Replacing T.J. Johnson

A look at Gamecock center T.J. Johnson's likely replacement in 2013.

The last time someone other than T.J. Johnson started at center for South Carolina was in 2009.

The red shirt senior has been a four-year starter for the Gamecocks and holds a school-record 53 starts.

Looking ahead to 2013, South Carolina will have to name Johnson's successor.

With Kyle Harris' decision to transfer, rising redshirt freshman Cody Waldrop is the favorite to become the starter at center in 2013.

The 6-foot-2, 300-pounder was a three-time All-State selection at Armwood High School in Seffner, Fla.

He helped the Hawks to a 15-0 record and a Class 6A state title as a senior.

Waldrop is expected to be the only new starter on the Gamecock offensive line next season.

The other four starters are a freshman (right tackle Brandon Shell), two sophomores (left tackle Corey Robinson and left guard A.J. Cann), and a junior (right guard Ronald Patrick).

Shawn Elliott, South Carolina's offensive line coach, thinks Waldrop will fill-in well.

"Going into the spring, I envision Cody stepping right in there, playing the center position and hopefully not missing a beat. He's done really well the last week we've had practice. I've been really pleased with him and it's some of the best stuff I've seen. He's a competitor and he likes to get after it. His snaps have been pretty good also," said Elliot.

Waldrop will start the difficult task of replacing Johnson when spring practice begins in mid-March.

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