South Carolina Football: Predictions for the two-deep on the Gamecock offense

South Carolina football is replacing a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball this year, so what might that look like when the season starts?
South Carolina football quarterback LaNorris Sellers
South Carolina football quarterback LaNorris Sellers / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina Football Two-Deep Predictions on Offense:
Tight End

The tight end position was a strength for the Gamecocks last season. While the play was not perfect, Trey Knox and Josh Simon combined for a solid year in Columbia. Knox's play earned him a spot on the Minnesota Vikings roster this summer, and Simon has found himself as a player many around college football are expecting to have a good year in 2024.

The Gamecocks added a potentially dynamic transfer tight end in Brady Hunt, signed one of the highest-rated freshman tight ends in program history in Michael Smith, and 2nd-year players Connor Cox, Nick Elksnis, and Reid Mikeska have all been spoken highly of by their coaches.

The Gamecocks listed two tight ends as starters for most of last season, but the Gamecocks didn't always start the game in 12-personnel. For the purpose of predicting the two-deep, only one starter will be named, but both the starter and the backup should get a lot of snaps.

STARTER, Josh Simon

The best tight end on the team in 2023, Simon didn't play as much as most fans would have liked. Even so, he was the team's fourth-leading receiver, regardless of position. He was a major threat in the short passing game, especially after the catch, and he was a willing blocker who fought hard at the point of attack.

As the likely first option at the tight end position this fall, Simon should have more of an opportunity for consistent snaps. His athleticism and tough running style with the ball in his hands will allow Simon to be a security blanket for first-year starter LaNorris Sellers when the offense needs to pick up a short gain. Fans also hope that his ability to high-point the football will be taken advantage of in a way that it wasn't a season ago.

Simon could be a matchup nightmare for defenses if things go well for him.

BACKUP, Brady Hunt

Probably destined to be listed as a co-starter with Simon, Brady Hunt is expected to be a big part of the South Carolina offense in 2024. A bigger body than Simon (Hunt is listed at 6'6" and 250 pounds), he also can help in both the passing game and as a blocker.

Hunt was a Freshman All-American in 2022 at Ball State but missed all of the 2023 campaign with an injury. If he is anything close to that level of productive for the 2024 Gamecocks, Dowell Loggains' unit will be better off for it.

Hunt has a chance for a major role in an offense that used a lot of two-tight looks last year in Loggains' first season as offensive coordinator. With his and Simon's versatility as players, when both are on the field, there will be more options for what the Gamecocks can do with the ball than many fans realize.


The Gamecock tight end room is loaded with intriguing players. After Josh Simon and Brady Hunt, the third tight end spot likely will be filled based upon which part of the tight end job Carolina needs done at a particular time. Do they need more receiving punch? USC likely will turn to Michael Smith or Reid Mikeska. Do they need blocking? Connor Cox and Nick Elksnis fit that job a little better.

Smith is one of the highest-rated tight end recruits in program history and has a tremendously high ceiling as a player. With the Gamecocks' lack of size at receiver past Nyck Harbor and Dalevon Campbell, there could be a path to playing time for Smith as a split end.

Cox, Mikeska, and Elksnis are all in their second year in the program. Cox played some last season, Mikeska was injured, and Elksnis was buried on the depth chart. They all will battle with Smith for reps as the third tight end.