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August 27, 2014

Game week Twitter mailbag

Welcome to the Twitter Mailbag, where we take the questions you submitted on Twitter and answer them right here on GamecockCentral.com. And while you're at it, follow us on Twitter - @GamecockCentral.

Andrew Webb - @awwebb12 - What freshman do you think makes the biggest impact Thursday night? #GoCocks

GamecockCentral.com: On paper, this one comes down to two kids -- cornerback Al Harris Jr. and linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams. Harris is a starter at cornerback, while Allen-Williams is also a first-team guy at the BOB position when the Gamecocks go to a three-man front, so either player is a good pick for this distinction.

Allen-Williams has a knack for making plays rushing off the edge and that's part of the reason he's found his way onto the field so early in his career. Harris will play a ton and it seems likely that he'd be tested early on by the A&M offense -- it just makes sense that the Aggies would go right at the freshman. I expect both guys to be fully prepared as they're thrown into the action but I'll give a slight edge to Allen-Williams.

Sarah - @sarahlzzy418 - who is the most underrated player on offense and defense?

GCC: I'm going to take a page from my buddy Chris Clark's book and go with T.J. Holloman on defense. Holloman has always looked the part with good size and has proved to be good in coverage. Word is he's gotten more physical which should make for a good combination.

On offense, I don't think Damiere Byrd, who technically isn't listed as a starter on the depth chart, gets enough credit for what he brings to the team. Byrd's speed brings an extra dynamic to the offense and even when he's not catching long passes, the opponent's defense has to respect his ability to get open deep which opens up other aspects. Byrd is also a more complete receiver than he's given credit for, and has made several big-play-saving tackles on special teams.

Michael Johnson - @micjohnsonjr - Who is (most) improved on defense?

GCC: I have a hard time not going with boundary safety Chris Moody, who was probably the fourth safety in the mix, at best, when fall camp began. Moody essentially passed J.J. Marcus and T.J. Gurley to be the Gamecocks' starter alongside Chaz Elder. He still needs to take it to the game field, but if practice is any indication, Moody is the Gamecocks' most improved defender from one season to the next. Honorable mention for Holloman and Jordan Diggs.

Andy Griffith - @surf7873 - Will the Gamecocks put A&M's young quarterback on the field first or take the football, if they win the toss? (paraphrased)

GCC: It's the Head Ball Coach. I don't see any way that he doesn't take the football first against this defense, given the opportunity.

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