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South Carolina Gamecocks Alshon Jeffery: The Nation's Best Wide Receiver?

Alex Roberts@@alexCoAbassCorrespondent ISeptember 30, 2010

Pumpin' Gas into the USC Offense
Pumpin' Gas into the USC OffenseKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

So much for Lane Kiffin's bold prediction that Alshon Jeffery will be pumping gas after going to South Carolina. 

More like pumping out touchdowns at the NFL level. 

While the Gamecock headlines mostly read about freshman sensation Marcus Lattimore, Stephen Garcia, or the never-ending drama with Spurrier and backup Connor Shaw, Alshon Jeffery is quietly putting together one of the finest receiving campaigns in the history of South Carolina football. 

For those of you that do not know any better, you will say "So what; it is only South Carolina!".  South Carolina has had its fair share of great wide receivers.  Kenny McKinley (R.I.P.) finished third in the SEC for all-time receptions and owns almost every South Carolina receiving record.  Sidney Rice is a bona fide NFL star and is GREATLY missed by Brett Favre. 

Troy Williamson made a mockery of opposing defenses when he played, emerging as the NCAA's biggest deep threat for years, and Sterling Sharpe is an NFL legend. 

Alshon is currently a true sophomore, which make his statistics even more amazing.  He is also playing on a team that runs more than it passes and is suffering a seemingly never ending QB controversy.

(On a side note, Stephen Garcia is currently 19th in college football in passing efficiency and has thrown five touchdowns to two interceptions, while completing a high percentage of his passes.  Not sure WHY there is a controversy, but that is a story for another day.)

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Look at these stats, and think about the situation he is in.  He has 27 catches for 492 yards and two touchdowns.  He averages 18.5 yards per catch and 124.5 yards per game.  His touchdowns are lower because the Gamecocks hand the ball to Lattimore when they get close, but the rest of his stats are truly amazing. 

He leads college football in receiving yards, and is third in yards per game. He does this on a running team.  It is truly amazing. 

Currently, his career stats are 73 receptions for 1,261 yards and eight touchdowns.  This is through roughly 17 games.  Five of those games were spent as a backup.  So in a technicality, he has only fully played in 12 games as a starter.

His 6'4", 233 pound frame screams NFL.  He has also destroyed most corners.  While he is no blazer, his hands and size make him potentially the most dangerous wide receiving threat in college football.  He has been compared to the likes of Terrell Owens and Randy Moss minus the attitude.

He is always the last one out of practice and always stays to catch extra balls from the coaches.  He claims that since it worked for him in high school, it will work for him in college. 

He has never been in any sort of trouble while at the university. 

Those who have seen him play have come to respect him.  Auburn fans (even though South Carolina lost) were amazed at his ability.  Comments from fans were along the lines of, "You guys have a beast out there at wide receiver."

The argument could be made that he is the best in college football. 

I would buy that.

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