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South Carolina Football: Breaking Down Who Replaces WR Alshon Jeffery

Alex RobertsCorrespondent IMay 15, 2012

South Carolina Football: Breaking Down Who Replaces WR Alshon Jeffery

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    South Carolina's most pressing question on offense heading into 2012 isn't the status of Marcus Lattimore.  It's who replaces Alshon Jeffery. 

    There is a "motley" crew of players coming together to try to do this.  South Carolina has had great receivers for a long time now.  Before Jeffery, there was Kenny McKinley.  Before McKinley, there was Sidney Rice.  Before Rice, there was Troy Williamson. 

    It's been a long time since the Gamecocks have lacked a go-to guy. 

    So who on the roster seems like the most likely candidate to be that guy?  Let's take a look.

K.J. Brent

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    Speed: Good

    Strength: Average

    Size: Excellent

    Hands: Good

    Potential to Replace Jeffery: Excellent

     

    K.J. Brent was one of the big surprises of 2011, even if he didn't play a down.  This redshirt freshman was a sensation in practice.  He showed great speed and hands to go with his 6'4" frame. 

    If he comes out and has good concentration, he could be the next superstar. 

Ace Sanders

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    Speed: Excellent

    Strength: Average

    Size: Poor

    Hands: Excellent

    Potential to Replace Jeffery: Excellent

     

    Even though he won't play the same position as Jeffery, Sanders could make a huge offensive impact next year.  He has elite speed and amazing hands.  He caught almost everything that came his way and made some spectacular catches last season. 

    Even though he's super small, if the team utilizes him correctly, he could have a breakout year.

Shaq Roland

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    Speed: Good

    Strength: Average

    Size: Average

    Hands: Excellent

    Potential to Replace Jeffery: Good

     

    Shaq Roland has the potential to be great.  However, expecting him to immediately come in and be that guy might be a bit much.  He's 6'1" and 170 pounds, so he will need to add some weight.  He's got good speed and excellent ball skills. 

    He may not break out in 2012, but he will definitely be a factor in the future. 

Damiere Byrd

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    Speed: Elite

    Strength: Poor

    Size: Poor

    Hands: Below Average

    Potential to Replace Jeffery: Poor

     

    Damiere Byrd is an exciting prospect.  He's still a prospect, though.  While he lights up practice and shows us a great deal during exhibitions, during games he's had a case of the drops. 

    His speed is exciting, but he won't be the answer for the missing No. 1. 

Shamier Jeffery

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    Speed: Good

    Strength: Average

    Size: Average

    Hands: Average

    Potential to Replace Alshon Jeffery: Average

     

    Alshon's brother has had issues with injury.  He's pretty athletic, but he's raw. 

    Some called him a faster version of his brother.  He hasn't quite lived up to that. 

    If he gets an opportunity, he could be good.  However, he looks more like a solid No. 2 or 3 right now. 

Nick Jones

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    Speed: Elite

    Strength: Poor

    Size: Poor

    Hands: Average

    Potential to Replace Jeffery: Poor

     

    Nick Jones has the look of a good receiver and could have a big year for the Gamecocks. 

    However, he won't be the go to guy.  He doesn't run crisp routes, and like Damiere Byrd, a stiff breeze could tackle him.  But he will be a very useful member of the wide receiver group. 

Bruce Ellington

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    Speed: Good

    Strength: Average

    Size: Poor

    Hands: Good

    Potential to Replace Jeffery: Poor

     

    Bruce Ellington isn't a full wide receiver.  He's more of a specialist.  He will do great things for the team, but he will be used as a wildcat quarterback, running back, kick returner, and receiver. 

    The team won't want to put him in that Alshon Jeffery role.  His versatility makes him deadlier all over the field. 

D.L. Moore

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    Speed: Above Average

    Strength: Average

    Size: Elite

    Hands: Average

    Potential to Replace Jeffery: Average

     

    D.L. Moore is the epitome of underachievement.  His 6'5" (almost 6'6") height, above-average speed and experience should make him the best candidate to replace Jeffery. 

    However, his concentration has been off, and he hasn't made much of an impact during his years as a Gamecock. 

DeAngelo Smith

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    Speed: Average

    Strength: Good

    Size: Average

    Hands: Good

    Potential to Replace Jeffery: Good

     

    After a huge offseason in 2011, people expected big things from DeAngelo Smith.  He won the spring MVP after putting on a pass-catching clinic. 

    Then he disappeared for most of the regular season.  He's still a gifted receiver, with really solid hands and jumping ability.  He's actually similar in style to Alshon Jeffery, except maybe a bit faster.  

    If he can prove to run routes and stay consistent in a similar style, he could be the guy.   

Lamar Scruggs

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    Speed: Above Average

    Strength: Good

    Size: Good

    Hands: Average

    Potential to Replace Jeffery: Average

     

    Lamar Scruggs is another serviceable receiver, but he falls into the "vanilla" category.  He does a few things well and has the potential to be very good.  He's a big receiver with the most weight on him.  He's probably the strongest as well. 

    He is a lot like DeAngelo Smith and D.L. Moore.  They are good receivers with potential but haven't proven anything yet. 

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