South Carolina football came into the 2011 season with a lot of expectations and, despite some serious injuries and a quarterback change, the Gamecocks were able to finish the season at 10-2 and end up in the Capital One Bowl.
While the Gamecocks missed out on the SEC East division title for the second straight year, they were able to finish 6-2 in the SEC for the first time ever. They also beat all five SEC East teams for the first time in their history.
There are a lot of positives to be seen around the Gamecocks' program right now, and the future does look bright for Steve Spurrier.
Here's a look at five players who surprised us in 2011, along with a look at five players who need to step up next season.