Despite the struggles of South Carolina thus far this year, one player that they have been able to turn to in the early going is Shi Smith.

Thus far, the senior wide receiver has made the most of his opportunities. In the season opener against Tennessee, he made 10 catches for 140 yards and a touchdown, not far off from career highs in receptions and yardage he set against the Volunteers a season ago. He did go on to break that personal best in catches on Saturday against Florida, pulling in 12 for 85 yards and a touchdown.

Smith’s development since coming to Columbia in 2017 hasn’t been a surprise for the Gamecocks coaching staff.

“It’s the consistency of knowing he’s the guy and the consistency of knowing he’s going to be targeted,” South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp said on Tuesday, according to 247Sports. “We always felt Shi had a tremendous amount of ability. That was never a question for us.”

Despite a terrific performance in Week 1, Muschamp said that he “challenged” Smith to carry over that personal success to the contest against the Gators.

“Can you answer the bell?” Muschamp recalled asking Smith. “He answered it extremely well. We continue to believe he’ll do it again Saturday (against Vanderbilt).”