Which Gamecocks Will Lead the Team in Total Yards?
South Carolina's offensive machine will be set to roll in and out of Columbia in 2012. With Connor Shaw leading the show and a potentially healthy Marcus Lattimore, the team has a chance to do some very special things with the ball.
Who will be the top-five total yards machines for the Gamecocks?
5. Kenny Miles
Kenny Miles is a fantastic all-around player. I believe that he will begin the season as the No. 2 back and play a major roll in the offense. Not only is he a powerful runner, but he also has great hands and can be an excellent receiver out of the backfield.
My prediction: 550 yards rushing, 300 yards receiving.
Grand Total: 850 yards
4. Ace Sanders
I really believe that Ace Sanders will have a breakout season for the Gamecocks. He may be small, but he's extremely tough and he plays with a chip on his shoulder. Combine that with insane speed and great hands, and you have yourself a Steve Smith-style (of the Carolina Panthers) player.
He was also the leading punt returner, and he should retain that position for 2012.
My prediction: 900 yards receiving, 200 yards on punt returns, 50 yards rushing
Grand Total: 1,150 yards
3. Damiere Byrd
Yes, you do see the name Damiere Byrd on this list. I believe that his speed will be very tough to keep contained this season. He won't be suspended this year, and he'll have a whole offseason's worth of work to make him better.
He is also the most likely candidate to be the kick returner for the Gamecocks. That, along with his reverse sweeps and receiving yards, will make him a big-time producer for the Gamecococks.
My Prediction: 600 yards on kick returns, 400 yards receiving, 200 yards rushing.
Grand Total: 1,200 yards
2. Marcus Lattimore
Marcus Lattimore, if healthy, is the greatest offensive weapon in college football. I don't even think it's a question. In seven games last year, he led all runners and receivers in total yards.
If he can get through a 14-game season (SEC championship game and bowl included), he should have an incredible, Heisman-style year. He can obviously run, but his pass-catching is so underrated. He has soft hands and positions his body well during his routes.
My Prediction: 1,600 yards rushing, 500 receiving
Grand Total: 2,100 yards
1. Connor Shaw
It's almost unfair to include a passer on this list, but Connor Shaw is more than just a passer. He will be the team's second-leading rusher and will have a breakout year with his arm. He will prove to be an All-SEC quarterback, worthy of being named among the entire SEC's elite.
My Prediction: 3,500 yards passing, 800 yards rushing.
Grand Total: 4,300 yards.