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Five freshman summer enrollees who could make an impact this season

3 min read
Five freshman summer enrollees who could make an impact this season

South Carolina welcomed a host of newcomers to campus in January for spring practice and it already looks like most of them project to make an impact to varying degrees in 2023.

But the rest of the 2023 recruiting class has not yet arrived in Columbia and there are several players in that group who could also help this season.

The NCAA allows coaching staffs to spend more time with their team than ever before during the summer which can help true freshmen to settle in faster to their new home.

Below we look at five incoming players who should help in 2023 within the context of what we learned about the team throughout the spring.

DB Vicari Swain

A four-star “athlete” in the rankings, Swain will start his career at defensive back where he should compete for immediate playing time in the rotation.

Marcellas Dial and O’Donnell Fortune are the heavy favorites to start at cornerback but Swain could easily find himself battling against Isaiah Norris and Emory Floyd to be next in line at that position

A smooth, twitchy athlete with great ball skills and a competitive edge, the versatile athlete also played with physicality and willingness to hit in high school.

Here’s to thinking his snaps will only go up as the season progresses. And few in the country are better than Torrian Gray at getting his guys ready.

RB DJay Braswell

South Carolina’s running back room received a boost from the addition of Dakereon Joyner, who spent the entire spring there and looked like a natural running back, which should ease a little pressure off the need for Braswell to be good right from the jump.

Braswell’s playing time will also be affected by what the Gamecocks do in the transfer portal where they’ve been actively recruiting potential difference makers to add to the roster.

Throw in the variability of injuries and the fact that they often occur at a higher clip at running back than other positions, and it’s incredibly difficult to predict how much Braswell will play.

However, it does seem likely that at some point he’ll be called upon, if he’s ready — because he certainly has the talent to help this team.

WR Nyckoles Harbor

This site has worked really hard to try to set realistic and fair expectations for the former five-star whose recruitment took on a life of its own due to the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Harbor’s viral exploits on the track.

Harbor probably isn’t like your typical five-star in that his upside is as high as even the rarest of five-star players but he’s also not as developed on the football field as most five-star prospects.

Fans are going to have to be patient.

But even if Harbor is raw as a football player, the Gamecocks will find a way to use a 6-foot-5 frame with world-class speed –even if it’s simply to take the top off the defense.

OL Tosin Babalade

It is notoriously difficult for an offensive lineman to play as a true freshman but given Jaylen Nichols’ injury at left tackle, it would be premature to completely rule Babalade out.

The Gamecocks seemed to have six players fighting for five starting spots for more of the spring. But with Nichols’ injury, the five starters are probably set, though South Carolina will be on the search for depth behind them.

South Carolina has bodies beyond the starting five but they’re heavily lacking in experience. If Babalade makes a smooth transition to the college life and comes in with the mindset of doing everything he possibly can to play early, then he could fight himself into the mix.

OL Trovon Baugh

Like with Babalade, it won’t be easy for Baugh to play but there is a path to him finding the field.

Even in terms of rookie guards, Markee Anderson got the head start by enrolling in January and now projects to play this season.

But while Baugh was sort of the forgotten man, some believe he may have been the furthest along in his development among Carolina’s highly touted o-line class.

Discuss South Carolina football on The Insiders Forum!

The post Five freshman summer enrollees who could make an impact this season appeared first on On3.

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