As the anticipation for upcoming football season builds with opening day just around the corner, college football fans build perceptions about teams based on the best and most established players that represent each team. But what about the under-the-radar guys that may have not had their opportunity to show all that they have to offer on the field?
Full of youth on both sides of the ball, this year's squad has many players that are looking to make their names known. Here are some players in prime position to have a breakout season on the gridiron wearing the garnet and black.
Rick Sandidge; Defensive Tackle
A highly touted four-star player out of high school, Sandidge is someone who is expected to step up rather than fly below the radar. The freshman defensive tackle has all of the tools to contribute right away on Saturdays. With a seldom seen combination of quickness and power coupled with his long frame, Sandidge will be able to put pressure on anyone standing in his way.
Nick Harvey; Cornerback/Saftey
This name may ring a bell to Gamecock fans as Harvey is an in-conference graduate transfer from Texas A&M. The experience of the fifth-year senior will serve as a major boost, as the defensive back position is one of the most unexperienced units on the team in terms of on-field time.
Harvey has seen time at both cornerback and safety since his arrival to the program, and his flexibility will come in handy as he can be moved around the defensive backfield. Harvey will be at a massive advantage having already played in the SEC at a high level, and his knack for making stops as the last line of defense will make him a reliable player for the Gamecocks.
Jaylin Dickerson; Safety
He's another member of the defensive secondary looking to turn heads this season, only this time, many are already looking his way. The now redshirt freshman made plenty of noise last year while receiving high praise from the coaching staff before a shoulder injury sidelined him for the entire season.
Now, he is hoping to pick back up where he left off and play an important part in the Gamecocks’ 2018-19 defensive backfield. Known for his range as a safety and ability to fly around the field and use his instincts to find the ball, Dickerson is exactly the type of player that Will Muschamp and the defensive staff like to have roaming, waiting to make a play.
Donell Stanley; Center
The offensive line has been a weak link in recent years. There were big plays, but they were often followed up with disappointing plays that would stop any momentum. This year, that is set to change with a new offense in place and a hard-nosed center set to lead the offensive line.
Stanley was faced with the task of gaining more size and strength, and he has lived up to that billing as he has put on more weight to be able to impose his will on incoming defenders. After being named a starter last year, Stanley looks to keep the momentum going with a strong year and use his leadership to anchor a weak spot on the team.