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South Carolina Gamecocks football 2014 roster preview: No. 7, Shon Carson

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RS junior tailback provides quality depth.

Shon Carson
RS junior tailback
5'8'' / 201 lbs
Scranton, S.C.

Recruitment:
Shon Carson was a consensus three-star back, the ninth-ranked all-purpose back in the nation. He had other offers from Auburn, Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, Florida State, North Carolina, Tennessee, and UCLA.

College career:
Carson is a talented back whose career has been hampered by injuries. In his freshman season in 2011, he rose to second on the depth chart behind Marcus Lattimore by the season opener, but then tore his ACL early in the game against Georgia and missed the rest of the season. After working his way back for the 2012 season, he suffered a wrist injury that kept him out until the Outback Bowl, when he caught a couple of passes in his only action of the season.

Carson finally got an opportunity to play a meaningful role for the Gamecocks in 2013, his first healthy season. He finished third on the team in rushing behind Mike Davis and Brandon Wilds. With Wilds injured and Davis increasingly wearing under a heavy workload, Carson got lots of snaps in the second half of the season. He played a huge role in the win over Florida, when he came off the bench to spell a wearied Davis and rushed for over 100 yards, including a game-changing 58-yard run to set up Carolina's go-ahead score.

2014 outlook:
Carson remains in the mix for playing time heading into 2014, albeit in a crowded backfield where the competition will be fierce. Heading into the season, Carson remains behind Heisman-candidate Davis and stalwart backup Wilds. The chances that one of those two will miss playing time over the course of the season is high, but Carson also has to hold off RS freshman David Williams, considered by many to be heir-apparent to Davis.

Trivia:
Carson is one of three players to score 100 or more touchdowns in South Carolina high school football. The other two were Marcus Lattimore and Demetris Summers.