South Carolina Football: Gamecocks completely shut out of CBS' top-100 college football players

South Carolina football was completely shut out of CBS' list of the top-100 college football players.
South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer
South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer / David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina football fans have a lot of questions about the 2024 version of their favorite football team, but hopeful optimism abounds within Gamecock Nation after last weekend's Garnet and Black Spring Game.

CBS Sports' Blake Brockermeyer does not seem to share that same hopeful optimism as he completely left out the Gamecocks from his top-100 college football players list.

The Georgia Bulldogs, Alabama Crimson Tide, Ole Miss Rebels, and Texas Longhorns lead the way in the SEC with five players on the list each. The LSU Tigers were next with four players in the top-100, the Texas A&M Aggies put three on Brockermeyer's list, the Tennessee Volunteers landed two players on the list, the Missouri Tigers put two players inside the top-100, the Florida Gators have one, the Arkansas Razorbacks landed one of the 100, the Oklahoma Sooners have one guy on the list, and the Kentucky Wildcats also put one player in the top-100.

The South Carolina Gamecocks, Auburn Tigers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, and Vanderbilt Commodores were all left off the list. Brockermeyer put two players from the rival Clemson Tigers on his list.

Last year, Spencer Rattler and Antwane "Juice" Wells were on most of these top-100 lists for the Gamecocks, and Nick Emmanwori, Trey Knox, Tonka Hemingway, Kai Kroeger, and Marcellas Dial all made some of these discussions, as well.

South Carolina football's lack of top-100 players (at least according to Blake Brockermeyer) might be a cause for concern for some fans, but there are still reasons to believe that the 2024 Gamecocks can outperform the 2023 version of the team.

Last fall, the Gamecocks dealt with an abnormal amount of injuries, especially to the offensive line. The bad play up front that resulted often hamstrung the offense, limiting it to finding success almost only through herculean efforts from Spencer Rattler and Xavier Legette. This year, with the more mobile LaNorris Sellers at the helm, the Gamecocks might be better equipped to handle a struggling offensive line if things don't improve in the blocking department.

The defense also was pretty bad for a large chunk of the season as defensive coordinator Clayton White struggled to figure out the nickel position and failed to make adjustments when the 4-2-5 wasn't working. Later in the year after Jalon Kilgore solidified the nickel spot and the 3-3-5 became a major part of the defense, things improved. 2024 should see natural improvement on that side of the ball, as well.

Plus, there are a lot of newcomers (or virtual newcomers) to the roster who will be difference-makers in 2024. Very few newcomers made Brockermeyer's list (just 15, all of them transfers), so it isn't much of a surprise that some projected starters from the transfer portal were not included. Fans shouldn't be surprised, though, if a transfer player like running back Rocket Sanders (if healthy) makes this list look like a snubbing.

Of the returning Gamecocks who should have the most claim of one of these 100 spots, safety Nick Emmanwori, defensive tackles Tonka Hemingway and TJ Sanders, and linebacker Debo Williams (four All-SEC players from a season ago) stand out the most. Freshman All-American safety/nickel Jalon Kilgore is also a name to watch for top-100 players come season's end.

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