South Carolina has a number of players who have shots at post-season honors in 2013, and two of them were in the news this week. The first should come as no surprise: Jadeveon Clowney. Bovada released updated Heisman odds this week, and Clowney rose in the rankings. He's now fourth, coming in behind favorite Johnny Manziel, Braxton Miller, and T.J. Yeldon, and tied with A.J. McCarron.
Needless to say, it will be hard for a defensive candidate to take home the sport's greatest award. That's particularly true with what looks to be a pretty good crop of candidates. You've got a returning winner in Manziel. A QB in Miller who is likely to put up big numbers for a glamour program that will be in the national title hunt. A QB/RB duo in McCarron and Yeldon who are likely to put up big numbers in a great offense for a team that will seek to defend back-to-back titles. It's hard to imagine a situation in which none of these players--or another QB or RB, such as Aaron Murray--have the kinds of seasons necessary to be in the Heisman discussion, and what it will take for Clowney to win this thing will likely be a dearth of qualified QB/RB candidates along with Clowney having an absolutely unbelievable year. That's a shame, because the award should go to the best player, but that's how the Heisman has always worked in the past. That said, Clowney is precisely the kind of defensive player who can get into the conversation, as he's likely to rack up a lot of sacks, arguably the most glamorous defensive play, as well as to have plenty of opportunities for jaw-dropping plays in prime time against teams like Georgia and Florida.
The other player in the news this week is Rory "Busta" Anderson, who was named to the Mackey Watch List. Anderson's bid for this award will be interesting to watch because it could be affected by the need to get Jerrell Adams onto the field frequently. Of course, it's possible that both might haul in a lot of catches this year, as the Gamecocks have been trending towards getting the TEs more involved in the passing game, given our wealth of talent at the position and potential lack of a go-to WR. Still, it's hard to see a situation in which both play a lot and don't see their stats diluted consequently. In any event, it goes without saying that we should have one of the nation's best TE combos.