Who plays on offense?

The majority of the class of 2012 arrived on campus over the weekend. Look inside as Gamecock Anthem takes a look at each freshman offensive player and tackles the task of making a way-too-early prediction of who plays and who redshirts.

QB Brendan Nosovitch

South Carolina already has solid depth at the quarterback position and Nosovitch is well-aware that most Steve Spurrier quarterbacks redshirt in their first year on campus. Barring a strange run of injuries, Nosovitch will definitely redshirt.
Gut feeling: Redshirts

RB Mike Davis

South Carolina has depth at the running back position, and if he was a back of lesser talent, he would almost surely redshirt. But Davis was one of the top 10 running back prospects in the country, and he didn't come to South Carolina to sit on the bench. It may take some time for Davis to make his mark, but his chance will likely come at some point, and I'd expect him to be ready for it.
Gut feeling: Plays

RB Kendric Salley

Salley is an underrated back partially due to the fact he committed to USC so early. Salley is coming off of a knee injury, though, and USC has depth in its backfield. With Davis likely playing, it seems almost certain that Salley will redshirt.
Gut feeling: Redshirts

WR Shaq Roland

Roland is arguably the best player South Carolina signed (along with Mike Davis), and there's a definite need for a playmaker to step up at receiver with the exit of Alshon Jeffery to the NFL Draft. History tells us that it may take some time into the season before Roland starts making an impact, but as long as Roland is healthy, it seems obvious that he'll play.
Gut feeling: Plays

WR Kwinton Smith

Smith has been slightly overshadowed by Roland but Smith didn't have offers from the likes of Florida, Alabama, LSU and Georgia for nothing. On one hand Smith is a big, fluid receiver who can get downfield and has soft hands -- and the Gamecocks are certainly looking for playmakers. On the other hand, Smith is somewhat raw and played in a run-based offense in high school. I get the feeling that this is going to come down to if Smith can beat out somewhat like K.J. Brent at the 'B' position, and how Smith's play compares to senior WR D.L. Moore, who has a similar body-type. While the data certainly doesn't support this, these are way-too-early predictions anyway, so I'm going to play a hunch here...
Gut feeling: Plays

WR Jody Fuller

Fuller appears to be a fairly advanced receiver in his highlights and has the size to play early. But Fuller is likely going to play the 'Z' position which will already be manned by Ace Sanders and Bruce Ellington -- and if there were an injury, Damiere Byrd would be capable of playing the position as he lined up there at times last season.
Gut feeling: Redshirts

TE Jerell Adams

South Carolina already has some talent at tight end with the always-reliable Justice Cunningham and the emerging Buster Anderson. But Adams has already spent a season at prep school and could instantly be one of the best athletes on the Gamecocks' roster. It may take some time for Adams to get comfortable in the offense, but he may just be too good to keep off the field.
Gut feeling: Plays

TE Kelvin Rainey

Rainey graduated early with the idea of coming in and playing as a freshman. At this point, though, there's a host of tight ends ahead of him, including the aforementioned Cunningham and Anderson -- plus potentially Adams and Drew Owens, and maybe even Corey Simmons. Point being, Rainey would be best served taking a redshirt year and getting bigger.
Gut feeling: Redshirts

The Freshman offensive linemen

There was a point where it seemed likely at least one and maybe two of the five offensive linemen South Carolina signed in this class would play. Brock Stadnik graduated early and was likely to compete for playing time right away. But Stadnik missed the entire spring after undergoing shoulder surgery. Then tackles Corey Robinson and Cody Gibson stepped their games up meaning Stadnik is a likely redshirt.

Cody Waldrop is the other freshman, who I believe could at least make a case for starting. Waldrop is already 6-foot-2, 300 pounds and is considered an advanced prospect with a mean streak. The Gamecocks could also use some depth on the interior of the line. This one will mostly depend on injuries. With a suddenly fairly deep group of tackles, Shawn Elliott could move one of them inside to provide more depth there. Waldrop could go either way, but that will likely depend on injuries. I'm sure the staff would love to redshirt him if possible.

Clayton Stadnik and Mason Zandi are definitely redshirts while Joe Harris is waiting on an ACT score to see if he makes it into school.
Gut feeling: All redshirt

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