Steve Spurrier was famously neglectful on the recruiting front his last couple of years at South Carolina, so this should come as no surprise:
The Gamecocks have played more true freshmen than any team in the country the past two years, and while only one is projected to start this year, there are seven others that are almost certain to play, and four more who could play.
How many is more? This many.
Thirteen true freshmen played in 2016, seven of them starting. Included were Jake Bentley, Rico Dowdle, Bryan Edwards and Keir Thomas.
Eight true freshmen played in 2017, four starting (Jamyest Williams, Sherrod Greene, OrTre Smith, Shi Smith).
All of which brings me to today’s point, which is why are so many pundits looking at the Georgia-South Carolina meeting in week two and seeing the key issue being the Dawgs getting their collective shit together early on? That’s not at least as big a deal for the ‘Cocks, given their inexperienced roster?
Not even Carolina’s coaches are going there.
“We’re in a phase of our defense where we got to keep developing guys. We didn’t develop enough that we needed to (last year),” defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson said. “We got a lot of young guys, whether they were mid-years or the guys that came in in June, that we got to get ready to play in Game 1.”
Forget about comparing raw talent levels for a minute. What remains is the reality that Smart walked into a situation with a more talented roster than did Boom, thus giving his staff a development advantage over SC. And we’re supposed to believe that won’t matter in the season’s second week?