The case for Samuel
Samuel was a part of the 2014 recruiting class. He is from Inman, South Carolina and was only a three-star receiver according to 247sports. He was the 112th ranked receiver and 838th player in the nation according to the 247sports composite ranking. Samuel broke out in his Sophomore year when he recorded 783 receiving yards and nine total touchdowns. Last year, Samuel lit a spark when he returned the first kickoff of the season against NC State for a touchdown. He went on to score five more touchdowns in three games before breaking his leg, which kept him out for the season. He was clearly the most explosive player on the field, and the Gamecock offense seemed to lack some energy without him.
The case for Brown
A.J. Brown was a four-star receiver who was part of the 2016 recruiting class. Brown was 36th overall player in the country and the fourth ranked receiver according to the 247sports composite rankings. As a sophomore, Brown started nine games and posted 1252 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. Those stats alone cemented him as the top receiver in the SEC last season.
Deebo Samuel has the advantage of experience and leadership, but A.J. Brown has the size and stat advantage. Only time will tell who ends up on top after this season.