SEC Football: Five teams with the most experience from juniors

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2. South Carolina Gamecocks

Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks return 15 starters from last year’s 7-6 team and it’s been a back and forth offseason for the ‘Head Ball Coach’. After three straight 11-win seasons, Carolina regressed last year, prompting questions of if Spurrier would return for another year or not. Spurrier has been adamant he isn’t going anywhere and looks to lead Carolina to the SEC East Title.

The Gamecocks were picked to finish fourth by the media in the East back at media days, getting one first place vote and despite the lack of confidence many have in this team, they have been able to play a lot of young talent dating back to last year and could be the sleeper in the eastern division in 2015.

Carolina ranks 15th in the country in sophomores played a year ago, with 250 total starts – 65 on the offensive side of the ball and 169 on the defensive side.

Spurrier and his staff have done a great job in the recruiting circles and an even better job intermingling young talent with the older experienced guys.

Pharoh Cooper led the team in receiving yards and touchdowns a year ago, catching 69 balls for over one thousand yards and nine touchdowns. Cooper also gives the Gamecocks a threat in certain run type situations as well. He should again be the go to guy on third downs and crucial situations.

Linebacker Skai Moore jumped on the scene last year as a sophomore, leading the team in tackles with 93, and was active in rushing the passer and in pass coverage. Jonathan Walton and Gerald Dixon were also two very active sophomores a year ago on this defense; both from the linebacker and defensive line.

Carolina could be a sleeper in the East this fall and a big reason is their defense could end up being one of the SEC’s best due to the young talent that played a year ago.

Next: Mississippi State