Gamecock Anthem takes a look at several players whose stock is on the rise.
On the rise
Byrd has been a standout since the Gamecocks' first practice of the preseason. But unlike some freshman who show flashes early and then fade some as the grind of practices hits -- and unlike some smaller, quicker players who become less effective once the pads go on and the hitting starts -- Byrd has continued to produce and has done everything he can to prove he can be a major deep threat in the South Carolina offense. Byrd appears comfortable in the offense for a freshman. Also, unlike some track speedsters, he's a natural catching the football and has shown the ability to adjust to the deep ball. Byrd's deep catch in Wednesday's scrimmage was a thing of beauty as he showed an extra gear when he accelerated to the ball while it was in the air to make the grab.
Carson was a known commodity coming in but early on he's proved to be better than it was even believed in high school. The Lake City product has seemingly quickly passed Eric Baker for the No. 3 running back role and is coming up fast on the tail of current No. 2 back Kenny Miles. Carson has been productive in the scrimmages and has shown excellent vision with explosion and a knack for cutting back at the appropriate time. Carson has also proved to be a solid receiver out of the backfield. While Miles' experience still has him ahead of Carson, the freshman is going all he can to make a move towards that spot.
Shaw had an up-and-down spring when many fans were hoping that the true sophomore could show he was ready to lead the team with uncertainty around Stephen Garcia at the time. Garcia has since proved he's ready to lead the team in his fifth season but Shaw has also stepped his game up. Shaw looks more and more comfortable in the pocket and released two perfect deep balls early in Wednesday's scrimmage. Shaw had to be removed early after he dislocated his thumb, but is expected to be fine in a couple of days. With his emergence, South Carolina has two capable quarterbacks.