South Carolina QB depth chart takes shape, other takeaways from latest practice

·3 min read
Tracy Glantz/tglantz@thestate.com

South Carolina held its fourth practice of preseason camp on Monday.

Media members were able to watch the first six periods of the afternoon. Here’s a look at the news and notes from the viewing session:

  • Spencer Rattler remains QB1 in Columbia, but the depth chart behind him became a smidge more clear on Monday. Last season’s starter, Luke Doty, continued to take reps with the second team, while second-year freshman Colten Gauthier worked with the third team. Walk-on Jalen Daniels and freshmen Tanner Bailey and Braden Davis also split reps further down the depth chart.

  • Freshman athlete and former Spring Valley standout DeQuandre “DQ” Smith wore a blue, limited-contact jersey during Monday’s session. Smith enrolled with the Gamecocks for the fall semester, which allows his scholarship to count toward the 2023 class. He was a high school quarterback but is expected to play defensive back at South Carolina.

  • Alex Herrera and William Joyce split punting duties in the wake of starter Kai Kroeger’s absence. Kroeger is recovering from a foot injury that head coach Shane Beamer categorized as “short term” last week. It’s unclear whether the Chicago-area product will miss any time into the regular season.

  • South Carolina’s offensive line continues to take shape. The Gamecocks rolled with a starting group that included Jaylen Nichols (left tackle), Vershon Lee (left guard), Eric Douglas (center), Jovaughn Gwyn (right guard) and Dylan Wonnum (right tackle). Wonnum missed significant time last season with a back injury that ultimately ended his year. He’s expected to compete with Tyshawn Wannamaker for the starting right tackle job.

  • Running back MarShawn Lloyd and tight end Austin Stogner also ran with the first-team offense Monday. Tight end Nate Adkins and receivers Jalen Brooks and Antwane “Juice” Wells Jr. worked with the group as well. Lovasea Carroll worked as the second-team running back.

  • South Carolina’s first-team defense included Tyreek Johnson (edge), Alex “Boogie” Huntley (defensive tackle), Zacch Pickens (defensive tackle) and Jordan Strachan (edge) on the defensive line. Mo Kaba and Debo Williams worked as the starting linebackers. The No. 1 secondary was comprised of Cam Smith (nickel), Marcellas Dial (cornerback), Darius Rush (cornerback), R.J. Roderick (safety) and Devonni Reed (safety).

  • Tyrese Ross and Nick Emmanwori worked with the second-team defense at Safety. Emmanwori starred at Irmo before landing at USC. Ross transferred to South Carolina from Washington State in April 2021.

  • Offensive analyst Freddie Kitchens worked with the offensive line before bouncing to a handful of position groups during practice. Kitchens, the former head coach of the Cleveland Browns, was hired earlier this summer. He and Beamer previously worked together on Sylvester Croom’s staff at Mississippi State.

  • Xavier Legette, Lovasea Carroll and Juju McDowell spent time returning kicks. Ahmarean Brown and Josh Vann returned punts. McDowell handled the bulk of kick return duties during the 2021 season.

  • The team briefly ran plays in 11-on-11, with two sets of offenses and defenses on the field at the same time.