South Carolina football is losing yet another defensive defense.
Gamecock’s defense was hit hard with opt out and transfers in the second half of the 2020 season, with Jaycee Horn, Israel Mukuamu and RJ Roderick choosing not to participate in the season after the dismissal of coach Will Muschamp.
Ernest Jones and Shilo Sanders ended the year, but they also announced their intentions to leave the program. Sanders plans to transfer, while Jones is eyeing the NFL.
Well, Gamecocks learned Wednesday that a sixth quarterback, and a fifth member of the starting lineup, will no longer be with the team.
Second-year security guard Jammie Robinson plans to enter the transfer portal, and the South Carolina football team released him from his bag. Robinson has been a starter in the defensive field for the past two seasons.
As a freshman, he recorded 62 tackles, a choice and a forced disaster on his way to All-SEC recognition. He followed this performance by finishing second in the tackle team last season, accumulating 74 falls in 10 games.
With the announcement, Gamecocks lost all members of the season starting in high school, which means that depth and inexperience can be a big problem for 2021.
As it stands, Gamecocks have only five defensive backs with experience in the game. When Horn and Mukuamu’s departures were announced last month, John Dixon and Cam Smith high school students had a significant increase in playing time. They are likely to be the starting lineup in Columbia when the 2021 season arrives.
In security, however, less is known, as the program has now seen its third exit from a major contributor. Freshmen O’Donnell Fortune, Joey Hunter and Dominick Hill could be included in bigger roles, and junior Jaylin Dickerson will almost certainly have a starting point if he can stay healthy. Running back ZaQuandre White has switched to playing safely in the team’s last three games. He may need to remain on defense to provide depth again next year.
Of these five options, only three entered the field in 2019, with Dickerson, White and Fortune combined to make 29 tackles and intercept a pass. Senior Jaylan Foster may also return due to eligibility adjustments made for the 2020 season influenced by COVID.
Shane Beamer managed a transfer in the secondary during the initial signing period, but he will certainly need more help to move forward. Your recruitment plan will likely focus on the transfer market and will now need to place a strong emphasis on advocates.
Robinson’s announcement is disappointing, as many Gamecocks believed he would be back as a major contributor next season. Secondary has now gone from perceived strength to the team’s weakest link in just a short month.