South Carolina Football: Connor Shaw Is the SEC's Most Underrated Player

Alex RobertsCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2012

COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 06:  Connor Shaw #14 of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates after their 35-7 win over the Georgia Bulldogs at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 6, 2012 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It's a wild time to be a Gamecocks fan. It seems as if Steve Spurrier's squad is all over the news and headlining every college football media outlet. It's uncharted for the school, and it's extraordinarily exciting. The Gamecocks are good. 

People discuss the fantastic defense and the running of Marcus Lattimore. They mention Connor Shaw.  However, Shaw deserves more than just a mention. 

He's one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC, and he's not being appreciated as such.

Through five games (only three fully healthy for the entire game), he's put up fantastic numbers. He's not putting up huge passing yards, even though he can. He's just showing incredible accuracy and an ability to run that would make most running backs jealous. 

He's only thrown for 733 yards, however he basically played with one arm against Vandy and UAB. He's fully healthy now and is throwing an absolutely beautiful ball. Spurrier called him a "great passer," which is high praise from the head coach. 

His accuracy is fantastic. He's completing 75.7 percent of his passes and has thrown seven touchdowns to two interceptions. 

He's a team leader who rarely makes mistakes. 

He's no game-manager, though. He makes big plays seem routine. His 42-yard bomb to Damiere Byrd against Georgia set the tone for the entire game. 

I haven't even mentioned his running ability. He's rushed for 281 yards and one touchdown. He's set himself up for an incredible year running and throwing. 

If he keeps up the pace of the games where he's been healthy (186 passing yards per game, two touchdowns per game, no interceptions, 65 rushing yards per game, with one touchdown every three games), he's in for a huge year. 

Something along the lines of 2,000 yards passing with 19 touchdowns, two interceptions, 671 yards rushing and three touchdowns, could definitely happen.

He's a great player, and he gets better every week.  Look for him to show why he's an elite SEC quarterback in the coming weeks.