It’s official! There are 50 days left until Williams-Brice Stadium is filled with garnet and black with the Gamecocks on the grass ready to kick-off the 2014 season.
Standing at No.50 on the roster is the not only a leader on the field, but in the locker room.
Left guard A.J. Cann has a team-high of 38 career starts, starting all but one game in his last three seasons. The red-shirt senior served as a team captain in 2013 and is a three-time member of the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll.
The Bamberg H.S. (S.C.)-native was presented with the Everyday Hustle Award for the 2013 spring game at South Carolina and started every game during the season.
Phil Steele has Cann on its starting roster for the offense in 2014, along with an impressive line-up. The preseason magazine has South Carolina’s offensive line under its Top OL Units of 2014.
Phil Steele’s Projected Starting Line-Up: Offense
QB, Dylan Thompson: A RS Senior following in the footsteps of Connor Shaw, Thompson comes into 2014 a 3-0 starter. The 6-foot-3, 219 pound QB completed 55% of his passes over the past three seasons for 1,827 yards with 14 touchdowns and five interceptions. Steele notes
Thompson is more of a pocket passer versus Shaw’s dual-threat play.
TB, Mike Davis, Jr. : This powerhouse junior will be a huge addition to this 2014 team. Davis was one of 74 player listed on the prestigious Maxwell Award watch list this past week. He earned All-SEC honors in 2013 when he brought in the fourth-most single-season rushing yards in school history. After 24 games, with 11 starts, Davis ranks 26th in school history with 1,458 rushing yards. Steele regards him as one of the nations top RB’s in his Top 30 RB’s at No.5.
WR, Pharoh Cooper: He made big headlines this week, after being named to the Paul Hornung watch list for 2014, annually given to the “most versatile player in college football.” Cooper is a sophomore and was listed as an All-SEC Freshman last year.
WR, Damiere Byrd: A senior, Byrd is considered the fastest player on the squad. He has 48 career receptions for 957 yards with seven touchdowns and played in 12 games last year.
WR, Shaq Roland: This outstand receiver is following in the footsteps of Alshon Jeffery, Bruce Ellington, and Ace Sanders. He has had six career starts, averaging 17.8 yards per reception during his career.
TE, Jerell Adams: Pinewood (S.C.)-native Adams is expected to be a big addition to the 2014 season. He was listed as the No. 2 TE in the spring behind Rory Anderson. Phil Steele has Adams listed first because of Anderson’s injury this past spring. It’s a questionable toss up and is dependant upon his recovery.
C, Cody Waldrop: This RS sophomore was named to the Rimington watch list this past week. Waldrop had six career starts, after working at center in 2013.
RG, Mike Matulis: 6-foot-5, 304 pounds, Matulis has started 10 games during his career. He has had shoulder problems in the past and missed the majority of the season, deciding to redshirt.
RT, Brandon Shell: A Goose Creek (S.C.)-native, Shell is a fourth-year junior and two year starter with 23 starts in his career. Last year, he started all 13 games holding down right tackle.
LT, Corey Robinson: 6-foot-8, 348 pound RS senior Robinson started all 13 games last season, with a career total of 22 starts.
Elliott Fry, 2014 Capital One Bowl
K, Elliot Fry: The kicker was just named to the Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Award watch list this week. Fry is a Texas-native and a true-sophomore on the field. He was the first freshman to placekick in a season opener since Courtney Leavitt in 1996.
GamecockPride.com and Scout.com will keep you updated on South Carolina football in the days to come.