The end of the 2015 edition of SEC Media Days is upon us, which can only mean one thing: it's now time for some
Carolina Football! preseason selections. It's been a fun-filled week of playful jabs, back flips and insightful lessons on scars and cooking, but it all had to end at some point in order for the real work to begin - the all-important media voting. With the Media Poll already out, here's GABA's take on the Gamecocks selections to the Preseason All-SEC Team.
For the complete list of the Preseason All-SEC Team, click here.
Pharoh Cooper, WR/RS
Second-team offense, first-team specialist (all-purpose), second-team specialist (return specialist)
As a wide out, Cooper made the Second-team offense behind first-teamers Laquon Treadwell out of Ole Miss and Auburn Tiger D'haquille Williams. And while I have no issue with Treadwell, given the Rebels' noticeable offensive decline following his injury last season, D'haquille, really?!
Shouldn't a guy like Cooper who was voted first-team All-SEC at the end of last year be guaranteed a spot on this preseason list? If you compare their stats from 2014, Williams doesn't match up to Cooper; granted, Williams did go down with a knee injury late in the season. And if you want to vote just by sheer impact, Pharoh's sure to have a greater impact to South Carolina's offense this year than Williams for Auburn. After all, the Tigers still have Sammy Coates lined up on the other end.
Maybe the media think the added attention to Cooper will take away from his production, but at least give the man what he's due. The silver lining to this snub is for Pharoh to add this to his motivation heading into the season.
Cooper was also voted onto the All-SEC Special Teams group, making the first-team as an AP (All-purpose) and second-team Return Specialist behind Texas A&M's Speedy Noil. No complaints here.
Brandon Shell, OL
In a biased opinion, Shell could easily find himself higher up on this year's list. He's the glue in South Carolina's offensive line and, according to the preseason depth chart, will be relied upon to protect Mitch/Orth/Scarnecchia/Nunez's blindside. For the Gamecocks to have any success on offense this year, Shell is going to need to lead a productive o-line that'll be asked to allow ample time for a nervy QB, while also opening up some running lanes.
Elliot Fry, PK
Second-team specialist (kicker)
The #Freisman campaign is officially hitting on all cylinders. Fry earned second-team All-SEC honors after last season's accomplishments and looks to build off a strong 2014 campaign that saw his popularity skyrocket with GABA staffers, amongst others. Fry currently holds a school record 99 consecutive extra points converted (and, well, I just jinxed that streak). He is listed behind Georgia PK Marshall Morgan, who, quite frankly, doesn't have near as much suave.
One thing of note:
South Carolina's redshirt senior tailback Brandon Wilds didn't make the All-SEC offense, which isn't too crazy until you find out that Arkansas and Alabama have a combined four running backs taking up all of the room on the second and third teams. Spread some love around, why don't you? LSU's Leonard Fournette and Georgia's Nick Chubb surprise no one to lead all running backs on the first-team. And South Carolina's defense gets to test its fortune with both backs this year.
Think any other Gamecocks got snubbed on this year's list? Please direct all complaints to any credentialed SEC media member.