Any success the 2017 South Carolina Gamecock football team earns this season will depend on the strength of a unit that’s been maligned in recent years.
Will Muschamp brought in new Offensive Line Coach Eric Wolford this past offseason, and he hasn’t shied away from rearranging the furniture. USC has fluid position battles at both guard and tackle spots, along with some familiar faces in new places.
Last year, Malik Young spent his time on the right side at tackle. This year, however, he’s locked in a clash with JUCO transfer Dennis Daley for the important job of protecting QB Jake Bentley’s blind side. Young talked about the battle and the transition to the left side of the line below:
D.J. Park, the rising senior from Dillon, is also switching sides, as he works in more at Right Guard this Fall. Count Park as one of the biggest fans of his new position coach:
Taking Park’s place on the left are Donell Stanley and Sadarius Hutcherson. Stanley currently has the edge over Hutcherson, who was listed originally at Left Tackle in the Preseason Depth Chart. Stanley says the competitive nature of these practices makes them very physical:
The one position that seems to be solidly decided is up the middle with center Alan Knott. The Tyrone, Georgia native spent most of 2016 dealing with a thumb injury to his ball-snapping hand. Knott talks about the recovery, and how the live reps in practice have helped his confidence: