The Thread: Prospects

It's Beecher. For now, at least. Person seems pleased -- sort of.

But Beecher, named by Steve Spurrier on Tuesday as the Gamecocks' starter heading into the summer, showed this spring that he has the physical attributes and leadership skills to at least get the chance. ...

What struck me first about Beecher was his arm strength. At one of the night practices the first week or two, Beecher aired out a tight spiral in a drill that must have traveled a good 60 yards.

The pass fell incomplete, but I remember making a note of it because I had never seen Beecher crank out a throw like that. The rest of that night and throughout spring practice, Beecher proved he could make all the passes.

Now, they weren't always on time or on target, but it was never a question of arm strength -- something that remains a concern for Smelley following offseason shoulder surgery.


Well, that makes me feel all better. Hey, the throws might not always be "on time or on target" -- but they'll get there. And defensive backs all over the SEC lick their lips.

Spurrier rewarded Beecher for a solid spring by elevating him to the No. 1 spot, a move Spurrier undoubtedly also hopes light a fire under Smelley.


This is actually the first thought that occurred to me when I heard that Beecher had been chosen as No. 1: Is this for real, or Spurrier playing head games. Not that HBC would ever, y'know, play head games with his quarterbacks or anything. And, of course, Garcia is still out there -- living somewhere in Columbia, with either his mother, Spurrier or a pack of wild dogs, depending on which message boards you read.

Beecher has done as much or more than Smelley to earn the top spot -- though that's not really saying a lot. But it remains to be seen if he'll be under center when the season begins.

Getting ready for the draft. Cory Boyd, South Carolina's best and maybe only real NFL prospect this year (What? No one wants Blake?) is preparing himself for the draft. He seems to have a pretty good attitude about it.

Mike Detillier, publisher of the M&D Draft Report, expects Boyd to be picked between the fourth and sixth rounds. Detillier said Boyd performed well for scouts at the combine and USC's pro day, but he believes concerns about Boyd's character off the field and consistency on it will keep him from getting drafted higher. ...

Noting Boyd's hard running style and fearless approach, some analysts believe Boyd is undervalued as a late-round pick. ...

"If I slip and become someone's steal in the draft, it's OK," he said. "I'll still have more than I have now."


Good luck to you, Cory. And here's hoping you bounce back like ... well, you bounce back.

And then, the exit. For all the "vitriol" I've directed at Georgia, I've always been respectful of their players when talented, and one of those players is giving up the game. David Pollack is retiring.

Anyone who's been following the Gamecocks for five years or more will, of course, remember Pollack and why I respect him so much. In addition to just being a great player, he executed one of the most freakish -- and, for South Carolina fans, heartbreaking -- plays I've ever seen.


Best wishes for Pollack in his future endeavors. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go weep. Again.

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