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The Final Cockdown: #83 Carlton Heard

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The Cockdown rolls along with a look at redshirt senior receiver Carlton Heard and his chances at some receptions this season.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Carlton Heard
RS Senior Wide Receiver
6'0" 185 lbs.
Athens, GA

Recruitment:
Walk-on at Gardner-Webb in 2011

College Career:
After redshirting his Freshman season as a walk-on at Gardner-Webb, Heard broke out in 2012 for the Runnin' Bulldogs, producing 422 yards and a touchdown on 31 catches. After the season, he decided to transfer and walked-on to the Gamecocks in 2013, but was ineligible due to transfer rules. In 2014, after impressing the coaches enough on the practice fields for over a year and a half, Heard earned himself a scholarship. Listed as receiver, he didn't see much of any time on the field at that position, but he was a viable special teams player, taking the field for the unit in 12 of the Gamecocks' 13 games. His most memorable moment came against Florida last season as he came untouched up the middle to block a punt with :46 left in the fourth quarter, setting up Dylan Thompson and the offense's game-tying TD drive to force the game into OT.

This was the second of two huge special teams plays that kept the Gamecocks not only alive in the game, but also for a potential bowl trip (Gerald Dixon, Jr. blocked a field goal attempt that would've put the Gators up 10 with a little over three minutes left before that). Who knows if the season ends on the high of a bowl victory had Heard, or Dixon for that matter, not made the play.

2015 Outlook:
It's no secret the Gamecocks are thin at the receiver position once you get past Pharoh Cooper. And with added attention sure to come his way this season, it'll be harder for Cooper to break open as much as he did last year. This isn't saying Heard, with no real experience as a receiver in Spurrier's offense, will come in, fill a void and put up big numbers, but the opportunity is there for him if given the chance by the coaches to play at the position. If anything, he will continue to get time as a special teams player on a unit that'll welcome his experience.

Trivia:
Heard is one of two transfers listed on the Gamecocks roster from Gardner-Webb. Any chance you know the other one?