Veteran status doesn't always pay off in JSU depth chart
by Al Muskewitz
Aug 27, 2013 | 1822 views |  0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A deeper look at the Gamecocks' two-deep depth chart raises a few eyebrows about the placement of a couple veterans.

Junior right tackle Tarik Milner, a preseason all-conference pick, is listed

at No. 2 behind smaller and younger Nick Johnson. And junior linebacker Ben Endress, the Gamecocks' second-leading tackler last year, is not listed at all.

In Endress' case, he happened to be caught in the numbers in a position steeped in depth ‹ the fifth man where four slots are occupied by seniors.

"An injury kind of figured in that," Jacksonville State coach Bill Clark said. "He got banged up in spring training and didn't get to full speed until July, but he came to camp ready to go. We've just got a lot of depth with older guys. He'll definitely play, but he's kind of the fifth guy in that rotation."

Milner, meanwhile, is catching up after a slow start. Both will play in

Saturday's opener at Alabama State.

"(Johnson) really just performed super well," Clark said. "He was one of

those guys who coming out spring you said he's not the biggest guy, but he

performs. Tarik may not have had as good a camp as he would want to, but in the last week we've seen him make strides back."

The Gamecocks' depth chart is a fluid entity anyway. Clark has said the gap between the first team and second team has closed and now the third-team guys are starting to catch up.

"We want our second guys to beat the first guys out and the first guys to have to work," he said. "So maybe we've created some competition all along the board there; everybody¹s got to try to get better."

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