The South Carolina Association of Lettermen unveiled the latest inductees for the Gamecocks’ Hall of Fame. Nine members will make up this year’s class - set to be inducted on Thursday, October 20.
Three inductees may be familiar to younger fans. Justin Smoak, who manned the infield from 2006-08, is currently the first baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays. Sidney Rice, who played for the football team in 2005 and 2006, departed as the program’s all-time leader in TDs and parlayed that into a seven-season NFL career. Shonda Cole played volleyball at Carolina from 2003-2006 and left Columbia holding three key program records.
Several other names will ring a bell to the older generation of Gamecocks fans. The late Jim Carlen, who won 45 games across seven seasons as the head football coach while serving as athletics director, recruited and coached the great George Rogers, the first and only Heisman winner in Carolina history. The Gamecocks’ all-time leader in interceptions, Bo Davies, will also be inducted, along with his teammate, former two-time All-American wide receiver Jim Mitchell. Billy Laval, who served as football, baseball and basketball coach during his time in Columbia, led the basketball team to its first-ever conference title in 1933 and guided the football team to seven straight seasons over .500 - a feat that stood until Steve Spurrier did it from 2007-2013.
Other inductees include Ryan Bordernick (baseball, 1995-1998) and David Seawell (golf, 1993-1996).