COLUMBIA - South Carolina released an official depth chart Friday, in advance of next week's opener against Southern Miss. But it left lingering mysteries about several positions -- keys ones, at that.
For one, the quarterback battle, in print, represents what coach Steve Spurrier has been saying: It's still undecided. Redshirt junior Stephen Garcia and freshman Connor Shaw are listed as an "or" on the depth chart. Garcia is listed first. But, in each case other than one on the chart, the older player is listed first.
Another "or" has freshman Marcus Lattimore pushing redshirt sophomore Kenny Miles for the job as starting running back. Reviews of Lattimore, throughout camp, have been extremely positive -- evidently enough for the Byrnes product to be even with last season's leading rusher.
Several other starting positions, and a few other reserve spots, feature "ors."
Hutch Eckerson or Kyle Nunn will start at right tackle, according to the chart. New offensive line coach Shawn Elliott has said Eckerson, Nunn and North Charleston's Jarriel King are in a three-tackle rotation on either end of the line.
The other tentative starters for the interior line are West Ashley's Garrett Chisolm (left tackle), T.J. Johnson (center) and Rokevious Watkins (right guard).
Watkins has moved ahead of Terrence Campbell, due to Campbell's sprained left ankle.
Note, too, that neither suspended tight end Weslye Saunders nor injured weak-side linebacker Shaq Wilson were on the depth chart. Pat DiMarco, Justice Cunningham and Mike Triglia are listed as the options at tight end. Tony Straughter and Quin Smith are the choices at outside linebacker.
More position talk
Alshon Jeffery, Tori Gurley and D.L. Moore as listed as the top three receivers. Jason Barnes is pushing Moore at that third spot.
Those were the first four receivers Spurrier Jr. mentioned during Thursday evening. He also said a handful of others - including freshmen DeAngelo Smith, DeMario Bennett, Lamar Scruggs and Ace Sanders -- would compete and audition for two more spots.
North Carolina transfer Jay Wooten is listed as the first option as the team's kickoff man, but special teams coordinator Shane Beamer indicated this week that Wooten and Carson-Newman transfer Joey Scribner-Howard have been close.
He said both have looked good during camp. Both had to sit last season, after transferring.
Chris Culliver and Bryce Sherman are listed as the top kickoff return options, going with what Beamer said earlier in the week. Stephon Gilmore is the top punt return option, with Akeem Auguste just behind him.
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