Photo: Nya Green / The Daily Gamecock

Will Muschamp, Gamecocks confident at SEC Media Days

When Will Muschamp came to SEC Media Days in 2016, he was bringing three players from a 3-9 team that left a lot of unanswered questions.

This year, after a season where the Gamecocks exceeded expectations by playing in a bowl game, the difference in Muschamp's demeanor was different, as there's a lot more to be excited about. 

Muschamp spoke Thursday about the difference between year one and year two in Columbia, pointing out that all of the underclassmen on the 2017 team are his recruits before also crediting the players for an attitude shift.

"They have bought in to the type of culture we want to have within our organization," Muschamp said, "and we haven't had a lot of resistance from them... I think we're on the verge of some really good things."

The theme of the day for the Gamecocks was different than in years past and from most other teams in Hoover. With two juniors and a sophomore in attendance, all offensive players, the focus was on youth, offense and potential.

Muschamp harped on the work ethic of Hayden Hurst and Jake Bentley, mentioning Hurst becoming the first sophomore to be voted a permanent captain and Bentley's respect and trust earned from his teammates. 

"The guy lives in the weight room," Muschamp said of Hurst. "When he's not there, he's in the film room. He's asking questions. He's as coachable of a guy as there is."

Bentley didn't start practice until last August, and he was originally supposed to redshirt in 2016, so his development has been closely monitored since he came to Columbia. Just like Muschamp, Bentley is far more equipped for year two. 

"To be able to sit down and digest offensively what we do and identifying defenses, to me, it's the biggest step for him," Muschamp said when asked about Bentley's offseason progression.

Outside of Bentley, the Gamecocks have plenty of weapons on an offense Deebo Samuel described as "explosive." 

I feel like we have weapons all over the place,” Samuel said “We have a good offensive line, a leader at quarterback, Hayden [Hurst], Bryan [Edwards]. We got some people like Chavis Dawkins and Randrecous Davis that can help as well.”



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