in the young secondary players on the roster.

STARTER, O'Donnell Fortune

O'Donnell Fortune will start the year as the Gamecocks' top cornerback. The redshirt senior was a starter in 2023 and played a role on the defense in 2022. In '24, he will be tasked as being the top coverage man for defensive backs coach Torrian Gray.

With solid length (6'1" with long arms) and big-time speed (reportedly has been clocked in the 4.3s in the 40-yard dash), OD Fortune has the tools needed to be an elite player on the outside of the Gamecock defense.

Fortune hasn't shown himself to be an elite player, though, so his spot is not guaranteed through the year. Talented younger players are behind him on the depth chart if he doesn't step up. However, to start the year, it would be an utter shock to see anyone other than Fortune starting.

STARTER, Judge Collier

Thanks to his experience last season as the primary backup at corner, Judge Collier likely will get the first opportunity to claim the starting job opposite of OD Fortune. Collier is a good athlete and has a tough mindset as a defender that he showed when playing for Fortune when the latter was suspended for parts of last season.

He will be part of a deep battle between a large group of freshmen and sophomores. Names like Vicari Swain, Emory Floyd, and Jalewis Solomon will compete with Collier. In particular, holding off Swain could be difficult.

Collier has a head start on the other young corners, but the gap could be closed in fall camp if he struggles. If he performs well, though, the Rock Hill native could be in line for a big step forward as a sophomore.

BACKUP, Vicari Swain

Probably the most talented corner on the roster, Vicari Swain has been talked about by his teammates since he arrived on campus last summer. Wild displays of athleticism allowed Swain to be a thorn in the side of the first-team offense last year while he was on the scout team defense.

When describing what Swain is capable of on the field, defensive backs coach Torrian Gray and multiple teammates have used the word "different" to illustrate his high ceiling as a player.

An impressive interception in the Garnet and Black Spring Game showed his tremendous playmaking ability, and if Swain has a good fall camp, it will be really difficult to keep him off of the field this fall. A starting spot is possible, but it might be more realistic to see that come to fruition a few weeks into the season.

BACKUP, Emory Floyd

Emory Floyd is another former four-star corner who saw some extended run a few times last season, most notably in the Kentucky game when OD Fortune was out. Floyd is fast enough to have run track for the Gamecocks as a freshman, and he is one of the bigger corners on the roster.

Floyd is unlikely to crack the starting lineup, but a rotational role is very possible for him. He could be a factor at nickel, as well, as he has the size to step up in run support, and his background as a corner could help with the team's struggles in man coverage at the position.


Because of the uncertainty and lack of experience at corner, South Carolina football defensive backs coach Torrian Gray could play a bit of musical chairs with his cornerback position after a few weeks into the season. Names mentioned here could get involved or even start by the time the season ends.

Jalewis Solomon is a summer enrollee, so being part of the two-deep at the beginning of the year would be difficult (though, not impossible). The 4-star from Georgia is extremely athletic and could be part of the rotation at some point this fall.

David Spaulding moved to corner last year, but he has played all over the secondary in his career. While often not included on depth charts, he finds a way to get into games and make an impact several times each season.