Today there are 44 days until kickoff.
44 is the number lettermen returning.
The Gamecocks awarded 63 letters last year, so there is a healthy number returning. The Gamecocks return 6 starters on offense which is about average, and 5 on defense which seems a bit low. All of the projected defensive starters have extensive experience.
Clowney and Jerideau aren't considered returning starters in that number. Neither is Damario Jeffrey, Victor Hampton, Akeem Aguste or Brison Williams. Williams may have the least experience of all of them, but he's not green by any means.
On paper the total number of returnees doesn't jump off the page, but a closer look reveals plenty of returning talent.
Get more great South Carolina sports analysis over at Leftover Hot Dog.