South Carolina Football: Ranking the Gamecock's Offensive Players

Alex RobertsCorrespondent IJanuary 3, 2013

South Carolina Football: Ranking the Gamecock's Offensive Players

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    South Carolina's offense had numerous players who contributed in major ways to the success of the football team.  In fact, there were 16 players who scored or had a substantial impact on a game, but who actually had the most success this year?

    Using a simple mathematical formula that converts production into points, the answer becomes clear. 

    The formula is as follows:

    One point per 100 yards passing

    Two points per 100 yards rushing or receiving

    One point per 100 yards on kick/punt returns

    Six points per touchdown

    Minus-three points per interception or fumble

    It's simple.  Touchdowns are the most important offensive statistic, so they are worth the most points.

    The passing discrepancy comes from the notion that passing yards seem to come easier for a variety of reasons.  If a quarterback had a 300-yard passing game and a running back had a 300-yard rushing day, who do you think had the more impressive day?

    Obviously the running back.  The numbers were adjusted accordingly. 

    Without further hesitation, here's the ranking of every contributing skill player on offense. 

Numbers 14-6

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    14. Nick Jones - 4 points

    13. DeAngelo Smith - 6 points

    13. Justice Cunningham - 6 points

    12. Seth Strickland - 7 points

    11. Shaq Roland - 8 points

    11. Jerell Adams - 8 points

    10. D.L. Moore - 14 points

    9. Mike Davis - 15 points

    8. Kenny Miles - 18 points

    7. Damiere Byrd - 20 points

    6. Rory Anderson - 36 points

     

     This is a group of solid players.  Rory Anderson is a touchdown machine.  Damiere Byrd and Kenny Miles were very important contributors in 2012.  Justice Cunningham will be remembered for his fierce blocking and clutch catches.

    Shaq Roland, Nick Jones, Mike Davis and Jerell Adams will be expected to step up their production next season. 

5. Bruce Ellington

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    12 points from receiving yards

    42 points from receiving TD's

    4 points from kick return yards

    -6 points from fumbles

    Total: 52 points

     

    Bruce Ellington is beginning to become known as the football player who happens to be a basketball point guard rather than the star point guard who happens to be a football player. 

    That will happen when you grow into a legitimate threat at wide receiver, as Ellington has.  His speed and toughness make him a very good target.  His hands improved a great deal this year. 

    His game-winning catch against Michigan in the Outback Bowl was the icing on an already-stacked cake this season.

    He is a good SEC receiver with the potential to be great. 

4. Dylan Thompson

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    10 points from passing yards

    60 points from passing touchdowns

    -6 points from interceptions

    6 points from rushing touchdowns

    -6 points from fumbles

    Total: 64 points

     

    Dylan Thompson will be an amazing senior starter for the Gamecocks, possibly an All-SEC-type player. 

    He had a great year. He's poised in the pocket and makes great throws.  He's a fiery leader who shows a great deal of passion.  He rarely turns the ball over.

    If he becomes slightly more accurate, he may have a future in the NFL.

    He will definitely play in 2013.  One more year of spot duty behind Connor Shaw will make him a slam dunk player his senior year. 

3. Marcus Lattimore

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    14 points from rushing yards

    66 points from rushing TD's

    4 points from receiving yards

    -6 points from fumbles

    Total: 78 points

     

    Given his limited playing time, Lattimore's final stats as one of the top three most productive Gamecocks shows how amazing he truly is. 

    This is a player that I fully expect to see starting for some lucky NFL team in a few years.  He's going to be a great one. 

2. Ace Sanders

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    6 points from passing touchdowns

    10 points from receiving yards

    54 points from receiving touchdowns

    12 points from punt return touchdowns

    4 points from punt return yards

    -6 points from fumbles

    Total: 80 points

     

    There is a rumor flying around that Sanders may actually declare for the NFL draft.

    I wouldn't blame him.  His stock may never be higher.  He's become one of the most dangerous punt returners in the college football world. 

    He's also an amazing wide receiver.  He caught nine touchdowns this season.  His speed, hands and route running have him ranked as one of the top ten wide receiver prospects in this year's draft.

    If he returns for his senior season, the Gamecocks will be quite happy. 

1. Connor Shaw

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    20 points from passing yards

    102 points from passing touchdowns

    -21 points from interceptions

     8 points from rushing yards

    18 points from rushing touchdowns

    -9 points from fumbles

    Total: 118 points

     

    The most underrated player on the Gamecock's roster is Connor Shaw.  Not only is he tough as nails and played with more heart than any player I've ever seen, but he was productive. 

    While people are clamoring over Dylan Thompson, a great quarterback in his own right, people should appreciate the contributions of this incredible Gamecock. 

    He should be the starting quarterback in 2013 no questions asked.