May 7, 2007

Veterans hold key up front

Analysis and commentary by Keith Allsep.

While very few players signed by the previous coaching staff remain on the Gamecock defense, there are several fourth and fifth year players on offense that will need to play their best football if the Gamecocks are to improve upon last year's 8-5 record and challenge for the SEC Eastern Division title. In today's column, we will examine the USC offensive line and tight end positions and what the depth chart could look like at each heading into the summer months.

At tight end, Andy Boyd returns for his senior season, his sixth in Columbia. Boyd has had an injury filled career, missing two complete seasons due to serious knee injuries. Last season, Boyd appeared to finally be healthy, but then a shoulder injury sidelined the 6-foot-4, 267-pound Concord, N.C., native. However, once Boyd returned to the Gamecock offense, the running game got untracked and the offense became more efficient. Boyd is regarded as one of the best run blockers on the team and a healthy senior season bodes well for the USC running game.

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