Deebo Samuel earns All-America honors; plus, 4 Gamecocks named All-SEC

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Deebo Samuel earns All-America honors

South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel was named to Pro Football Focus’ preseason All-America second team on Wednesday.

Samuel led the Gamecocks in 2016 with 59 catches for 783 yards and 1 touchdown. As a red zone threat on jet sweeps, the Inman, S.C., native tied for the team lead in rushing touchdowns with 6. Samuel also threw a touchdown and ran a kickoff back for another.

4 Gamecocks named to All-SEC teams

Samuel, offensive tackle Zack Bailey, tight end Hayden Hurst and linebacker Skai Moore all earned Preseason Coaches All-SEC honors on Wednesday .

Hurst and Moore were both listed on the first team, with Samuel and Bailey appearing on the third team. Samuel was recognized as both a wide receiver and all-purpose player.

This is the first time since WR Pharoh Cooper in 2015 that the Gamecocks have had at least one player named to the Preseason Coaches All-SEC first team, via Garnet and Black Attack .

Secondary is hurting

South Carolina defensive backs Steven Montac and Tavyn Jackson are both dealing with injuries right now,  according to coach Will Muschamp. Jackson, a true freshman, is likely to miss the first two games, while Montac, a junior, is listed as questionable for the South Carolina’s Week 1 game, via David Cloninger of The Post and Courier .

Both players are expected to contribute this season, especially with freshman safety and early enrollee Jaylin Dickerson being lost for the season earlier this month .

The Gamecocks secondary will immediately be tested against North Carolina State in Week 1. N.C. State quarterback Ryan Finley threw for 3,055 yards, 18 touchdowns and 8 interceptions in 2016. The 6-foot-4 signal caller completed more than 60 percent of his passes.

Dinner’s on me

QB Jake Bentley treated the South Carolina offensive line to dinner on Wednesday .

The sophomore quarterback took offensive linemen Bailey, Cory Helms, Alan Knott, Donell Stanley and Malik Young to Rockaway Athletic Club for what I imagine was a lovely pimento cheeseburger. (Fun fact: I worked there in college.)

New offensive line coach Eric Wolford feels good about his position group and the leadership he’s seen thus far.

“Alan and Cory have been tremendous,” Wolford said. “They’re consistent. They work hard. They’re leaders of our group.  They’re the hardest-working guys. They push through. They hold each other accountable and hold the rest of the guys in the group accountable. They step in. I bounce ideas off them.”

A potentially prolific offense

The South Carolina offense is trending upward, according to Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports .

“You know any Muschamp-led team is going to be good defensively and he’s recruiting a nice blend of talented players and high-upside guys on that side of the ball,” Wiltfong wrote. “Where it’s gotten really exciting if you’re a Gamecocks fan is the pieces are coming together to be dynamic on offense where they ranked 115th and 99th the last two seasons.”

With all the talent South Carolina has returning at the skill positions, plus North Carolina transfer running back Ty’Son Williams and a number of talented true freshmen at receiver, the Gamecocks offense looks very promising.

It runs in the family

Bentley’s older brother, Shuler, will start at quarterback for Murray State in the team’s season opener against Kentucky Wesleyan on Aug. 31.

“Real smart. Real cerebral kid. Knows ball,” Racers coach Mitch Stewart told SEC Country earlier this spring. “Understands, conceptually, what’s going on.”

Target set to announce decision

Four-star cornerback and South Carolina target Jaycee Horn will announce his college decision on the SEC Country Facebook page on Thursday night.

The Class of 2018 prospect, and son of former NFL receiver Joe Horn, is reportedly down to Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee.

“They are all in a good spot right now,” Horn told SEC Country in July . “I just want to make sure I’m 100 percent ready because I don’t want to commit, then de-commit. Right now, I feel like there’s not a wrong choice I can make.”

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The post Deebo Samuel earns All-America honors; plus, 4 Gamecocks named All-SEC appeared first on SEC Country.

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