With 76 days until kickoff, a look at South Carolina football's number 76 Torricelli Simpkins

South Carolina football offensive lineman Torricelli Simpkins is a realistic candidate to start this fall for the Gamecocks.
South Carolina football flag
South Carolina football flag / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA

There are 76 days remaining until South Carolina football fans fill Williams-Brice Stadium in week 1 of the college football season. The Gamecocks will play the Old Dominion Monarchs (for the first time ever) on August 31st, and there is a very realistic chance that #76 Torricelli Simpkins will play a big role in that game and the rest of the schedule.

Simpkins joined the program this offseason after transferring from North Carolina Central where he was coached by former South Carolina football offensive lineman Cedric Williams. He has one season of eligibility remaining after being an All-MEAC performer in all three of his seasons at NCCU. He also was an FCS All-American in 2023.

Simpkins played center primarily with the Eagles, but he could play any interior spot for the Gamecocks this fall. He is a legitimate candidate to start for offensive line coach Lonnie Teasley, and if the Garnet and Black Spring Game is any indication, he will slot in at guard if he is part of the first unit (Vershon Lee should be the starting center).

With a strong lower half, the Charlotte, North Carolina native is a good run blocker in the middle, and he can set an anchor well when needing to lock in as a pass protector. He has good enough athletic traits to pass block in space, as well, and his feet are quick enough that he is capable of pulling around as a lead blocker.

Simpkins was on the Senior Bowl watchlist for the 2023 season (he redshirted in 2020, making 2023 his fourth year), and he likely will make that list again heading into the 2024 campaign.

There will be a lot of players vying for spots in the two-deep on the interior of the offensive line, but outside of Vershon Lee and, maybe, sophomore Trovon Baugh, Simpkins appears to have as good of a chance as any Gamecock of securing a starting position. Simpkins, Lee, Baugh, Markee Anderson, Ryan Brubaker, Kamaar Bell, Jakai Moore, and even potential starting left tackle Tree Babalade all could be involved at the two guard spots, and most of those guys could play center, too.

Last year, a former FCS center started the year as the Gamecocks' top left guard as Yale transfer Nick Gargiulo began the year at the position before shifting to center after an injury to Lee. Torricellis Simpkins could follow the same exact path, minus the injury to Lee. South Carolina football fans should not be surprised if Simpkins is a starter in 76 days.

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