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:
Special Teams Coordinator Joe DeCamillis

The South Carolina football team has had two years under head coach Shane Beamer in which they surpassed expectations and one year in which they underachieved. It is not a coincidence that the Gamecocks were among the country's top special teams units in the two overachieving seasons of 2021 and 2022.

Former special teams coordinator Pete Lembo is among one of the best minds in football in regard to the game's third phase. However, 2023 saw USC finish with a very average special teams unit, something that Coach Beamer lamented after the season.

Surely Lembo would have gotten the unit right in 2024, but he won't be around to do it. After Lembo took the head coaching job at the University of Buffalo, Beamer hired long-time NFL assistant Joe DeCamillis to handle the job of righting the special teams ship.

DeCamillis' father-in-law is Gamecock legend Dan Reeves, and the new Carolina assistant seems to have taken to being the next great Gamecock in the family. The players and other coaches seem to like and respect him. If that transfers to on-field results, South Carolina football may regain one of their biggest advantages from recent seasons.

DeCamillis' unit returns punter Kai Kroeger and long snapper Hunter Rogers but will need to replace kicker Mitch Jeter who left for Notre Dame this offseason. Jalon Kilgore has experience returning punts, and several players on the team have been dangerous return men before they joined the Gamecocks.

To have a good season, Carolina likely will need DeCamillis to do a good job of replacing Jeter, unlocking something in the return game, and sprinkling some of the "Beamer ball" magic into the special teams units this fall.