South Carolina Football: 86 days until kickoff, a look at number 86 Reid Mikeska

South Carolina football is 86 days from kickoff, and #86 Reid Mikeska is hoping to make his mark on the team this fall.
South Carolina football
South Carolina football / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages

There are 86 days until toe meets leather for South Carolina football. The Gamecocks are hoping to bounce back from a tough 2023 campaign in which they failed to make a bowl game, but there is optimism around Columbia that things will be improved in 2024. However, with another hard schedule on the docket, "improved" still could leave a bowl berth as a difficult outcome.

The Gamecocks will have a new-look offense this fall as dual-threat LaNorris Sellers takes over for Spencer Rattler under center, and Shawn Elliott returns to Columbia as the tight ends coach and run game coordinator.

Speaking of tight ends, with 86 days on the calendar until kickoff, tight end Reid Mikeska will be hoping to make his mark in his second year with the program. Wearing #86, Mikeska is a redshirt freshman tight end who was flipped from the Miami Hurricanes.

Mikeska boasts an impressive size/speed combination (6'6" and 240 pounds while running a 40-yard dash in about 4.6 seconds), and he has a play style that fits somewhere between expected Gamecock starters Josh Simon and Brady Hunt.

On his high school film, Mikeska showed real fluidity as a route-runner and ball-carrier after the catch, and he is a willing blocker who will only improve in that realm the stronger he gets.

He isn't expected to play a huge role on the 2024 squad thanks to veterans like Simon and Hunt, but he is one of several talented younger players who will be competing for the third tight end reps, along with Connor Cox and true freshman Michael Smith. Hunt has dealt with injuries in the past, so playing time could become available if those issues resurface.

Mikeska has struggled with his own health since arriving in Columbia as a freshman last year, but if he can stay healthy, he could have a bright future with the South Carolina football program.

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