South Carolina's base defenseive set is a 4-2-5. That means there are two traditional linebackers on the field. One of the five members of the secondary is the Spur position, which can effectively be used as a third linebacker in many situations.
The two traditional linebackers in USC's scheme consist of Mike and Will linebackers. Mike means middle linebacker, and Will means weakside linebacker. Shaq Wilson played Mike for several years. This past season was his last, and his back up, Quin Smith, was also a senior. At the Will position the story was the same: seniors Reginald Bowens and Damario Jeffrey are gone.
The Gamecocks needed to recruit linebackers to replace their two deep. Early in the recruiting process Gamecock legacy and four star linebacker Matt Rolin decommitted and committed to Florida. This one event, coupled with the dire need for quality linebackers sent some of the fanbase into a tailspin. What ever will we do?
The coaching staff kept doing what they had been, and the ended up bringing in a very strong group of linebackers. They brought in two inside linebackers, Gerald Turner and Jonathan Walton, who are both three stars. They also brought in three outside linebackers in Larenz Bryant, four stars, Skai Moore, four stars, and Mohammed Carrera, three stars. Some of these players may end up in different positions, especialy Spur, but what was once an area of dire need should grow into an area of strength quickly.