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On the Beat: Gamecocks find solution at left tackle?

August 15, 2017 GMT

COLUMBIA – South Carolina offensive line coach Eric Wolford cleared up the left tackle competition on Tuesday.

Kind of.

“We’re going to probably start Malik right now at this time,” Wolford said. “Dennis has been inconsistent, which you would expect from a new player. At times he flashes like the guy we expect him to be.”

Redshirt junior Malik Young was the listed starter on the preseason depth chart, but junior JUCO product Dennis Daley was rotating in and out during camp. Daley, after two years at Georgia Military College, has done well but like most first-year guys do, hasn’t done it as steadily as Wolford would like.

“Right now, Malik consistently plays harder than him. That son of a gun will play hard,” Wolford said. “But you got to keep pushing him, too.”

Daley, from nearby Ridge View,is appreciative of the opportunity and glad to be home.

“Me and Malik are tight. We’re cool, on and off the field,” Daley said. “Being at Georgia Military, there really ain’t nothing around there. It’s good to be back.”

No longer Dan

Tight end Jacob August is fast becoming a constant request for post-practice media interviews. Already famous for the nickname Steve Spurrier bestowed upon him – “Dan,” after “Dan August,” a 1970s TV series starring Burt Reynolds – August offers thoughts on all sorts of topics.

What did he take away from the Gamecocks’ first scrimmage?

“We’re going to be really good this year,” he confidently said. “I think that the only thing holding us back, if anything does hold us back, is ourselves.”

August said that practices continue to go well, with a recent drill standing out. The Gamecocks had 12 seconds to complete a 40-yard drive.

Success rate?

“If I told you, I’d have to kill you,” he said. “That’s for the coaches to say.”

Holding steady

The Gamecocks’ secondary took a hit with the loss of Jaylin Dickerson, but another thin spot – defensive line – is stabilizing. The youngsters behind the starters will still have to play, but perhaps it won’t be as much of a drop-off.

“I remember in the good ol’ days if you had a D-lineman that played two years in a five-year career, and were successful as a player, you’re happy. We don’t have that luxury,” line coach Lance Thompson said. “With the numbers we got, you just got to be a football player a little bit.”