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Bentley, Edwards address potential NFL futures

SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS FOOTBALL

South Carolina’s regular season is over. The Gamecocks finished with a winning record for the 14th time over the last 18 seasons with a 28-3 win over Akron Saturday.

Now, as a team, the Gamecocks await their bowl game fate but personally, for the juniors on the team, another decision is coming up soon as well.

Jake Bentley and Bryan Edwards were both asked after Saturday’s win about their impending decisions and both said those talks still haven’t happened yet.

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“I think we’ll go over it and just see what the best thing to do is,” Bentley said. “There’s a lot of stuff still out there that I haven’t accomplished and I feel like our team hasn’t accomplished yet. I feel like that’s going to be a big factor in it. Definitely going to see every situation, but I’ll be focused on the game when it comes.”

Also see: Josh Low's instant analysis from Saturday's win

Bentley’s had a big second half to the season after coming back from injury and eclipsed 7,000 career passing yards Saturday with a 70-yard touchdown pass to Edwards. He’s one of four players in school history with at least 7,000 yards passing.

As for Edwards, he’s up to 809 receiving yards this season on 52 receptions with seven touchdown passes, all but the receptions a career-highs.

Edwards, who’s been one of the more productive receivers in the SEC his three years on campus, also said he hasn’t begun to think about his next steps.

“Dang, the NFL?” Edwards said, “I haven’t even thought about it.”

Also see: Saturday visitor scoop

The Gamecocks have a handful of starters eligible to declare for the draft, and have to declare by Jan. 1. Players can also submit paperwork earlier to the NFL to get a draft grade, which will help aid them in their decisions to either come back or go pro.

Both Edwards and Deebo Samuel, who is graduating and will be a surefire pick in April’s draft, said they haven’t thought about skipping the team’s bowl game either.

For Samuel, it would be his last college game before starting his professional career.

“I haven’t even thought about that,” Samuel said.

Also: What we're hearing: Gamecocks bowl update

The Gamecocks will learn their bowl fate Sunday with the two primary options being either the Gator or Belk bowls.

Right now it’s up in the air with the College Football Playoff field still yet to be announced. Will Muschamp will host a press conference Sunday night to discuss whichever bowl the Gamecocks are selected for.

“I have which one I want to go to, but I don’t want to say because I don’t want to make anybody mad,” Bentley said. “It doesn’t matter where we play, it’s another game and it’s more practices for us to get better. That’ the important thing; it’s going to be a great team whoever we play.”

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Jake Bentley || Photo by C.J. Driggers