South Carolina Football: Is Damiere Byrd the Answer for Gamecocks' Passing Game?

Adam GarrettAnalyst ISeptember 27, 2011

South Carolina has one of the best wide receivers in the country in Alshon Jeffery.

Sometimes, though, you need a little help.

This is where true freshman Damiere Byrd comes in.

Byrd will be eligible to play this weekend against the Auburn Tigers after serving a four-game suspension from the NCAA for receiving "impermissible benefits" from a South Carolina booster. Byrd was involved with the S.A.M. Foundation, who supplied support for academics and athletics to inner-city youth.

Coach Steve Spurrier said, "He's done nothing wrong."

Byrd was expected to be an early contributor to this South Carolina offense with his electric speed and great hands. The opportunity to get involved in the return game is something special teams coach John Butler mentioned after practice the other night. Outside of Jeffery, it's been a crap-shoot on what South Carolina wide receiver would step up.

Ace Sanders has been the most productive for the Gamecocks, other than Jeffery, as he's the only receiver to gain over 100 yards through the air. There have been injuries to other receivers such as D.L.Moore and Jason Barnes that provide a chance for someone else to fill the void left by their experience.

Byrd will have every opportunity to make a statement this week against a weak pass defense by Auburn that gives up 251 yards per contest. He's got the speed to make a difference. He's got the hands. He's been practicing with the team all season long. He's ready to go for South Carolina.

This looks like just the right spark to get this Gamecock passing game going.

It couldn't come at a better time.