You wouldn’t know it if you’ve been following this week’s chatter around the South Carolina football program, but Deebo Samuel is not the only player on the Gamecocks’ roster.
Samuel has stolen the show with his five touchdowns through the first two games; however, Kentucky can’t get caught up in its focus on Samuel and look past the other many good players in garnet and black.
Here are three other studs the Wildcats will face on Saturday:
#81 | Hayden Hurst | Tight End
Hurst is Carolina’s C.J. Conrad — a tight end, one of the two or three best in the Southeastern Conference, with a bright future playing football on Sundays.
Last game, Hurst caught three balls for 69 yards and a touchdown in the win over Missouri. He was a non-factor in the Gamecocks’ opener, but expect more of the Week 2 version of Hayden Hurst than the Week 1 version of Hayden Hurst. He will be a go-to target in the offense, one the Cats’ can’t ignore.
#81 | Jake Bentley | Quarterback
I see a lot Stephen Johnson in Jake Bentley in the fact that not a lot of people are lining up to give him any QB awards, but he has won games ever since taking over midseason one year ago. Bentley, a true sophomore, is now 6-3 as Carolina’s starting quarterback after Will Muschamp pulled his redshirt and gave him a look when the Gamecocks started 2016 at 2-4.
This season, Bentley has completed 61 percent of his passes for four touchdowns and one interception in the first two games, although some fans are quick to tell you he has missed some routine throws. Like I said, there are a lot of similarities with Stephen Johnson.
#6 | T.J. Brunson | Linebacker
Only one other player in the SEC has more tackles than T.J. Brunson. South Carolina’s middle linebacker has 22 tackles on the year, 1.5 of which were for a loss, early in his sophomore campaign.
Will Muschamp recently said, “He plays a very violent game.”