All-SEC Gamecocks: A look at the possibilities

In a RB-loaded year the SEC, Will Mike Davis receive all-conference honors? - Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

By this time next week, All Conference teams will have been released. Who makes it for South Carolina?

All-SEC Candidates

Mike Davis

It seemed Davis was destined for a spot on the SEC's first team, but dip in production over the past three weeks could hurt his cause. Davis never had less than 115 yards from scrimmage in a game prior to Florida; since then, he's put up a total of 92 (yes, he did sit out the CCU game, but we still see a steep fall off in Davis' YPG without it factored in.) Still, Davis leads the conference in total yards from scrimmage (1476) and is second in average YPG (134.2). Davis finished 4th in rush yards (1134) and tied for 10th in touchdowns (11). I think it's likely Davis lands on an All-SEC team, but the competition will be stiff for the first team spots. It'll likely be some combination of Davis, Tre Mason, Todd Gurley, TJ Yeldon, and Jeremy hill will take the 4 available All-Conference spots, but Davis' late-season lull should at worst knock him down to the second team. The more intriguing question may be, "Who gets left out?" I doubt it's Davis due to his overall production, but it depends how much recency matters. Mason, Hill and Yeldon are top 3 in most categories. Gurley's lacking for yardage because he missed three games, but he made up for that by leading the league in average YPG.

Kelcy Quarles

Kelcy Quarles should be a lock for the first team. Quarles finished the regular season tied for 2nd in TFL—you won't find another defensive tackle on the list til Arkansas' Darius Philon, tied for 14th. Quarles is also tied for 2nd in in the conference in sacks at 9.5; in fact, only one other defensive tackle in the country has more sacks (Pitt's Aaron Donald, half a sack up on KQ.)

Victor Hampton

Hampton was 4th in passes defended, 9th in PBU, and tied for 7th with 3 INTs. But he didn't place in the top 50 in tackles, so I'd imagine there are too many other viable candidates for Bandit to make the first team. I imagine he's got an outside shot at the second team based on those statistics and his visibility as a player, but even that might be wishful thinking.

Should Connor Shaw get a look?

It's unlikely we'll see Connor Shaw make an All-SEC team due to conference's quarterback depth. Shaw's pretty much 5th-7th in most raw statistical categories—attempts, completion percentage, yards, touchdowns. Of course, he does have that juicy 21/1 TD to pick ratio. You'd have to pass seven names on the "fewest INTs" list before you find another quarterback with as many attempts as Shaw (AJ McCarron, 5 INTs.) But aside from that, Shaw will have to hope voters take into consideration his reputation as a tough SOB and resilient winner to receive All-Conference consideration. Probably not enough.

Should Jadeveon Clowney get a look?

I'm sure draft analysts could plead his case, but due to how drastically his statistical output fell off from 2012 paired with the number of above average DEs in the SEC, it's unlikely. Still, here's hoping JD finds his way to all-conference honors just so I can watch Twitter burn.

Freshman All-SEC Candidates

The Freshman All-SEC team is interesting, because not every position has a shoo-in. Remember when Jerell Adams made the team last year after catching a grand total of 4 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown? There just weren't any other freshman tight ends worthy of the accolade. This year, we've got plenty of youth on this roster so it's possible we'll get a few names on the board via some combination of their output and a lack of positional competition. Let's see!

Elliott Fry

I figured Elliott Fry would be a no-brainer...that is, until I realized LSU has a freshman kicker in Colby Delahoussaye who's leading the damn league in FG% (92.9) and has a long of 49 yards. Fry's almost ten points south of that, but he does have more field goals (15) and he's freakin' Elliott Freisman, which has to count for something. But unfortunately, it's unlikely Elliott gets the nod over Delahoussaye.

Skai Moore/TJ Holloman

Moore led the team with 51 tackles, including 3.5 TFL, half a sack and 2 picks. Holloman only had 43 tackles, but his 4 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 3 picks are ever-so-slightly better than Moore's line. Georgia freshman Leonard Floyd (47 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 6 sacks, 16 QBH!!!) and A&M's Darian Claiborne (89 tackles, 7.0 TFL) seem like no-brainers, but the door's open for that third spot, and it seems like either Moore or Holloman could be the guy.

Pharoh Cooper

While I don't have the patience to compile a list of viable competitors, Cooper were certainly be an appealing candidate for the All Purpose nod. Cooper threw, caught, and ran for a touchdown this year—all in the last two games, as you may recall—and established himself as a promising returner. Cooper didn't make a splash until the Kentucky game, but his 603 total yards in 8 games* should be enough to warrant consideration.

*Not counting the UNC game here, although he was targeted once.

Cody Waldrop/Clayton Stadnik

Can they be considered in tandem? As with Pharoh, I don't have the patience to go through all 13 other SEC teams and determined who was had a freshman center, but I doubt any team relied on two freshman centers, especially to a non-disastrous end. After all, Clayton Stadnik did win SEC O-Lineman of the week back in September. That should at least be enough to get him on the radar.

Chaz Elder

Elder appeared in 10 games, registered 27 tackles, 1 TFL, and 1 interception. Sure, they're not mindblowing numbers, but last year TJ Gurley made the freshman All-SEC team with 13 tackles, 0 TFL, and 0 INT. Again, you can back into these things if the planets align.

Per The Big Spur's John Whittle, All-SEC teams should be released on Sunday or Monday next week.

See? Anyway, am I missing anyone? Any overlooked freshman candidates from around the league who may lock out some of our younger guys? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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