The Gamecocks have something that they never have before: depth.
There are legitimate battles across the board for starting spots. However, just because you are relegated to the No. 2 spot doesn't mean you can't make a huge impact on the team.
Here are five Gamecock reserves who will make a serious impact on the 2011 season.
Clowney may end up with a starting spot...but as of right now, he doesn't have one. He has been a beast off of the edge during practice, and coaches have been amazed at his speed and acceleration.
However, when you walk into a position already loaded with two All-SEC players in Devin Taylor and Melvin Ingram, you will have to earn your time.
Luckily, Ingram can also play defensive tackle. Either way, Clowney will be a pass-rush specialist and earn his fair share of sacks.
Oh, and about this picture...I found this image while searching for some Clowney Gamecock pictures. It happens to be a reimaging of him from acclaimed comic book artist Alvin Lee. Notice the No. 7 on his shoulder?
Awesome. Pure awesome.
Damiere Byrd has wowed coaches with his speed and hands, but isn't a member of the top four wide receivers yet.
He is in the top six, and with his ability to strike quickly, he will see the field often. If he improves his route-running, he will be one of the top four guys by the end of the year.
Either way, he will be a huge player in 2011.
C.C. Whitlock is one of the more disapointing players on the Gamecocks roster. Not because he is terrible, but because he could have been great.
He will back up Akeem Aguste and Stephon Gilmore, but he won't view himself as a backup. Every time he gets on the field, he will try to prove himself. Whitlock is a senior and wants to leave a good impression, according to interviews.
I believe that he will.
Connor Shaw is an excellent quarterback and we all know where he sits on the depth chart, as well as whom he sits behind.
However, one slip-up from Stephen Garcia and Connor Shaw is the man. Even without Garcia messing up, Shaw will get plenty of time.
Shon Carson has overtaken Kenny Miles for the No. 2 spot, and Kenny is no slouch. Carson will look to be a second star running back on a team with Marcus Lattimore holding down the No. 1 position.
However, Carson has speed and agility to burn. He is also excellent out of the backfield as a receiver. Obviously, your No. 2 running back gets plenty of time, but Carson could turn that time into something truly special.
Anytime Marcus Lattimore says a player is pushing him to be better (when asked about Carson), you better keep an eye on him.
It's great to be a Gamecock!
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