Five Gamecocks invited to 2021 NFL Combine
Five Gamecock football players have been invited to the 2021 NFL Scouting Combine, it was announced today. The Gamecock quintet includes Jaycee Horn, Sadarius Hutcherson, Ernest Jones, Israel Mukuamu and Shi Smith.
The 2021 NFL Combine will take on a different format this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the alterations will be no in-person workouts at the combine as they will take place at colleges’ pro days, all interviews and psychological testing will be virtual and there will be limited in-person medical exams. South Carolina’s Pro Timing Day will take place on Wednesday, March 24.
Here are the Gamecock invitees:
Jaycee Horn, DB, 6-1, 205, Junior
Junior who earned second-team All-SEC honors from the league’s coaches and third-team honors from Pro Football Focus… started each of the first seven games at cornerback… credited with 16 tackles… led the team with eight passes defended, including six pass breakups and a pair of interceptions… averaged 1.14 passes defended per game, second in the SEC… collected a season-high five tackles at Florida… had the best game of his career in the win over Auburn… credited with three tackles, two interceptions and four pass breakups, earning Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week and SEC Defensive Player of the Week accolades… opted out of the season’s final three games following the dismissal of head coach Will Muschamp… named to the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll… credited with 101 career tackles, 23 pass breakups and two interceptions.
Sadarius Hutcherson, OL, 6-4, 320, Redshirt Senior
Fifth-year senior who returned to his more natural position of left guard and started all 10 contests… named one of four permanent team captains… led an offensive line that helped Kevin Harris become the Gamecocks’ first 1,000-yard rusher since 2013… was the most experienced player on the squad with 39 career starts (16 at left guard, 12 at right guard and 11 at left tackle)… appeared in 45 games overall… started each of the last 36 games consecutively.
Ernest Jones, LB, 6-2, 230, Junior
Junior middle linebacker who was the vocal leader of the defense… named one of four permanent team captains… earned fourth-team All-SEC honors from Phil Steele… started each of the first nine games, missing the final contest with an ankle injury… led the team in tackles for the second-straight year with 86 stops… averaged 9.6 tackles per game, sixth in the SEC… had four games with at least 11 tackles during the season… logged 11 stops in the season opener against Tennessee… credited with 13 stops, including a career-high 3.0 tackles for loss in the win at Vanderbilt… also had his lone sack of the season against the Commodores… notched a career-best 19 tackles at LSU… it was the most tackles in a game by a Gamecock since Roy Hart had 19 stops at Nebraska in 1987… nearly matched that total with 18 tackles at Ole Miss… had two of the top 17 single-game tackles total recorded at the FBS level in 2020… one of 16 semifinalists for the Butkus Award… recorded 199 tackles in just 26 games over the past three seasons, including 21 starts… had 10.5 tackles for loss with a pair of sacks… credited with two interceptions, five pass breakups, six quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries.
Israel Mukuamu, DB, 6-4, 205, Junior
Lanky junior defensive back who was hampered by a groin injury for much of the season… played in six games making five starts… played both cornerback and safety… tied for the team lead with two interceptions… had picks against both Florida and LSU… opted out of the final three games of the season following the dismissal of head coach Will Muschamp… appeared in 31 career games with 19 starts… credited with seven career INTs and 10 pass breakups.
Shi Smith, WR, 5-10, 190, Senior
The top receiver on the squad… named one of four permanent team captains… earned second-team All-SEC honors from Phil Steele and from Pro Football Focus… started all nine games in which he appeared… paced the team with 57 receptions for 633 yards and four touchdowns… ranked fifth in the SEC in receptions per game (6.33) and ninth in receiving yards per game (70.3)… opened the season in impressive fashion with a 10-catch, 140-yard, one touchdown performance against Tennessee… set a career high with 12 catches at Florida for 85 yards and a score… became the first player in school history to record double-digit receptions in back-to-back games… logged eight receptions for 76 yards with a touchdown in the upset win over Auburn… posted 10 receptions for 117 yards and a score at Ole Miss… appeared in 43 games during his four-year career at Carolina with 35 starts… caught 174 passes for 2,204 yards and 13 touchdowns… finished his career ranked fourth in receptions, behind only Bryan Edwards, Kenny McKinley and Alshon Jeffery… ranked eighth in career receiving yards in Carolina history.