There are 13 scholarship seniors on the South Carolina football roster who have just one more year left in the program. They came from a lot of different places at a lot of different times as head coach Will Muschamp tried to build his program pulling a unique group of players in order to try and build a winning roster.
Three of the 13 scholarship seniors were a part of Muschamp’s first recruiting class and had a redshirt year at some point in the process. Three are former walkons in the program who earned scholarships. Three were transfers into the program, either from the junior college ranks or another institution.
Only four are true seniors on the roster – four-year players who are set to exhaust their eligibility on the traditional college clock.
Wide receiver Shi Smith and defensive end Aaron Sterling highlight the list of true seniors and both are four-year contributors for the Gamecocks. Entering, there was a thought Sterling would redshirt his first year as he didn’t really have the traditional size for a defensive end, and played a lot at the tackle position in high school. But he played in all 13 games with 23 stops and 3.0 tackles for a loss with two quarterback sacks.
It was never a surprise that Smith was a contributor the second he got onto campus, and even made seven starts his first year. He caught 29 passes with three touchdowns and didn’t have a single drop as a true freshman.