South Carolina Football: Damiere Byrd Will Be a Major Offensive Weapon

Lee SchechterContributor IIIAugust 8, 2013

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 01:  Wide receiver Damiere Byrd #10 of the South Carolina Gamecocks watches play against the Michigan Wolverines in the Outback Bowl January 1, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Carolina won 33 - 28.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

South Carolina's offense is poised to be an offensive juggernaut with its duo of quarterbacks, solid backfield, strong offensive line, stellar tight ends and a deep corps of wide receivers.  

While Bruce Ellington and Shaq Roland appear to be the target leaders of the wide receiver position, Damiere Byrd is a true player to watch on the Gamecocks' offense in 2013.

First off, Byrd is insanely fast.  Describing his speed is nearly impossible.   

He is lightning fast with incredible acceleration and a great top speed.  The combination of speed and acceleration along with his track and field instincts makes Byrd a deadly deep threat. 

Byrd's ability to take the top off a defense on the deep fly routes will wreak havoc, though there are more implications behind his route running.  Merely sending Byrd deep will terrorize defenses because they will be worried about getting burned, then other receivers can reap the benefits.  South Carolina can play mind games all game long with opposing secondaries just by using Byrd as a decoy.  

Not only is Byrd the fastest guy on the team, but he is also a receiver with good hands.  He makes big plays.  

Byrd hasn't caught many passes so far in his career with the Gamecocks, though that does not mean he has not been productive.  

Through 22 career games, Byrd has just 15 catches for 382 yards, good for a huge average of 25.5 yards per catch.  That is a staggeringly high yards-per-catch average over a small sample size.  Give Byrd a full season of being a starter and he will produce similar numbers, but at a higher volume.  

He also has two excellent quarterbacks in Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson who need to get the ball into this playmaker's hands.  Whether it is deep down the field or dumping the ball off to Byrd and letting him burst off to the races with his speed, these quarterbacks know to distribute the ball to Byrd.  

Byrd is also extremely versatile.  He is a kick returner due to his speed, but he could work well in some screen plays or even reverses if the old ball coach Steve Spurrier decides to call plays of that nature.  Byrd's speed is far too exceptional for Spurrier not to use it. 

Due to his speed, hands and playmaking abilities, Byrd will be a big-play behemoth and consistent offensive weapon for Spurrier and the South Carolina Gamecocks' offense.