Hurst, Moore make preseason SEC first team; two other Gamecocks honored

Hurst, Moore make preseason SEC first team; two other Gamecocks honored

From staff reports/Photo by Jenny Dilworth

South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst and linebacker Skai Moore have been named to the 

2017 Preseason Coaches All-SEC first team, the SEC announced Wednesday. 

Offensive lineman Zack Bailey and wide receiver Deebo Samuel were named to the third team. Samuel was also selected as an all-purpose player. 

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Hurst, a 6-5, 250-pound junior from Jacksonville, Fla., put together a record-setting 2016 campaign. The former professional baseball player and walk-on to the Carolina program, hauled in 48 passes for 616 yards in 2016, both school records for a Gamecock tight end. A member of the 2016 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll, Hurst was also named a team captain, the first sophomore in school history to earn that distinction, and was selected as the Dr. Harris Pastides Outstanding Student-Athlete Representative at the 2017 Garnet & Black spring game. A Mackey Award Watch List candidate, Hurst was a preseason first-team All-SEC pick by Athlon and a second-team selection by the media.

Moore, a 6-2, 218-pound senior from Cooper City, Fla., returns after missing the 2016 campaign following neck surgery. The most decorated player on the roster, Moore led the team in tackles in each of his first three seasons at Carolina and was a 2015 team captain. He was on the Coaches SEC All-Freshman team in 2013, was the 2014 Independence Bowl Defensive MVP, and earned second-team All-SEC honors in 2015. Moore is on the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award, the Butkus Award and the Nagurski Trophy, and was a preseason second-team All-SEC pick by the media and Athlon.

Bailey, a 6-6, 311-pound junior from Summerville, S.C., is regarded as the Gamecocks’ top offensive lineman. A member of the Coaches SEC All-Freshmen Team in 2015, Bailey has played in every game over the past two seasons, making 18 career starts. He made the transition in the spring from left guard to right tackle, and is penciled in as a starter at that position this fall.

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Samuel, a 6-0, 215-pound junior from Inman, S.C., earned Steve Wadiak Co-Most Valuable Player honors for the Gamecocks in 2016 after leading the team with 59 receptions for 783 yards, despite playing in just 10 contests. An all-purpose performer, Samuel also rushed 15 times for 98 yards and six touchdowns and returned 16 kicks for a 26.9-yard average, including a 100-yard touchdown return against Western Carolina. Samuel is on the preseason watch list for the Biletnikoff, Hornung and Maxwell awards. He was a preseason third-team All-SEC pick by the media, while Athlon tabbed him as a first-team all-purpose back and a second-team kick returner.

2017 Preseason Coaches All-SEC Football Team (* - ties)

First Team 


TE Hayden Hurst, South Carolina

OL Braden Smith, Auburn

Martez Ivey, Florida

Jonah Williams, Alabama

Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama

C Fran Ragnow, Arkansas

WR Christian Kirk, Texas A&M

Calvin Ridley, Alabama

QB Jalen Hurts, Alabama

RB Derrius Guice, LSU

Nick Chubb, Georgia

AP Christian Kirk, Texas A&M     


DL Da'Shawn Hand, Alabama

Da'Ron Payne, Alabama

Marquis Haynes, Ole Miss

Trenton Thompson, Georgia

LB Arden Key, LSU

Skai Moore, South Carolina

Roquan Smith, Georgia

DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama

Armani Watts, Texas A&M

Duke Dawson, Florida

Ronnie Harrison, Alabama


PK Daniel Carlson, Auburn

P JK Scott, Alabama

RS Christian Kirk, Texas A&M

Second Team Preseason All-SEC 


TE Isaac Nauta, Georgia

OL Martinas Rankin, Mississippi State

K.J. Malone, LSU

Koda Martin, Texas A&M

Paul Adams, Missouri*

Greg Little, Ole Miss

Isaiah Wynn, Georgia*

C Will Clapp, LSU

WR J’Mon Moore, Missouri

Antonio Callaway, Florida

QB Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State

RB Kamryn Pettway, Auburn

Bo Scarbrough, Alabama

AP Derrius Guice, LSU


DL Cece Jefferson, Florida

Marlon Davidson, Auburn

Jabari Zuniga, Florida

Denzil Ware, Kentucky*

Dontavius Russell, Auburn*

LB Jordan Jones, Kentucky

Rashaan Evans, Alabama

Tre' Williams, Auburn

DB Donte Jackson, LSU

Dominick Sanders, Georgia

Carlton Davis, Auburn

Tray Matthews, Auburn


PK Gary Wunderlich, Ole Miss

P Johnny Townsend, Florida

RS Evan Berry, Tennessee

Third Team Preseason All-SEC 


TE C.J. Conrad, Kentucky*

DeAndre Goolsby, Florida*

OL Jashon Robertson, Tennessee

Jawaan Taylor, Florida

Zack Bailey, South Carolina

Hjalte Froholdt, Arkansas

C Bradley Bozeman, Alabama

WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina

Jauan Jennings, Tennessee

QB Austin Allen, Arkansas

RB Ralph Webb, Vanderbilt

Benny Snell, Kentucky

AP Brandon Powell, Florida*

Deebo Samuel, South Carolina*

Kerryon Johnson, Auburn*

Trevon Diggs, Alabama*


DL Terry Beckner, Jr., Missouri

Jonathan Ledbetter, Georgia

Christian LaCouture, LSU

Marcell Frazier, Missouri

LB Oren Burks, Vanderbilt  

Shaun Dion Hamilton, Alabama

Lorenzo Carter, Georgia

DB Anthony Averett, Alabama

Mike Edwards, Kentucky

Chauncey Gardner, Florida

Ryan Pulley, Arkansas


PK Austin MacGinnis, Kentucky*

Eddy Piniero, Florida*

P Trevor Daniel, Tennessee

RS Antonio Callaway, Florida