RB Cory Boyd

2004 Statistics

Coach: Steve Spurrier
1st year
2004 Record: 6-5
at Vanderbilt WON 31-6
at Alabama WON 20-3
at Kentucky WON 12-7
at Florida LOST 14-48
at Clemson LOST 7-29

2004 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2005 Outlook

Cutting to the chase, is there a QB capable of giving Coach Spurrier a winning season in his first campaign while adapting to the new offensive system? In short, the answer is no, until proven otherwise. Huge question marks exist on both sides of the football, with as many as 15 newcomers contributing - this is not a tact seen in many top 50 programs. The new coaching staff is ultimately being handed the identical situation Bill Callahan and his Nebraska assistants were given upon arrival - a dramatic change, from an offensive approach that had bottomed out to a system built on moving the chains through the air, all meant to be run by players recruited for such. As history demonstrates and this campaign's slate dictates, the likelihood the Gamecocks will come up with a two or three-loss campaign is slim. Over the years, South Carolina has been successful at bringing in new talent, most notably JUCO transfers, and getting immediate needs filled. Whether these new contributors are capable of such short-term achievements should determine the difference between a winning or losing season.

Luckily, Coach Spurrier understands how touch the SEC can be in terms of competition each and every week. By the end of October 1st, these new faces and new schemes will have learned on the fly by facing the likes of Georgia, Alabama and Auburn. Of course, October 12th has been circled as the Gators make their highly-anticipated and ominous trip to Columbia. However, this game is sandwiched between a brutal slate of opponents as the season comes to a close. Happy endings must be obtained through great measures.

Do not expect an overnight miracle from this program. However, if anyone is capable of pulling off such a magic trick, it's you-know-who. But get used to those visors being thrown and smashed to the sideline turf. Growing pains are sure to come in one area and/or another. Inconsistency will be a likely problem as a bowl invitation, barring another Clemson brawl, will be attainable…but very difficult, Grasshopper.

Projected 2005 record: 5-6
DB Ko Simpson
QB - 2 DL - 3
RB - 3 LB - 3
WR - 3.5 DB - 3.5
OL - 2 ..

Passing: Syvelle Newton, 131-70-6, 1093 yds., 6 TD

Rushing: Cory Boyd, 62 att., 309 yds., 3 TD

Receiving: Cory Boyd, 35 rec., 347 yds., 1 TD

Scoring: Josh Brown, 10-13 FG, 27-27 PAT, 57 pts.

Punting: Josh Brown, 44 punts, 38.9 avg.

Kicking: Josh Brown, 10-13 FG, 27-27 PAT, 57 pts.

Tackles: Ko Simpson, 61 tot., 50 solo

Sacks: Ricardo Hurley, Charles Silas, De'Adrian Coley - 1 each

Interceptions: Ko Simpson, 6 for 94 yds., 1 TD

Kickoff Returns: Daccus Turman, 2 ret., 14.0 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Noah Whiteside, 18 ret., 8.0 avg., 0 TD


OFFENSE: Dondrial Pinkins-QB, Gonzie Gray-RB, Andrea Gause-RB, Matthew Thomas-WR, Brian Brownlee-TE, John Strickland-C, Jonathan Alston-OG, Troy Williamson-WR (NFL), Demetris Summers-RB (dismissed)
DEFENSE: Darrell Shropshire-DT, Preston Thorne-DT, Jason Capers-DT, George Gause-DE, Marcus Lawrence-LB, Rodriques Wilson-LB, Taqiy Muhammad-CB, Jamacia Jackson-SS, Jermaine Harris-SS, Moe Thompson-DE (dismissed)

Forget Lou Holtz' QB draws and screen plays. They will be replaced with five and seven-step QB drops, a multitude of receivers running routes east, west, north and south…basically a wide open passing attack. The biggest question on everyone's mind: do the Gamecocks have a QB capable of executing their new "Steve Spurrier" system? For starters (so to speak), last season's leading passer and third leading rusher, the athletic Syvelle Newton, made a wise request for a move to wide receiver. That places sophomore Blake Mitchell at the helm. In his most extensive action versus Kentucky, he managed as many pass completions to Wildcat defenders (two) as he did to his own receivers. Mitchell, of a drop back pedigree, was recruited out of LaGrange, GA to run the spread offense, which explains why he looked uncomfortable under the old system. Mitchell has the size, arm strength and accuracy to meet Spurrier's demand. But the youngster lacks decision making skills, which is sure to put that sour smirk on the ole ball coaches' face from time to time while forcing back-ups to prepare. Antonio Heffner, with his athletic skills, was redshirted. His style as a pocket passer has yet to be developed, which does not bode well for this campaign. Spurrier has rarely, if ever, started a true freshman quarterback, so don't expect one of the newcomers to win the job unless all else fails. But magic at this position is a common Spurrier trick, so don't be surprised if critical junctures now seem silly by October.

Running Back
Demetris Summers' off the field issues find him dismissed. Junior Cory Boyd now takes the spotlight after finishing 2004 as the team's second leading rusher and likewise the team's second leading receiver. Do not look for Boyd to duplicate such pass catching numbers under this scheme. He will need to place more focus on what happens between the tackles. If history repeats itself, Daccus Turman will also see action, as Spurrier likes to use multiple backs throughout the course of a game. Both of these backs are veterans who will be called upon to shoulder some of the load while the QBs continue to learn. Boyd is well-sized and a former-DB, so his quickness/reaction-time makes his instincts sharp, while Turman is FB-sized and close to as quick (broke Herschel Walker's state single-season prep rushing total).

One would think that Troy Williamson would have stayed on board to reap the benefits of the "fun and gun" offense. Instead, Williamson bolts and leaves former quarterback Syvelle Newton and Noah Whitesides to head the crop. Whiteside has managed to catch 20 passes at over 14 yards per with his medium build. Besides acquiring Spurrier, Newton's switchover may be the best off-season move yet as the Gamecocks have a major dilemma at this position in terms of numbers and experience. Imagine the fact that USC went from utilizing two receivers just a season ago, to now using upwards of five at once. There may not be five top-flight receivers out of this group, so we'll see that Spurrier magic again, or the drop-off will be noticeable. One name you will see because of his amazing spring is Sidney Rice. Rice was the state's top WR prospect (also Class AAAA basketball Player of the Year to attest to the quality of his 35" leap) and has been compared by Spurrier - who has seen a few good WRs in his time - to Chris Doering (SEC's all-time TD catch leader). His ability to catch whatever the QB throws up is that unteachable skill that opponents won't stop.

Tight End
One of the knocks of Lou Holtz was his refusal to use the TE more. This will also change in the new system as the necessary skills are located. Andy Boyd is the clear starter. Although known for being a better blocker, his pass catching skills will surprise when given the chance. But speculation is cheap considering he and the departed Brian Brownlee combined for a disappointing total of three receptions.

Offensive Line
Inconsistency haunted this group in 2004. At times they dominated, while at other junctures, the old (coaching) quote, "my grandmother can block better than that," applied. When Lou Holtz consistently complained his team wasn't physical enough, a finger was indirectly being pointed here. Ergo, with Spurrier, this group will require a new mindset. In charge will be John Hunt, who has been with Spurrier since '99. Two 300-plus pound tackles are the bright spots and offer great promise. Both seniors were once considered all-SEC candidates, though, Jabari Levey is no stranger to the inconsistency label as he enters his third season as a starter. Na'Shan Goddard is a two-year starter and maintains well his athleticism and footwork. It's imperative these two are leaders and (at least) come close to meeting any expectations (of them) for the new system to thrive.

Ironically, fans in Columbia are going to get way more than just a newly reconstructed Williams-Brice Stadium. The entire offensive philosophy moves from a conservative physical style to a (oft-used Spurrier phrase) "fun-n-gun' approach. The problem is that the surrounding cast of non-Spurrier-recruits does not support an easy changeover. The most glaring issues include a major lack of capable/proven receivers and a set of young QBs nowhere close to being ready (yet) for running this type of show. On top of these concerns, the line has garnered criticism (this spring) from Coach Spurrier concerning poor execution. Growing pains can be expected, so do not anticipate an overnight miracle. Yet Spurrier has proven that his systems over the years have had rather successful starts, and many who underestimate his offensive coaching prowess pay the price. We just wonder how many DCs have been waiting for this opportunity, as Spurrier is finally weakened enough that they can pay him back for a decade of drubbings.


OT Jabari Levey


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Blake Mitchell-So (6-3, 194) Antonio Heffner-Fr (6-1, 186)
Brett Nichols-Jr (6-2, 211)
FB Lanard Stafford-So (5-9, 253) Antonio Lamar-Fr (6-0, 266)
TB Daccus Turman-Sr (5-11, 232) Mike Davis-Fr (5-11, 210)d
Cory Boyd-Jr (6-1, 200) (susp.)
WR Syvelle Newton-Jr (6-0, 218) Michael Flint-Sr (6-1, 191)
Sidney Rice-Fr (6-4, 191)
WR Noah Whiteside-Jr (5-11, 172) Travis Lee-So (5-11, 194)
TE Andy Boyd-Jr (6-4, 261) James Scott-Sr (6-3, 246)
OT Jabari Levey-Sr (6-6, 312) Thomas Coleman-Jr (6-4, 306)
OG William Brown-So (6-4, 263) Kyle Bishop-So (6-2, 302)
C Chris White-Jr (6-3, 309) Fran Person-Sr (6-6, 257)
OG Freddy Saint-Preux-Sr (6-5, 308) James Thompson-So (6-4, 309)
OT Na'Shan Goddard-Sr (6-5, 313) Justin Sorensen-Fr (6-7, 317)
K Josh Brown-Sr (6-3, 203) Thomas Hooper-So (5-6, 157)



Defensive Line
As a result of off-the-field legal problems, the only possible returning stud here is now likely done playing college football. The pass rush has been atrocious as of late, which now takes another step back with this loss of end Moe Thompson. Yet, since the house is now cleaned, old stigmas will vanish and a new, "working" identity replaces such. The end position will now be stocked with two JUCO transfers in De'Adrian Coley and Charles Silas. Coley, a former linebacker, is the perfect specimen for a rush end. DT looks thin, and currently, two sophomores, a freshman, and a seldom-used senior secure the middle. Ugh! With a 4+ per carry albatross/legacy around this crew's collective neck, the work is cut out for this challenged group.

The 2004 group really stepped up and secured this position as one of the team's strengths. The bolded starters are not as plentiful, but playing experience does exist in some quantity. The principal challenge will be replacing Marcus Lawrence. Senor Ricardo Hurley, once considered as the top LB prospect in the nation, is the best of the group after fighting through injuries his first two seasons. Orus Lambert is a fifth-year senior and finally gets his shot while JUCO transfer Mike West, a former strong safety, has the best speed and quickness on the team. (timed at 4.37 in the 40-yard dash). Now, will he be able to demonstrate the physical nature required for this position? Look for Cody Wells and Dustin Lindsey to push for playing time.

Defensive Back
The Gamecocks are looking for a strong safety. That is their only weak link in the secondary. Cornerback Fred Bennett and free safety Ko Simpson both return from strong campaigns. The AP named Simpson, a true frosh, the SEC Freshman of the Year. Amazingly, he had a league-leading six interceptions to go along with his 61 tackles (second best on the team). A forgotten name who may be the biggest surprise of the bunch is JUCO transfer Jonathan Joseph (an injury prematurely ended his 2004 campaign). He ironically chose South Carolina over Florida in the recruiting process. The Gamecocks have been fielding pretty solid DBs over the past five years (just look at NFL rosters), and several three- and four-star recruits make this unit seem potent with depth. Once Spurrier "coaches 'em up" via practicing against his offensive schemes, this crew could be even more formidable (15th-rated in pass efficiency defense).

The new coaching staff will be keeping the 4-3 scheme, but it won't be without some changes. The most noticeable is going to be a more aggressive style of play. That dimension should be a blessing in terms of how this secondary can reach its full potential to become one of the best units in the conference/country, which affords the front seven more chances to gamble. This has to translate into a better pass rush, pure and simple (12 total sacks in '04). A glaring concern exists with the four new starters on the DL, especially at its heart with the tackles, but the former line's marginal production could easily mean the turnover automatically equals improvements. Other than at QB and WR, this unit is the team's biggest question mark. Early conference foes will show the interior's worth, which may have decent numbers, but, after ranking 43rd in rushing D and going 6-5, will stats truly equal wins?


LB Ricardo Hurley


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE/LB De'Adrian Coley-Sr (6-2, 237) Jordin Lindsay-So (6-3, 227)
DT Marque Hall-So (6-3, 276) Brook Antonio-Sr (6-1, 280)
NG Chris Tucker-Sr (6-1, 278) Stanley Doughty-So (6-1, 315)
DE Charles Silas-Sr (6-5, 272) Seth Edwards-Sr (6-3, 263)
LB Lance Laury-Sr (6-2, 237) Cody Wells-So (5-11, 195)
Mike West-So (6-0, 206)
LB Orus Lambert-Sr (6-2, 245) Dustin Lindsey-So (6-3, 220)
LB Ricardo Hurley-Sr (6-1, 228) Ryan Brown-So (6-0, 249)
CB Jonathan Joseph-Sr (5-11, 187) Stoney Woodson-Fr (5-11, 181)
CB Fred Bennett-Jr (6-1, 193) Greg Wright-So (5-10, 194)
SS Tremaine Tyler-Sr (5-10, 185) Chris Hampton-So (5-11, 182)
FS Ko Simpson-So (6-1, 199) Trent Usher-Fr (5-11, 195)
P Josh Brown-Sr (6-3, 203) ..




For the third season in a row, Josh Brown will handle punting duties. He will also double as the kicker. With only a 38.9 punting average and no FG attempts beyond 50 yards, his leg strength comes into question, highlighted further by the fact Joey Bowers handled KOs. Being a senior, Brown will garnish even more in the expectation's department. His 67% career accuracy is admirable after he managed 10-of-13 in '04. Incoming frosh Ryan Succop has the résumé to impact this unit well. Coverage on kickoffs was dismal, but will improve under the new watch, and already decent net punt results will also only get better.

Return Game
This is a strong area, but unsettled. Noah Whiteside handled the majority of punt returns, but we feel true freshman O.J. Murdock (4.39 speed) can make a difference, as could Mike West. With ex-return skill men like Demetris Summers and Troy Williamson leaving, the door appears to be open for guys like ex-QB Syvelle Newton or RBs Cory Boyd and Jermaine Sims as each handled a great deal of kick returns in the spring game with Newton leading all with a 28.7 average.