The hit heard around the world, do you ever think there will be one like it?
This spring the South Carolina Gamecocks will be working hard to replicate the way they finished the year in the Outback Bowl. This team had to come together after losing their leader, Marcus Lattimore, their all-everything running back, to a dislocated knee in their game against Tennessee. The quarterback situation coming into spring is one of their strengths, with starter Connor Shaw coming back. Shaw is a dual-threat quarterback who is very efficient and is not scared to live up to Head Coach Steve Spurrier’s lofty expectations of all of his players, but especially quarterback. The backup Dylan Thompson is among the best backup quarterbacks in the nation and I believe that should garner playing time down the stretch of the season. Spurrier is notorious for playing multiple guys at that position until he finds a guy, I think he will keep doing that but he has already found two good ones. The gamecocks could win with either under center because of their talented offensive line and running game, not to mention the defense led by the guy pictured above.
The running game will fall on the shoulders of sophomore Mike Davis who has the right mix of power-speed-elusiveness to be an every down back. Davis is the younger brother of former Clemson standout running back James Davis, adding that much more fuel to the rivalry. Redshirt sophomore Brandon Wilds looks to be the power running back that would spell Davis when winded, and redshirt sophomore Shon Carson looks to be the scat-back who will get very specific opportunities in Spurrier’s daunting offense. This three headed monster of sophomores at running back reminds me of the Danny Ware, Kreg Lumpkin, and Thomas Brown days of the UGA backfield, might they enjoy the same success?
The defense with be as tough as ever with the likes of Jadeveon Clowney returning to an already stout defensive line. He did just take out a $5 million insurance policy to protect him this next season in case he gets hurt before being drafted next April. If you haven’t seen the hit he put on Michigan‘s Vincent Smith, crawl out from under that rock you are under and look it up on youtube! This season South Carolina looks to compete for the eastern crown of the SEC with the likes of Georgia and Florida, should be an interesting ride.