RB Cory Boyd

2006 Statistics

Coach: Steve Spurrier
15-10, 2 years
2006 Record: 8-5
at Mississippi State WON 15-0
at Kentucky WON 24-17
at Vanderbilt WON 31-13
at Florida LOST 16-17
at Clemson WON 31-28
Houston WON 44-36

2006 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-30, BCS-UR

2007 Outlook

On a team with Steve Spurrier at the helm, issues at quarterback are the last thing most imagine would hold them up. For now, Blake Mitchell has the nod, but some really talented Spurrier recruits are likely to see lots of reps in search of the ’08 heir. But we will see Mitchell in the pocket dishing to a plethora of qualified receivers and TE Jared Cook with great success. Spurrier has employed what has become now – in the age of the spread - an ‘old school’ passing approach, one that works often but isn’t as consistent as it was at his other SEC tenure. Both top RBs are back, so watch to see if this is the year the Gamecocks finally breakthrough with the army of talent Stevie Boy has been amassing there in Columbia. The most effective side of the ball could again be the defense, though, as almost every starter returns, almost all of them upperclassmen. Trips to Athens and Baton Rouge in the second and fourth weeks, respectively, pose the biggest challenges until (at) Tennessee, (at) Arkansas, Florida and Clemson close the Gamecock’s slate. South Carolina realistically goes 3-3 against these six; anything better would mean they are challenging for the top slot in the SEC East. Still, in the best conference in the land, finishing third or fourth in your division is nothing to scoff at. Spurrier is close to making this truly T-H-E football university of the Palmetto State, winning many recruiting battles for in-state talent and building the foundation for longterm success. As usual, never underestimate how well he can maximize his available talent to make a team that is more than the sum of its parts.

Projected 2007 record: 7-5
LB Jasper Brinkley
QB - 3.5 DL - 3.5
RB - 4 LB - 4
WR - 3.5 DB - 3.5
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Blake Mitchell, 135-202-6, 1789 yds., 10 TD

Rushing: Cory Boyd, 164 att., 823 yds., 8 TD

Receiving: Kenny McKinley, 51 rec., 880 yds., 5 TD

Scoring: Ryan Succop, 16-20 FG, 37-39 PAT, 85 pts.

Punting: Ryan Succop, 29 punts, 43.7 avg.

Kicking: Ryan Succop, 16-20 FG, 37-39 PAT, 85 pts.

Tackles: Jasper Brinkley, 107 tot., 85 solo

Sacks: Casper Brinkley, Eric Norwood - 7 each

Interceptions: Stoney Woodson, 3 for 11 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Carlos Thomas, 15 ret., 18.9 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Kenny McKinley, 17 ret., 8.9 avg., 0 TD


OFFENSE: Syvelle Newton-QB, Noah Whiteside-WR, Thomas Coleman-OG, Chris White-C, Seth Edwards-OG, Sidney Rice-WR (NFL)
DEFENSE: Fred Bennett-CB, Stanley Doughty-NT (NFL)

Like most, we see senior Blake Mitchell starting at quarterback come September. Steady improvements in game management and technique under possibly the best QB coach in college football have meant high completion percentages (67% in ’06) and improved team results. But this pro-style incumbent has highly touted sophs Chris Smelley and Tommy Beecher (both Spurrier’s recruits) battling for the second team nod, so we will see both sporadically since the Ole Ball Coach can manage such a rotation like few can. Senior Cory Boyd and junior local backup Mike Davis are a bruising pair that can run between the tackles all day, if needed. But neither does nearly as well without fullback Lanard Stafford, a converted lineman strictly assigned to plowing holes for them. Speaking of inside running, finding a center looks to be the top priority for this offense to remain in the top 20 (rushing offense). William Brown, last year’s backup in the middle and currently the lone senior up front, slides back to his regular guard slot to join sophomore Garrett Anderson inside. Most of the OL recruits over the past two classes have been tackles, which is unfortunate since juniors Justin Sorenson and Jamon Meredith are worthy returning starters on the outside. This all works well for the passing game, but the inside will have to gel and prove itself before anyone can claim the Gamecocks are ‘cock-a-doodle-doing’ on all cylinders.


K Ryan Succop


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Blake Mitchell-Sr (6-3, 211) Tommy Beecher-So (6-1, 221)
Chris Smelley-Fr (6-1, 221)
FB Lanard Stafford-Sr (5-9, 247) Ryan Brown-Sr (6-0, 256)
TB Cory Boyd-Sr (6-1,214) Mike Davis-Jr (5-9, 212)
WR Larry Freeman-Jr (6-1, 209) Freddie Brown-So (6-2, 211)
Mike West-Sr (6-0, 219)
WR Kenny McKinley-Jr (6-0, 181) Moe Brown-So (6-0, 180)
TE Andy Boyd-Sr (6-4, 267) Robert Pavlovic-Sr (6-4, 255)
Jared Cook-So (6-5, 236)
OT Jamon Meredith-Jr (6-5, 295) Gurminder Thind-Jr (6-4, 293)
OG Garrett Anderson-So (6-4, 300) Matt Raysor-Jr (6-3, 315)
C William Brown-Sr (6-4, 291) Jeremy Burgess-Jr (6-4, 297)
OG James Thompson-Sr (6-3, 320) Kevin Young-Fr (6-4, 320)
OT Justin Sorensen-Jr (6-7, 323) Hutch Eckerson-So (6-6, 286)
K Ryan Succop-Jr (6-2, 213) Thomas Hooper-Sr (5-6, 154)



This defense did its job in 2006 – if what counts most is the final score, the Gamecocks held all but two foes to under 30 points and only six got 20 or more. That defense returns almost all of its essential parts as nine of eleven starters are back. The only thing lost at nose tackle is some powerful girth, though newly anointed senior NT starter Joe Reaves was on the field more than off in ’06, so there is no catch up needed there. Junior Nathan Pepper on the inside (with Reaves) and senior Jordin Lindsey on the outside need to really step up and make this a clamp-down run stopping unit. The Brinkley twins don’t seem to have any dilemmas stepping up and making big plays – seniors Casper on the line and Jasper the all-SEC MLB who led the team in tackles and TFLs. Casper and sophomore backup Eric Norwood led the team in sacks (seven), and other developed depth up front means there is no excuse for South Carolina not to finish in the top 30 for run stopping. The other linebackers play much lighter than Brinkley, so watch to see if big SEC foes can push them around in the running game. Marvin Sapp and Rodney Paulk hold their ground well, and the rest of the corps can cover well both underneath and in the deep middle…it’s like they field extra safeties. Such is also exemplified by bulked up sophomore safety Emanuel Cook, who officially backs up Chris Hampton but is too talented to keep off the field (T-3rd in team tackles as a true frosh). Losing Fred Bennett will hurt. Still, finding a compliment to Carlos Thomas on the outside shouldn’t take too long with 2007’s recruiting class so rife with DB talent. The bend-don’t-break philosophy works here, yet after giving up 20+ points in four of their last six games (three of their five losses occurred then) there has to be a focus to get back to the stingy ways this defense is capable of being.


DE Casper Brinkley


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Jordin Lindsey-Sr (6-3, 254) Jonathan Williams-Jr (6-2, 273)
DT Marque Hall-Jr (6-3, 302) Lemuel Jeanpierre-So (6-3, 295)
NT Nathan Pepper-Jr (6-1, 290) Joel Reaves-Sr (6-1, 294)
DE Eric Norwood-So (6-0, 264) Travian Robertson-Fr (6-4, 250)
SLB Rodney Paulk-So (6-0, 217) Cody Wells-Sr (5-10, 217)
Marvin Sapp-Jr (5-11, 222)
MLB Jasper Brinkley-Sr (6-2, 262) Vandaral Shackleford-So (6-0, 238)
WLB Casper Brinkley-Sr (6-2, 257) Yvan Banag-Jr (5-10, 223)
CB Captain Munnerlyn-So (5-9, 180) Stoney Woodson-Jr (5-11, 196)
CB Carlos Thomas-Jr (5-11, 192) Chris Hail-So (5-10, 195)
SS Emanuel Cook-So (5-10, 216) Chris Hampton-Sr (5-11, 194)
FS Brandon Isaac-Sr (6-2, 201) Darian Stewart-So (5-11, 218)
P Ryan Succop-Jr (6-2, 213) Spencer Lanning-So (5-10, 157)




All-SEC junior placekicker Ryan Succop surely puts Spurrier at an advantage once he gets inside the 40 yard line – Succop was 8-for-11 from 40+, and would have ranked in the top 20 for his punting if he had enough tries…darn offense and its 48% third-down conversion rate. Backup corner Captain Munnerlyn really came on as a kick returner in the second half on ’06, and McKinley as the PR guy should consistently give USC field position advantages.