South Carolina football: Kevin Harris named top 50 player by 24/7 Sports

South Carolina Gamecocks running back Kevin Harris (20). Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina Gamecocks running back Kevin Harris (20). Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports /

South Carolina football’s Kevin Harris named top 50 player.

South Carolina star running back Kevin Harris has been somewhat overlooked by folks around the nation despite leading the SEC in rushing a season ago. That 1,138-yard performance was one of the best in the program’s history, and he now looks to become the first Gamecock since George Rogers to post back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns.

While Harris obviously brings with him many accolades, media has consistently tabbed the rusher as the fourth or even fifth best back in the conference. In the preseason All-SEC votes, sites like Saturday Down South and Pro Football Focus put the talented Gamecock behind names like Isaiah Spiller, Jerrion Ealy, Chris Rodriguez, Brian Robinson, and Tank Bigsby.

One recent projection bucks this trend though, and gives Harris the respect he’s earned.

24/7 Sports recently revealed its list of college football’s top 50 players, regardless of position, and Kevin Harris made the cut at No. 38. That was good enough to be considered the third-best running back in the country, and the top option in the SEC. He was listed behind only Iowa State’s Breece Hall, who is the nation’s reigning rushing champion, and Texas’s Bijan Robinson, a former five-star recruit.

Here’s what the site had to say about Harris leading up to the 2021 season.

"You could make the argument Harris is the most slept-on star in the country. Harris led the SEC in rushing last year with 1,138 yards and also ran for 15 touchdowns. He averaged a healthy 6.1 yards per carry and also caught 21 passes. Those are elite numbers, especially when you put them in the context of South Carolina’s offense, which was not good."

Harris was the focal point of the South Carolina offense, and quite frankly, was it’s only effective option. The Gamecocks offered very little in the passing game, allowing opposing defenses to key in on the rusher with eight-man boxes. Still, he put up five 100-yard performances and found the endzone for 15 scores.

Harris was recently nominated as one of the preseason candidates to win both the Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s top player, and the Doak Walker, awarded to college football’s top running back.

If he can replicate the numbers posted in his sophomore season, he’ll be in the hunt.

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Tune into Garnet and Cocky for future updates on the South Carolina football team as the the 2021 season approaches.