South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said sophomore linebacker Skai Moore will not start Thursday night's season-opening game against Texas A&M.

Moore, 6-feet-2 and 210 pounds, led the Gamecocks in tackles and interceptions as a true freshman in 2013, and is the No. 16 rated sophomore outside linebacker in the nation by NFLDraftScout.com.

"He'll play. He'll play early," Ward said after Tuesday's practice, per The Post and Courier. "Just got to make sure he does what he's supposed to do when you ask him to do something."

Moore will be replaced by fellow sophomore Jonathan Walton, who registered eight tackles while seeing action in all 13 games last season. Walton is the No. 28-rated inside linebacker in the 2017 class by NFLDraftScout.com.

The discipline appeared to stem from Moore failing to show up for treatment after injuring his shoulder during practice.

"You don't go to treatment, you don't play," Ward said. "So you've got to go to treatment."

The Gamecocks lost three defensive linemen from last season, including No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick Jadeveon Clowney, so the deep linebacking unit is expected to be the strength of the defense.

"I think we've got nine guys, if you count the two "spurs," who can play," Ward said. "I don't care who starts. You can throw them all in a bag, and I think you'd get really good players from all of them."