South Carolina Football: Top 5 Performers from the Gamecock Spring Game
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier got almost everything he wanted out of Saturday's spring game.
The coaches got to see how the younger players performed in game conditions while providing a fun and entertaining day for the fans.
The only negative came on the injury front. Tailback Shon Carson suffered a shoulder injury.
Otherwise, it was a satisfying end to what Spurrier said was a productive spring.
LB Skai Moore
In the spring game, linebacker Skai Moore was in on seven tackles, including one for loss. He also forced a fumble.
It was a fitting end to an excellent spring for Moore, who earned the Everyday Hustle Award on defense.
Moore emerged last season as a freshman to lead the Gamecocks in tackles and solidify a position perceived to be a weakness on the South Carolina defense.
He figures to be the next big star in South Carolina's defense in 2014, and although just a sophomore, he should provide leadership as well.
QB Dylan Thompson
Dylan Thompson showed the crowd at Williams-Brice Stadium why he is the clear choice to replace Connor Shaw at quarterback.
Thompson completed eight of 11 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown and also rushed three times for 13 yards.
It was simply the latest in a string of solid scrimmages for Thompson, a fifth-year senior who dominated at quarterback despite limited reps.
Thompson is lightyears ahead of the other Gamecock quarterbacks in terms of knowledge of the offense and his decision-making ability.
South Carolina's offense should be in good hands next season with Thompson at the helm.
QB Connor Mitch
While coach Steve Spurrier says the battle for the backup quarterback spot will continue on into the fall, redshirt freshman Connor Mitch did nothing to hurt his chances in the spring game.
Mitch completed seven of 10 passes for 108 yards and displayed solid decision-making skills. He only needs to go through his reads more quickly to emerge as an SEC-caliber quarterback.
If Mitch can build on his performance in the spring with a solid offseason, he should eventually beat out Perry Orth and Brendan Nosovitch for the backup spot at quarterback.
TB David Williams
A hamstring injury has limited redshirt freshman tailback David Williams in the spring, but he showed glimpses of his talent in the spring game.
Williams rushed seven times for 35 yards and two touchdowns, despite being clearly bothered by the hamstring.
Although he didn't break any long runs, he's going to be a big-play threat for the Gamecocks because of his outstanding speed.
Continued improvement during the summer and increased knowledge of the offense could propel Williams into the mix at tailback behind starter Mike Davis.
WR Carlton Heard
Carlton Heard caught two passes for 13 yards in the spring game, but he deserves to be recognized more for his body of work during the course of spring practice.
Heard, a walk-on, played consistently well in the scrimmages, showing a knack for getting open and sure-handed catching ability.
He earned the Most Improved Wide Receiver award for the spring.
A 6'0", 185-pound junior, Heard transferred from Gardner-Webb and sat out last season.
He has a chance to work his way into the Gamecocks' rotation at wide receiver.