South Carolina Football: the Gamecocks' 5 Most Athletic Players

Alex RobertsCorrespondent IMarch 22, 2012

South Carolina Football: the Gamecocks' 5 Most Athletic Players

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    A successful team needs a wide range of players. It needs players with heart, character and intelligence. 

    But sometimes, a good old-fashioned athlete will do. 

    South Carolina is loaded with athletic players. Last year, the Gamecocks arguably had one of the most athletic players in the country with a back-flipping, running back-running, game-changing defensive end in a man named Melvin Ingram.

    Interestingly enough, with Ingram gone, the team may still boast one of the most athletic players in the country. Go figure. 

    Here are the Gamecocks five most athletic players.

5. Victor Hampton

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    I am expecting massive things from Victor Hampton. I have seen numerous high-caliber defensive backs come and go through South Carolina's ranks, but Hampton has some of the best natural athleticism and ability that I have seen. 

    He's fast, agile, can jump extremely well and is extremely smooth. He will develop into a smothering shutdown corner this season, as long as his off-field behavior stays strong. 

4. Byron Jerideau

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    This man is just scary. He set the South Carolina record for pound-for-pound strength with 724.71 as his total pounds number. 

    He also ran an even 5.0 40, which isn't blazing fast, but for a man who is close to 320 pounds and who unofficially timed closer to 4.9, that's an amazing feat. He's agile, strong and fast for his size. He is absolutely one of the most freakishly athletic members of the team. 

    Don't just look at his weight and shrug him off. He's truly gifted. 

3. Devin Taylor

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    A 6'8", 247 pound defensive end, Devin Taylor is one of the best players at his position in college football.  He ran a 4.6-4.7 40. He's extremely quick and explosive. 

    He's a rare athlete that has excellent body control and technique. Some athletes rely so much on their raw athleticism that it takes away from their given position. Taylor has the smarts to go along with the rare athleticism, and could finish as one of the Gamecocks top sack artists of all time. 

2. Rory "Buster" Anderson

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    A tight end with receiver skills, above-average blocking, size, speed, and strength. Buster is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. He didn't get many looks last year as a freshman, but when he did, he came up huge. 

    He caught three touchdowns in a secondary role. Look for his numbers to explode this season as he becomes a more integral part of the passing offense. 

1. Jadeveon Clowney

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    Freakishly strong, freakishly fast and obscenely talented, Jadeveon Clowney is not only the most athleticly gifted players on the Gamecocks, he's one of the most athletic in the country. 

    His speed allows him to run down wide receivers, running backs and any other poor soul who happens to be in his line of sight. 

    Have you ever heard the old cliche that a player could probably play any position on the field? Well, in Clowney's case, it's the truth.