The South Carolina Gamecocks’ Top 5 Quarterbacks


A football team’s offense is centered around its quarterback. It’s the position nearly every kid wants to play in a matchup of backyard football. South Carolina has seen many come and go in over a century of football, but these five stand out above the others. A couple were wild children both on and off the gridiron. All were loved and respected by their teammates as well as the South Carolina faithful. All were leaders.

5. Stephen Garcia

The only quarterback in history that lead the Gamecocks to an SEC title game, Garcia is one out of the only trio of Gamecock quarterbacks to down Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee in a career. He is also the only quarterback to lead the Gamecocks to a victory over a #1 team, that team being Alabama. Garcia threw for 7,597 yards and rushed for 777. However, these impressive feats are often drowned out by actions off the field which eventually lead to his suspension from the roster.

4. Steve Tanneyhill

Steve quarterbacked the Gamecocks for his entire collegiate tenure, from 1992-’95. He lead the Gamecocks to a win over the Tennessee Volunteers during the Gamecocks first season in the Southeastern Conference. Tanneyhill’s actions spoke as loud as the mullet he sported. His antics lead to many unsportsmanlike penalties. The most famous of these was likely pretending to sign the Clemson Tiger paw in one of two victories in Death Valley.

3. Todd Ellis

Of course the “Voice of the Gamecocks” has a spot on our list, cemented by his spectacular 9,953 yards through the air. He would likely be ranked higher if not for 73 picks compared to 49 “TOUCHDOWN CAROLINA’S!” Todd Ellis was picked by Denver in the ninth round of the 1990 NFL draft, but never took a snap.

2. Phil Petty

The first two years of Phil’s career were mired with injury and the horrific two years of no wins. However, in one of the biggest turnarounds in history, the Gamecocks went 8-4 in the first year of the new millennium. His senior year was even more fruitful with a 9-3 record. The Gamecocks played in two back-to-back Outback bowls these years, and both times best Ohio State. Hey, beating the current national champion gets you on out list for sure. Petty passed for a respectable 5,593 yards and threw for 28 touchdowns.

1. Connor Shaw

The winningest quarterback in Gamecock history takes the crown. Remember how Garcia was suspended midway through his senior year? Well, Shaw took the reins and promptly led the Gamecocks to 33 wins in 3 seasons and was a perfect 17-0 inn the Cockpit. Of his many wins, however, one on a chilly night in Missouri’s Columbia takes the prize. Trailing by 17 with but 20 minutes left, a sick and injured Shaw came off the bench and rallied the Gamecocks to win in one quarter and two overtimes. Shaw passed for 6,074 yards in his career and rushed for 1,683. He is the standard by which new recruits, like Nunez and Mcilwain, are compared to.