The Daily Gamecock

Column: Solidifying the offensive line is critical this spring

New offensive line coach Eric Wolford inherited an ambiguous situation in his first year at South Carolina.

On the one hand, he has inherited four out of five returning starters from last year’s offensive line.

However, the offensive line was a liability last year so those four returning starters’ jobs are not necessarily guaranteed this year.

Wolford’s goal is to put the best five players on the field, not the five most experienced. The 15 practices this spring are his only chance to work directly on the field with the linemen and identify who he thinks the starters will be going into fall camp and the regular season.

This is so important because the offense needs to gain stability as quickly as possible. Muschamp’s defense is going to be solid at the very least, so there isn’t much to worry about there, especially with so many great players coming back.

South Carolina taking the next step in the SEC pecking order is reliant upon the offense making solid progression. Quarterback Jake Bentley, running back Rico Dowdle and the Gamecocks’ deep receiving core look poised to make one of the most potent attacks in not only the SEC East but the entire SEC.

But that cannot happen without a solid offensive line. If Wolford can find his five best offensive linemen during the spring, then all of fall camp can be spent on implementing and refining the offense, rather than worrying about all of that in addition to spending time still wondering who is going to start in the first game against NC State.