COLUMBIA -- After examining five defensive players to watch during South Carolina's month of spring practice, we'll turn today to the Gamecocks' offense.

Here is a quintet of offensive players USC's coaches will be keenly watching for signs of development.

1. Pat DiMarco, tight end, senior

Unlike the names that follow, DiMarco is one you know. He's a senior. He's a captain. And he's on the move.

The coaches have long said they want to get DiMarco, a fullback his first three years, more involved in the offense. They tried early this past season, but that trailed off as it continued.

By trying out DiMarco at tight end, it presents some new options. A steady force, there's no reason to think DiMarco won't get the hang of a new position.

2. DeMario Bennett, receiver, redshirt freshman

Bennett was having a great preseason camp until a hamstring injury took him out of the mix and led to a redshirt season.

The 6-2 Douglas, Ga., native is healthy now, and he should be a factor among the receiving corps going forward. But the question is how big of a factor?

As much as C.C. Whitlock (when he was playing receiver) was compared to Kenny McKinley, perhaps Bennett is a better comparison to the school's all-time receiving leader.

Alshon Jeffery and Tori Gurley emerged as deep threats, but Stephen Garcia needs targets underneath, as well. Enter, Bennett?

3. Jarvis Giles, running back, sophomore

Remember him?

He was supposed to impact the offense this past season the way Stephon Gilmore and DeVonte Holloman did the defense.

Didn't happen. Why? A number of reasons, including the coaches' assertion that Giles wasn't big enough to take abuse in the SEC.

Let's watch this spring, to see if Giles has taken strides in the weight room to bulk up. He resisted the urge to transfer, and now he wants to make good on his potential.

Don't give up on Giles just yet. He knows he needs to make a statement before Marcus Lattimore arrives, even if they are different types of backs.

4. Connor Shaw, quarterback, freshman

Shaw is on campus as an early enrollee to get in an additional spring practice. So what, precisely, will he get out of that spring practice?

He looked a little shaky March 4 in his first college practice, but remember, it was just his first time out.

Shaw's desire to work (and work and work) is what separates him from many, many Gamecocks quarterbacks from recent years. Let's see how that translates to the field.

The coaches are hoping Shaw can be solid enough to push Garcia, make him a better QB.

Size is working against him (he's a shade under 6 feet tall), but heart is working for him.

5. Kevious Watkins, offensive lineman, junior (JUCO)

Watkins very narrowly was admitted to school last summer, and he wound up sitting and watching as Eric Wolford made some philosophical changes to the line that had minimal impact in the long run.

Now Shawn Elliott takes over the group.

Watkins has been a guy the coaches have buzzed about for months. It's his time to separate hype from reality. Is he a guy that can take one of those guard spots?

Related: Keep an eye on T.J. Johnson's move from guard to center.

Reach Travis Haney at, check out the Gamecocks blog at and follow him on Twitter (@gamecocksblog).