Last season was one to forget for the South Carolina Gamecocks, and part of the reason was a lack of impact players in the Class of 2015.

The group was ranked 19th nationally, and ninth in the SEC by 247Sports, but of the 27 players that enrolled, only 13 took the field last season.

Zack Bailey OG 5 12
Shameik Blackshear DE 0 2
Toure Boyd S 0 1
Blake Camper OT 1 11
Rashad Fenton CB 0 10
Ernest Hawkins LB 0 6
Jalen Henry LB 0 10
Hayden Hurst WR 1 12
Marquavius Lewis DE 12 12
Kyle Markway TE 1 12
D.J. Neal WR 3 9
Lorenzo Nunez QB 2 8
Christian Pellage OT 0 11
Dante Sawyer DT 4 11
Boosie Whitlow DE 3 12

Those players combined to play in 139 games and make 32 starts last fall. True freshmen Zack Bailey (5), Blake Camper (1), Hayden Hurst (1), Kyle Markway (1), D.J. Neal (3), Lorenzo Nunez (2) and Boosie Whitlow (3) all made starts for the Gamecocks, as did junior-college transfers Marquavius Lewis (12) and Dante Sawyer (4).


Zack Bailey stepped in admirably at center when Alan Knott was injured, and should see action at center or guard on a retooled line in 2016.

Lorenzo Nunez was the team’s second-leading rusher with 375 yards and two scores while passing for 376 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions before injuries shortened his season.

Hurst and Neal each had eight catches at receiver, and both should figure into the mix at that position next season.


Lewis (45 tackles, 3 sacks) and Sawyer (17 tackles, 2.5 sacks) were fixtures on the defensive line, but will face plenty of competition from new recruits in this year’s class.

The same is true for pass rush specialist Boosie Whitlow, who showed flashes of potential.


Four-star recruits Jalen Christian (WR), Dexter Wideman (DE) and Sherrod Pittman (LB) were the most notable of the team’s redshirts last season.

In all, there are 21 redshirt freshmen listed on the 2016 provisional spring roster.


Misses on the recruiting trail were a concern in Columbia for the last few seasons of the Steve Spurrier era, and those concerns were magnified in this class.

There were some bad breaks with injuries (Nunez, Blackshear, Washington, Pittman and others), but ultimately this group didn’t quite live up to its billing.

The good news for Gamecock fans is that there has already been improvement (on paper, anyway) under new coach Will Muschamp and his staff of proven recruiters. So this year’s group should make more of an immediate impact.

It’s too early to close the book on the Class of 2015, though. Too many talented players in that group were bitten by the injury bug last season, and they’re hungry for a chance to make an impact this coming season.