South Carolina Football: 100 days from kickoff, which Gamecocks must step up in 2024?

The 2024 version of the South Carolina football team is 100 days from kickoff, and the Gamecocks will be depending on several players to step up this year.
South Carolina football quarterback LaNorris Sellers
South Carolina football quarterback LaNorris Sellers / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina Football Players and Coaches Who Must Step Up in 2024:
Defensive Lineman TJ Sanders

The Gamecocks' defensive tackle room looks pretty good for 2024. The team added potential contributors Deandre Jules and Monkell Goodwine through the transfer portal and depth piece Jerome Simmons from the junior college ranks. A trio of returners (TJ Sanders, Tonka Hemingway, and Boogie Huntley) got all the starts a year ago and could repeat that feat this fall.

However, the highest upside from any of those players belongs to TJ Sanders, and the Gamecocks need the Marion, South Carolina native to be a difference-maker.

Sanders had some really good moments last season, including being named the SEC's Defensive Lineman of the Week in USC's competitive loss to the Georgia Bulldogs. However, defensive coordinator Clayton White needs Sanders to add more consistency to his game.

Sanders provides some versatility for defensive line coach Travian Robertson as he can play either tackle spot in the 4-2-5 base defense and can line up at nose or defensive end when the Gamecocks run their 3-3-5 look. Big #90 will be called upon to play an important role up front no matter what defensive scheme they employ.

With USC's newfound depth at defensive tackle, Sanders won't have to play a ridiculous number of snaps in 2024. That should allow him (and his teammates) to be fresher throughout the game, allowing for more snaps played at full effort. The redshirt junior must make the most of those snaps and have a big year for the garnet and black.