The South Carolina Gamecocks are off to a 1-1 start after a 47-21 victory against Furman on Saturday. Now, an SEC school beating up on an FCS program shouldn’t be something that raises alarms about how dangerous they can be. But after a lackluster season opener, this win showed Gamecock fans a glimpse of the future of the program. To be frank, the Gamecocks’ new faces could take this team to new places over the next few years.
Star Quarterback Spencer Rattler and many starters subbed out early in the third quarter to give the reins to the new kids on the block, and here was what we learned from them.
LaNorris Sellers is a star in the making
LaNorris Sellers is one of the most highly touted new faces in the program. The true freshman just a year ago was leading South Florence High School to a state championship putting up otherworldly statistics. Sellers put up nearly 3,000 passing yards and over 1,300 rushing yards with 62 total touchdowns. The dual-threat quarterback was ranked as the 19th best in the country, and he showed why he was so highly regarded on Saturday.
He threw a total of four passes for 86 yards, two of which were touchdowns. The highlight being a 50-yard bomb to fellow freshman Tyshawn Russell. Sellers’ pocket awareness and overall arm strength makes him look like a prime candidate for QB1 once Rattler graduates.
Eddie Lewis is a legitimate receiving threat
The receiving room has been a question mark with standout WR Antwane Wells Jr. dealing with nagging injuries to start out the year. But on Saturday, Eddie Lewis arrived. His journey to South Carolina saw a lot of stops, going from Rutgers to a JUCO to Memphis.
Most recently at Memphis he earned an All-ACC recognition as a returner and was due to be one of the Gamecocks’ new faces of popular special teams unit nicknamed “Beamer Ball”. On Saturday he showed he’s more than a return man. Lewis hauled in six receptions for 89 yards, averaging 14.8 yards per catch. Despite this being his last season, Lewis has emerged as a playmaker that can be a threat in the open field.
Mario Anderson could potentially be RB1
Mario Anderson was one of the most deadly Division-II RBs in the nation a year ago. Last year at Newberry he ran for 1,560 yards, setting a single-season school record. He added 19 touchdowns and averaged an absurd 156 yards per game. He was named a finalist for the Harlon Hill trophy and a first-team D-II All-American. Now in a revamped RB room, Anderson is one of the Gamecocks’ new faces behind jack-of-all-trades Dakereon Joyner who recently switched to the position.
But Anderson really got the opportunity to showcase his talent on Saturday. He had six carries for 32 yards, with a team-high 5.3 yards per carry. He runs very hard and his grit and strength could lead to him getting more touches moving forward in the season.
The Gamecocks will head to Sanford Stadium this Saturday to take on the reigning back-to-back champion Georgia Bulldogs in a tough test. The season is still fresh and I’m sure Gamecock fans will be hearing these names for the rest of the year in terms of impact.
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