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August 2009

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CAROLINA PRIDE: South Carolina Gamecocks
Written By: 
Pete Rerig


Although head coach Steve Spurrier continues to deny it, rumors of his retirement after only four seasons at USC still circulate. Regardless of whether he opts out of his position after this season or not, the former University of Florida coach, who led the Gators to six SEC titles, does admit he has a lot to accomplish this fall.

The Gamecocks’ last season ended with a less-than-glamorous record (7-6), the team having lost their last two regular season games (including a competent defeat by Clemson) and gotten hammered by Iowa in the Outback Bowl 31-10. The complaints were numerous: USC seemed unable to achieve third-down conversions or put up big offensive scoring numbers, resulting in a precipitous drop in the polls, if they were ranked at all. “South Carolina must get production out of quarterback Stephen Garcia—he has so much potential,” says the P&C’s Gene Sapakoff, referring to the probable starting QB. “I still think he can be a top-of-the-SEC-caliber passer and leader.” Spurrier is also beefing up his offensive line with strong recruiting from around the Southeast and has some great returning players, such as senior center Garrett Anderson and Garcia, poised to make things happen.

So, with strong fan support, promising talent, and an experienced coaching staff, can Spurrier pull it all together and recover some face in 2009?


One to Watch

Eric Norwood

The 21-year-old linebacker returned to the Gamecocks for his senior year with an NFL option, something the team is no doubt grateful for. “He’s one of the best tacklers in the SEC right now,” says Sapakoff.


2009 Schedule

Sept. 3 at North Carolina State, Raleigh, NC, 7 p.m.
Sept. 12 at Georgia, Athens, GA, 7 p.m.
Sept. 19 Florida Atlantic, Brice-Williams Stadium, TBA
Sept. 24 Mississippi, Brice-Williams Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 3 SC State, Brice-Williams Stadium, TBA
Oct. 10 Kentucky, Brice-Williams Stadium, TBA
Oct. 17 at Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, TBA
Oct. 24 Homecoming: Vanderbilt, Brice-Williams Stadium, TBA
Oct. 31 at Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, TBA
Nov. 7 at Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, TBA
Nov. 14 Florida, Brice-Williams Stadium, TBA
Nov. 28 Clemson, Brice-Williams Stadium, TBA

For tickets and parking information, visit www.gamecocksonline.cstv.com


South Carolina Gamecocks' Pro Roster

The Gamecocks had seven players selected in the NFL draft this past April—the most USC players from a single season to go big in 55 years.

Third-Round

Jared Cook

Jared Cook (tight end)

Drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the third round (the first Gamecock selected).

Fifth-Round

Kenny McKinley

Kenny McKinley (wide receiver)

Drafted by the Denver Broncos.

Jasper Brinkley

Jasper Brinkley (linebacker)

Drafted by the Minnesota Vikings.

Jamon Meredith

Jamon Meredith (offensive tackle)

Drafted by the Green Bay Packers.

Seventh-Round

Captain Munnerlyn

Captain Munnerlyn (cornerback)

Drafted by the Carolina Panthers as the 216th pick overall.

Stoney Woodson

Stoney Woodson (defensive back)

Drafted by the New York Giants as the 238th pick.

Ryan Succop

Ryan Succop (kicker)

Deemed “Mr. Irrelevant” by being the 256th and final selection, was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs.

 

 

 

 

 

Former Gamecocks currently playing in the NFL:
John Abraham (defensive end) Atlanta Falcons
Fred Bennett (cornerback) Houston Texans
Cory Boyd (running back) Denver Broncos
Sheldon Brown (cornerback) Philadelphia Eagles
Jared Cook (tight end) Tennessee Titans
Terry Cousin (cornerback) Cleveland Browns
Kalimba Edwards (defensive end) Oakland Raiders
Na'Shan Goddard (guard) Seattle Seahawks
André Goodman (cornerback) Denver Broncos
Johnathan Joseph (cornerback) Cincinnati Bengals
Lance Laury (linebacker) Seattle Seahawks
Kenny McKinley (wide receiver) Denver Broncos
Langston Moore (defensive tackle) Detroit Lions
Jamar Nesbit (guard) New Orleans Saints
Andrew Pinnock (fullback) Denver Broncos
Sidney Rice (wide receiver) Minnesota Vikings
Dunta Robinson (cornerback) Houston Texans
Ko Simpson (safety) Buffalo Bills
Shaun Smith (defensive tackle) Cleveland Browns
Travelle Wharton (offensive tackle) Carolina Panthers
Troy Williamson (wide receiver) Jacksonville Jaguars
Rod Wilson (linebacker) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Anthony Wright (quarterback) New York Giants


The Name Game

Gamecock Logo

The Name Game: “You won’t find any more loyal fans...than those who follow the South Carolina Gamecocks,” says Tim Brando of CBS Sports. Nevertheless, even the most avid follower might not know the origins of the moniker. Through the turn of the century, there were many nicknames for the team, including “The Fighting Gamecocks”—supposedly named in honor of notoriously feisty Revolutionary War general Thomas Sumter of South Carolina. Then, in 1903, The State referred to them as the “Gamecocks.” The name stuck, and to this day Carolina fans are as energetic and tenacious as their feathered fighting namesakes.

For Carolina’s official athletic site, including team roster, coaches, news, and tickets: http://gamecocksonline.cstv.com/



 

For Carolina’s official athletic site, including team roster, coaches, news, and tickets: http://gamecocksonline.cstv.com/

Carolina Fansites & Videos:
www.gamecockcentral.com
http://thebigspur.com


 




RESOURCES

Photos (2) courtesy of Sideline Carolina; Helmet image courtesy of Ridell, Inc., Photographs (2) by Zach Suggs, Images (8) courtesy of USC athletics, Sumter image courtesy of the Library of Congress

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