College Sports

One Gamecock makes The Athletic’s ‘Freaks list’

Before Sadarius Hutcherson was even a starter for the South Carolina football team, his teammates raved about his strength and physical skills. One went so far as to say sure the first-year lineman was unpolished, but one-on-one, he’d just run you over.

He’s since grown into a starter, and Thursday he got recognized for the work he’s put in to augment that natural strength.

Hutcherson checked in at No. 20 on Bruce Feldman’s “Freaks List.” The feature has bounced from ESPN to FoxSports to Sports Illustrated and now to The Athletic, and it celebrates the absurd lifter, leapers and speedsters in the sport of college football.

And now Hutcherson made the cut.

“The fourth-year junior has emerged as a quality lineman and one of the strongest guys in the SEC,” Feldman wrote. “The 320-pounder benches more than 500 pounds, squats 650 and has a very impressive vertical jump of 31.5 inches.”

Other players with South Carolina ties ranked between 50 and 11, the only ones released thus far, are Notre Dame corner Troy Pride, from Greer, and Clemson guard Gage Cervenka.

Hutcherson came to Columbia as an unfinished product. He was a defensive end for much of his high school career in Tennessee and an offensive lineman in a run-heavy offense.

He was not a particularly highly-rated recruit, but had offers from Arizona State, Memphis and Louisville. Late in high school, be bulked up considerably from 230 pounds.

He started out as a tackle at USC, moved inside to guard and emerged as an effective injury sub in 2017 and a starter last fall. The staff moved him to left tackle this offseason, and current indications are that he’ll start there.