COLUMBIA -- When the Gamecocks hold their annual senior night Saturday against Appalachian State, they'll have a few players taking part in the ceremony with decisions to make.
Three key players who will be honored pregame — Sadarius Hutcherson, Kyle Markway and Jake Bentley — all have eligibility left and will have decisions to make.
"Those guys have not made any decisions and we'll have those discussions in December when the regular season is over and move forward," head coach Will Muschamp said Tuesday. "We certainly want them to have that opportunity if they decide not to come back.
Markway and Hutcherson both have one year of eligibility left with Markway able to return for his sixth year and Hutcherson currently a redshirt junior.
Markway already has an undergraduate degree, while Hutcherson is scheduled to graduate in December.
Those conversations about what to do will happen after the Gamecocks' Nov. 30 game against Clemson, but what do those conversations sound like?
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"What input do we have from the NFL from what their evaluation will be? If they were to be drafted, where would they be drafted?" Muschamp said. "It’s about giving them as much information as we can from that standpoint. It’s not what I think, it’s not what one of our assistant coaches thinks, it’s not what their parents think, it’s not what some agent thinks, it’s what the NFL thinks.
"There are 32 teams and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Where do they see them fitting on their draft board is basically the question. And if they were to return for their last year, what do they need to do to improve that draft status? Those are all questions where we try to give them as much information. We’re going to support them 100% no matter what. We’re going to give them the information. It’s their decision, it’s not my decision.”
For Bentley, the decision is three-fold: opting to stay and compete for the starting quarterback job again, graduate transfer and play at another school immediately or go pro.
Muschamp already said earlier this year, and reiterated Tuesday, Bentley would be welcomed back into the program.
"I'm extremely disappointed for him and his injury," Muschamp said. "His senior year's been taken away from him. I hurt for him and his family; he's done so much for the University of South Carolina and our football program. He has the opportunity to come back for another year."
For Markway, if he chose to come back, it'd be his sixth year of eligibility after injuries plagued his career once he arrived on campus.
Right now, he said there hasn't been a decision yet on what he'll do after the year, but the plan has always been to participate on senior day this year.
“I haven’t," he said about a decision, "and even if I was coming back, I’d still walk.”
Here is the full list of players participating in Saturday's Senior Day ceremony: Michael Almond, Jake Bentley, T.J. Brunson, Joseph Charlton, Chavis Dawkins, Mon Denson, Rico Dowdle, Bryan Edwards, Danny Fennell, Tavien Feaster, Jaylan Foster, Bailey Hart, Sadarius Hutcherson, J.T. Ibe, Javon Kinlaw, Caleb Kinlaw, Kyle Markway, Matt Oliveira, Kiel Pollard, Kobe Smith, Donell Stanley, Will Tommie, AJ Turner, Eldridge Thompson, D.J. Wonnum.