The South Carolina Gamecocks have been in very good hands at the quarterback position for the last four years. Connor Shaw was the man behind center for South Carolina, and despite lacking the physical size of some other Southeastern Conference quarterbacks, Shaw was able to make plays with his arm and his legs.
Above all else, Shaw was a winner. He set school records for wins by a starting quarterback, and became a South Carolina legend for some of his comebacks on the field.
Shaw is now gone, but the Gamecocks could still be in a good place at the quarterback position. Dylan Thompson figures to be the starter for head coach Steve Spurrier this fall. Thompson, who will be a fifth-year senior this fall, saw time over the last three seasons. In fact, he made two starts in 2012 when Shaw was injured. During that season, he was 66-of-127 through the air for 1,027 yards with 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions. In both of his starts, he passed for more than 300 yards.
In 2013, Thompson saw action in 10 games, passing for 783 yards and four touchdowns, although he did have three interceptions. He also rushed for three touchdowns last season.
Spurrier’s offense can be explosive, but that is generally dictated by the quarterback. Thompson is much more of a pocket passer than Shaw, who was not afraid to tuck the ball and run. Spurrier will mold his offense to fit Thompson’s abilities.
With the experience that Thompson has gained over the past two seasons, South Carolina should not see much dip in production from the quarterback spot.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.