SEC Post-Spring Power Rankings - #4 - South Carolina

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The Gamecocks have been on a roll as of late and I see no reason for that roll to stop in 2014.  The Gamecocks will miss Connor Shaw's playmaking ability but Dylan Thompson is experienced as a fifth year senior and can be deadly passing from the pocket.  Thompson will have two best friends in 2014.  First is Mike Davis.  Davis emerged as a star last season and one of the best running backs in the SEC if not the entire nation.  Davis has size, power and breakaway speed and is very hard to bring down in the open field.  Thompsons other best friend will be his offensive line.  The Gamecocks are experienced and massive up front led by two of the best tackles in the SEC in Brandon Shell and Corey Robinsion.  Both of those young men are massive and dominating run blockers and do a solid job against pass rushers as well.  Thompson should have plenty of time to sit in the pocket and survey downfield in 2014.

On the defensive side of the ball the Gamecocks face a challenge on the defensive side of the ball having to replace Clowney and Quarles. Both of them were game changers as pass rushers and just in terms of getting penetration - they were able to destroy plays on a regular basis before the offense even had a chance.  Where the Gamecocks should excel is at the second level.  With T.J. Holloman, Kaiwawn Lewis, Skai Moore, Sharrod Golightly, Larenz Bryant and others at the linebacker position the Gamecocks have a ton of speed and solid tacklers.  There are some questions at corner but with Brison Williams, T.J. Gurley and Chaz Elder all having a bunch of experience at safety they will be able to cover the mistakes some of the young corners will make.

Amongst the players I mentioned I did not talk about the Gamecocks recruiting class which may be the best defensive class they ever assembled.  Bryson Allen-Williams, Dante Sawyer, Wesley Green, Dexter Wideman, D.J. Smith, Chris Lamons and Abu Lamin are all highly thought of prospects and will make an immediate impact on the field. 

The Gamecocks definitely do have a few questions but Steve Spurrier is on a roll right now and when he gets things moving the right direction he tends to only build on the momentum.  Gamecock fans better gear up and get excited because it looks like it is going to be another fun ride and Week 2 at home against the Georgia Bulldogs could decide the SEC East.

Previously Ranked:

#5 - Auburn Tigers
#6 - Texas A&M Aggies
#7 - Mississippi State Bulldogs
#8 - Tennessee Volunteers
#9 - Ole Miss Rebels
#10 - Florida Gators
#11 - Missouri Tigers
#12 - Arkansas Razorbacks
#13 - Vanderbilt Commodores
#14 - Kentucky Wildcats

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