No. 1, Damiere Byrd, WR, 5’9”, 170 lbs.
This Sicklerville, N.J.-native is a senior who stands behind Shaq Roland on the depth chart for the Gamecocks’ first game against Texas A&M Thursday evening. Missing some spring action because of a knee injury, Byrd also served as captain on the track & field team.
Byrd has 48 career receptions for 957 yards with seven touchdowns. He came to Carolina from Timber Creek Regional High School as a four-star prospect and ranked 18th-best wide receiver in the country by Scout.
With other offers from Iowa, Ole Miss, and Florida, the all-star played in nine games his freshman campaign, starting three.
The Garden State-native saw even more playing time his sophomore year, getting action in all 13 games. Byrd caught 14 passes for 366 yards and made the fourth-longest pass in school history to tie for the second-longest in FBS play when he teamed up with Dylan Thompson on a 94-yard scorer against UAB.
Last season, the wide receiver played in 12 games, making 10 starts. Due to a knee injury, Byrd was out and didn’t appear in the bowl win over Wisconsin.
No.1, Rico McWilliams, CB, 5’11”, 184 lbs.
This redshirt sophomore cornerback was noted to be neck-and-neck with Al Harris, Jr. for the starting corner-position on opening day.
“Either one could start,” said defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward of Harris Jr. and McWilliams. “Coach Brown feels good about both of them. Whether (Harris Jr.) makes mistakes or not, Rico will play early. Rico has earned the right to play and so has Al. They both will play.”
Hailing from Hampton, Ga., McWilliams suffered a season-ending injury his freshman year of 2012. Last season stood as a new opportunity for the Georgia Peach, where he saw action in nine games.
GamecockPride.com will keep you updated on these two players throughout the season.