I know the Gamecocks have retired a few jersey numbers in the past - although none more recently than Shannon Sharpe's #2 from the late 80's. We have had a number of REALLY good players players since then, but not really ones who you might think of as worthy of number retirement - until recently.
Obviously this is an honor that is most often tied to specific on-the-field accomplishments (championships, Heismans, career records, etc.). Another criteria might be that a number has become synonymous with the player who wore it (in a positive way). In this regard, I think there are a couple of recently departed Gamecocks who might qualify for consideration.
Marcus Lattimore - I bought a #21 Carolina jersey back when Ryan Brewer was in our backfield, because I loved the way he played the game on the field. Fast forward a few years, and I couldn't have been happier to already have Marcus' jersey in my closet too. Brewer was a great Gamecock, one we can all be proud of. But are we ever going to think of ANYONE else as #21 in the Garnet & Black other than Marcus? No offense at all to these players, but I was a little sad to see others still wearing #21 this season.
Connor Shaw - Plenty has been written and said about Connor's accomplishments and his value to our team and our University, and all of it true. He is simply the greatest quarterback in the history of the program. And like (Brewer and) Lattimore, Connor has carried himself on and off the field in a way that makes all of us proud to be Gamecocks. Can you honestly imagine ANYONE else suiting up as #14? Ever?
There are probably others worthy of consideration (the case for Clowney is strong, but less clear cut for me), but I will let you debate those. What I want to know is, is there some sort of established process or criteria for retiring jersey numbers at Carolina? And who do we talk to about getting #14 and #21 put up on the walls at Williams-Brice?