RB Marcus Lattimore
9-3-11 East Carolina @Charlotte
9-10-11 at Georgia
9-17-11 NAVY
10-1-11 AUBURN
10-8-11 KENTUCKY
10-15-11 at Mississippi State
10-29-11 at Tennessee
11-5-11 at Arkansas
11-12-11 FLORIDA
11-19-11 THE CITADEL
11-26-11 CLEMSON
Coach: Steve Spurrier
44-33, 6 years

2010 Statistics

2010 RESULTS: 9-5
at Auburn LOST 27-35
at Kentucky LOST 28-31
at Vanderbilt WON 21-7
at Florida WON 36-14
TROY WON 69-24
at Clemson WON 29-7
Auburn LOST 17-56
Florida State LOST 17-26

2010 Final Rankings
AP-22, Coaches-22, BCS-20


These Gamecocks are still fresh off of their first SEC East Championship in school history. That doesn't mean everything has been all rosy in Columbia. The last two games against Auburn in the SEC Championship Game and versus Florida State in the bowl game were borderline embarrassing. And face facts, with the drop offs of Florida, Georgia and Tennessee, the SEC East was by far the weakest this league has maybe ever seen.

Certainly there is plenty of promise for 2011. Four different players in this lineup have been tabbed Preseason All-Americans by our website. Three of them are First Team members. That's huge as no other team can come close to boasting such national firepower. And running back Marcus Lattimore? People have not seen anything yet from this sculptured physical specimen. Apparently the 2010 Freshman of The Year has hit the weight room hard, added 15 more pounds to his frame and has gotten faster. Lattimore should be a household name before October even gets here. Alshon Jeffery is the best receiver in the SEC bar none while the defense will continue to be ever so stingy up front. What a set of defensive ends, wow! Especially if Superman Jadeveon Clowney is as advertised once the luminary recruit hits campus. Although this secondary took some major lumps, the defense is what has and will continue to win games.

The hardest aspect to fathom is just how a Steve Spurrier coached ball club can have so many issues at quarterback through all these years. The trend just continues. Poor offensive line play is generally followed by poor quarterback play; the script goes on and on. Fifth-year senior signal caller Stephen Garcia is currently suspended indefinitely for seemingly the 100th time and his replacement Connor Shaw, while being a devoted worker, is far from being a top level player in this league. Whether Garcia decides to return, or for that matter is even given permission to do so, what is his value to begin with? Ask most any Gamecock fan and they will flat out tell you that Garcia was never the answer. Three years of starting has produced statistics, but Garcia has been unimpressive too many times on the field as well as off it. In the Chick-fil-A Bowl finale last season Garcia looked extremely sub par and left many asking if this was truly the best Spurrier could produce. When Lattimore went down with injury, Garcia looked lost.

The Gamecocks have four areas they need to improve upon before taking another step forward. First, the offensive line must continue to improve and find some sort of cohesiveness with a few newcomers much as they achieved with the same improvements a year ago. This group cannot afford another step backwards. Second, these defensive backs need a few youngsters to step up and help contribute while refusing to settle for the same inferior results. Third, the entire special teams need revamped. Lastly, the quarterback issues need settled on and off the field. This is the one draining characteristic that may not be so easily overcome considering the limited options. If Coach Spurrier can find a groove with the offense then sure, the Gamecocks are capable of holding on to that East Division crown. One facet is true; they will start out as the highest ranked team in the polls from this side of the conference.

Projected 2011 record: 9-3

CB Stephon Gilmore
2010 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: Stephen Garcia, 224-349-14, 3059 yds., 20 TD

Rushing: Marcus Lattimore, 249 att., 1197 yds., 17 TD

Receiving: Alshon Jeffery, 88 rec., 1517 yds., 9 TD

Scoring: Marcus Lattimore, 19 TD, 114 pts.

Punting: None

Kicking: Jay Wooten, 0-0 FG, 1-1 PAT, 1 pt.

Tackles: Stephon Gilmore, 79 tot., 66 solo

Sacks: Melvin Ingram, 9 sacks

Interceptions: Stephon Gilmore, 3 for 97 yds., 1 TD

Kickoff Returns: Bryce Sherman, 35 ret., 20.4 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Stephon Gilmore, 9 ret., 5.2 avg., 0 TD


2011 College Football Preview
OFFENSE: Patrick DiMarco-TE, Brian Maddox-RB, Jarriel King-OT, Garrett Chisolm-OG, Hutch Eckerson-OT, Spencer Lanning-K/P, Tori Gurley-WR (NFL)
DEFENSE: Ladi Ajiboye-DT, Cliff Matthews-DE, Josh Dickerson-MLB, Tony Straughter-WLB, Chris Culliver-CB

The important question now is whether fifth-year senior Stephen Garcia will return to the Gamecocks in 2011 after his second suspension in less than a month and his fifth suspension overall since 2007. As a best guess, history has shown us that Garcia will likely return. Especially considering his importance to the team (or lack of a replacement) and the fact he is close to several major school passing records. But that decision may not be left up to Garcia. The suspension is indefinite for now and he missed the annual Garnet and Black Spring Game. The person currently in charge is Connor Shaw who still has much growing to do as a quarterback. He possesses the most experience of all the incumbents after proving to be worthy enough to play as a true frosh in 2010 on a few occasions. He was often more of a running quarterback making only the short throws. There were plenty of mistakes in the spring game for Shaw too. The Georgia high school prepster has impressed coaches with his work ethic and endless film study since arriving early on campus in January of 2010, but he has not received much of chance to show exactly what he brings to the table considering Garcia has started 28 consecutive games. Ergo, the experience factor is slim with the remaining signal callers. The trio of Shaw, Dylan Thompson and Andrew Clifford in back up duties has combined for 35 pass attempts, 33 by Shaw. This offense will have difficulties if Shaw lines up here fulltime. He needs more time to develop but is still far ahead of the others. This is one area of massive concern for 2011.

While depth is plentiful, the storyboard here begins and ends with All-American Marcus Lattimore. The true freshman sensation last fall tipped the scales just under 220 pounds and yet with his muscular physique still managed to take quite a pounding in this power based ground attack. When he didn’t play due to those poundings, this offense was never the same. Since the bowl game he has hit the weight room with a vengeance and now explodes at about 231 pounds. Unfortunately for opponents he has managed to get faster in the process too. There will be no sophomore slump or drop off from this fine-tuned specimen. He could easily be the top running back in the country and that's no joke...what a future. Kenny Miles has taken a slight grasp of the back up role. As a redshirt freshman tailback in 2009, he led the squad with 117 carries for 626 yards and played in all 13 games. Since the arrival of Lattimore, that role has obviously been diminished. The "Feel Good" story of the spring would be the return of Eric Baker, who missed most of the last two seasons with a variety of injuries. He did more than well enough this spring to earn a few opportunities and will certainly contribute this coming fall.

The best receiver in the SEC is easily Alshon Jeffery at this point. With the early departures of Georgia's A.J. Green and Alabama's Julio Jones this appears to be a no-brainer. Through 21 starts he has hauled in an amazing 134 receptions. He needs 73 more to catch the school's all-time career leader Kenny McKinley. Last year Jefferey posted multiple school records in a single season for receptions (88) and receiving yards (1,517). The team surprise of the spring was easily Deangelo Smith who started out being listed third on the depth chart. Exiting spring, Smith is probably one of the top three receivers, a remarkable and sudden rise for a player few knew about. Smith showed in the spring game what all the fuss was about after snaring three sensational touchdowns grabs, the only ones of the day. Smith lacks size at six feet tall but combines great body control, athleticism and soft hands much the same way Jeffery has been able to operate. If Smith continues to excel, he could be moved out of his spot on the depth chart behind Jeffery and placed at another spot to increase his chances of getting on the field. The main question with this group is who replaces Tori Gorley at the slot? Most felt the job would go to rising sophomore Ace Sanders. But Jason Barnes, the lone senior on this unit sits atop the depth chart. Barnes has shined during winter conditioning as he seeks to make his final season at USC a special one. The 5-foot-7 Sanders showcased his blazing speed on several occasions in 2010 when he had 25 receptions for 316 yards and two touchdowns in addition to returning punts. At the third spot, D.L. Moore began to emerge as a key component last fall pulling in 17 catches. Moore managed five snags in the final two games and is a solid blocker but has a tendency to disappear at times. Behind Moore on the pre-spring depth chart is redshirt freshman Nick Jones, a Byrnes, SC product and former high school teammate of RB Marcus Lattimore.

Justice Cunningham has cemented his status as the No. 1 tight end considering all of the players behind him are new to the position. Cunningham spent all of last year backing up fulltime starter Patrick DeMarco. He excels as a blocker and managed seven receptions last fall. Mike Triglia also saw some time as a reserve here after fighting through shoulder rehab earlier in fall camp only to finish the year with an injured knee that has continued to keep him out of spring action. Former defensive ends Chaun Gresham and Corey Simmons and former walk-on QB Payton Brady are still learning the position.

The main concern other than at quarterback on the offensive side is with all the new guys stepping into the line of scrimmage. Gone is a trio of starting linemen from last fall who combined for 67 career starts between them. Coach Spurrier has stated this group is lacking in the "smartness" category right now and has a long ways to go. That doesn't sound good considering the pains this team has had to endure due to the horrific performances this group put together over Spurrier's tenure. Line coach Shawn Elliott has been handcuffed to some degree by the lack of numbers. He often has been working with just eight or nine healthy bodies since January. The incoming recruiting class will welcome in five players this fall and that is where depth will have to derive. The good news has been the improvement of guard A.J. Cann and right tackle Cody Gibson. Both have earned great praise from coaches while Cann has made himself a fixture at left guard all through the spring. The 6'6 Gibson was honored as the Most Improved Offensive Lineman of the spring. Rokevious Watkins, a former JUCO player who started every game in 2010 has been moved from guard to right tackle. The possibility exists that Watkins can slide back to guard assuming either the improved Gibson or JUCO All-American Kaleb Broome who just transferred in for the spring can take over. Center T.J. Johnson is a mainstay who has started every game the past two seasons. Sixth-year senior Terrence Campbell, who has made 13 career starts, is penciled in as the starter at left guard. Campbell has battled injuries throughout his career, but has been a serviceable player when called upon. As mentioned, depth is extremely thin. Hopes are that massive incoming four-star freshman Brandon Shell can step in immediately to provide support at left tackle where Corey Robinson, the biggest player on this front, has shifted to defensive tackle.


WR Alshon Jeffery


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Stephen Garcia-Sr (6-2, 230) (susp.) Connor Shaw-So (6-1, 202)
Dylan Thompson-RFr (6-2, 208)
TB Marcus Lattimore-So (6-0, 231) Kenny Miles-Jr (5-10, 184)
WR Alshon Jeffery-Jr (6-4, 233) DeAngelo Smith-So (6-0, 191)
WR D.L. Moore-Jr (6-4, 212) Nick Jones-RFr (5-8, 189)
WR Jason Barnes-Sr (6-4, 213) Ace Sanders-So (5-7, 173)
TE Justice Cunningham-Jr (6-3, 262) Chaun Gresham-So (6-1, 248)
Mike Triglia-Jr (6-4, 240)
OT Kyle Nunn-Sr (6-5, 296) Brandon Shell-Fr (6-6, 316)
OG A.J. Cann-RFr (6-3, 304) Kenny Davis-Jr (6-3, 310)
C T.J. Johnson-Jr (6-4, 314) Travis Ford-So (6-2, 265)
OG Terrence Campbell-Sr (6-3, 295) Ronald Patrick-So (6-1, 295)
OT Rokevious Watkins-Sr (6-4, 334) Cody Gibson-RFr (6-6, 282)
Kaleb Broome-Jr (6-5, 319)
K Jay Wooten-Sr (6-3, 203) Joey Scribner-Howard-Sr (6-1, 212)



Defensive line coach Brad Lawing has to be giddy about his prospects at defensive end. Last season his group led a charge with a school record 41 sacks, ranking seventh in the nation. The process starts with NationalChamps.net 2011 Preseason First Team All-American Devin Taylor. The 6'7, 248-pounder took the SEC by storm last season. One thing is certain - Taylor is only getting better as he gets older and will consume the vast majority of snaps at one defensive end spot. In two years, Taylor has 74 tackles, 18.5 TFL and 9.5 sacks. On the other side is a battle to replace four-year starter Cliff Matthews. First in line is senior Melvin Ingram, who just posted a banner year while being used primarily in passing situations. He led the team and was third in the SEC with nine sacks. He can also move to the interior of the line in certain pressure packages. Of course, none of this even takes into account the most highly anticipated, most highly decorated recruit in South Carolina football history when recruit Jadeveon Clowney comes to campus. The No. 1 rated prep player at any position according to every scouting report claims the Gamecocks only have three years to utilize his services before he heads to the NFL. Ask any coach who the main prospect is to replace tackle Ladi Ajiboye and the quick response is, "It's wide open between as many as five guys." That would include Aldrick Fordham, Kelcy Quarles, J.T. Surratt, Byron Jerideau and offensive line transfer Corey Robinson. Jerideau had a tremendous spring while Quarles too made progress towards cracking the rotation after enrolling early this semester fresh out of high school. Returning starter Travian Robertson is considered the strongest player on the entire squad and will continue to man the other tackle spot.

The spring M*A*S*H unit award goes to this group. The battle to fill two of these open positions will have to be put in a holding pattern until August seeing that projected starters Rodney Paulk and Shaq Wilson continue to fight through injuries that have been lingering for a very long time. Paulk hasn't practiced all spring and Wilson has been on a limited schedule. The same can be said for many of the back ups. Paulk, a sixth-year senior hopes to be closer to 100 percent healthy for his final outing. Reggie Bowens who also has battled injuries through out his career has been getting extra attention in the middle. Getting Shaq Wilson back to 100% is even more crucial. Defensive head coach Ellis Johnson is a big fan of the junior from Jacksonville who is in the final stages of recovering from a hamstring injury that kept him out of 13 games last fall. The energy he brings to the field is intense while those around him hold his remarkable knowledge of the defensive schemes with high regard. Whenever a player has a question on where to line up, Wilson has been the extra coach on the field. Coach Johnson calls him the quarterback of the defense. Wilson will likely start out at outside linebacker, but don't be surprised if he moves inside in some defensive formations to help Rodney Paulk, especially if the hard-hitting Quin Smith develops as quickly as the coaches hope. DeVonte Hollomon has been one of the more surprising position changes. The stalwart at strong safety for two seasons has moved to SPUR linebacker, which is almost like a nickel back in a pass-oriented scheme. Since Hollomon is sharing the same position with last year's starter Antonio Allen, this could mean that one of the top defensive talents could be on the bench. When reading into Coach Johnson’s future plans it appears he has a situation where both guys can get on the field at the same time with one operating as a dime linebacker, which is short for a sixth guy who is capable of covering a receiver.

This secondary fell hard last season in many areas. The SEC's 10th worst pass coverage gave up almost 80 yards more per game and double the number of touchdown passes compared to the previous season. Too often this group was giving up huge chunks of yardage and the results were costly. The Gamecocks will be without the services of Chris Culliver but have three capable cornerbacks who have played extensively throughout their careers. Junior Stephon Gilmore is a NationalChamps.net Preseason All-American honoree that has started every game since he stepped onto the Columbia campus. With a little more consistency the former South Carolina high school "Mr. Football" Award winner has all the athletic skills needed to be the absolute best at his position by any measurement. Akeem Auguste and C.C. Whitlock provide a 1-2 package at the other corner. Auguste spent most of last season at safety after starting nine games at cornerback in 2009 and Whitlock saw a few starts at the corner last fall too. Now a senior, Auguste (114 career tackles) enters 2011 as the most experienced defensive back on the roster. The move of DeVonte Holloman to linebacker has a good many people scratching their heads. There was very little depth to begin with at safety. Now other than D.J. Swearinger at free safety, no one is quite sure who will play the strong side. Even cornerback Jimmy Legree, who had two picks in the spring game, got bounced back to safety two days after the spring game was already complete. So much inexperience at Holloman's former strong safety position means that Swearinger, honored as the Best Defensive Player of the spring, must shoulder more of the responsibility of assuring the younger players are lined up correctly and know their assignments. The move of Hollomon was a huge risk. However, the status quo obviously was not getting much accomplished either in this backfield...pick your poison.


DE Devin Taylor


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Devin Taylor-Jr (6-7, 248) Byron McKnight-Sr (6-5, 242)
DT Travian Robertson-Sr (6-4, 298) Byron Jerideau-Jr (6-0, 315)
DT Aldrick Fordham-Jr (6-4, 273) Kelcy Quarles-Fr (6-3, 271)
DE Melvin Ingram-Sr (6-2, 271) Jadeveon Clowney-Fr (6-6, 247)
Chaz Sutton-So (6-4, 245)
WLB Shaq Wilson-Jr (5-11, 233) Damario Jeffery-Jr (6-3, 230)
Quin Smith-Jr (6-0, 230)
MLB Rodney Paulk-Sr (6-0, 229) Reginald Bowens-Jr (6-2, 246)
SPUR Antonio Allen-Sr (6-2, 208) DeVonte Holloman-Jr (6-2, 226)
CB Stephon Gilmore-Jr (6-1, 194) Jimmy Legree-So (5-11, 180)
CB Akeem Auguste-Sr (5-10, 183) C.C. Whitlock-Sr (5-10, 181)
SS Brison Williams-Fr (5-10, 206) Corey Addison-So (6-0, 209)
FS D.J. Swearinger-Jr (5-11, 206) Sharrod Golightly-RFr (5-10, 179)
P Jay Wooten-Sr (6-3, 203) Patrick Fish-RFr (5-11, 190)




The last two field goal kickers have been Ryan Succop, who is now in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs, and the dependable Spencer Lanning, who was very accurate from inside 40 yards. The battle to replace Lanning will be decided between two guys that have yet to attempt a field goal dressed in Garnet & Black. That’s a good bit of pressure. Senior Jay Wooten has some experience at this level since going 4-of-6 for North Carolina during the 2008 season. Joey Scribner-Howard was 1-for-2 at Carson-Newman College during the 2007-2008 seasons. Right now the race is "too close" to call between these two with Adam Yates sitting not far behind. Lanning also handled all the punting duties last fall. The new face here has boiled down to either Patrick Fish or Scribner-Howard, who maintains the strongest leg but consistency has not been his forte. New special teams coordinator John Butler has a tough job ahead as the Gamecocks finished near the bottom of the SEC in kick returns last season. He needs a significant upgrade across the board and is a prime reason why he was hired. The starting kick return duties will likely stick with the guys that are already here. Free safety D.J. Swearinger is the first option. Ace Sanders and Kenny Miles are behind him on the depth chart. Bryce Sherman handled this position much of last year but has been held back this spring with a yellow no-contact jersey. Returning punts is an honor that likely falls to Stephon Gilmore. His All-American talents as a cornerback are sorely needed here too. Ace Sanders and Nick Jones are other options. Coach Butler will admit there has not been much work done with the punt return game throughout the spring. That’s not a good sign.