X-Factor: Xavier Legette shattering records for South Carolina football in 2023

South Carolina football wide receiver Xavier Legette. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina football wide receiver Xavier Legette. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports /

South Carolina football fans were thoroughly expecting their favorite college football team to put a dominant wide receiver on the field this fall. However, they thought that Juice Wells was the man for the job.

Instead, as Wells has barely played with two different foot injuries, another senior pass catcher has stepped up to fill the sizeable shoes of the preseason All-American and has moved himself into the discussion of the all-time greats in program history.

Fifth-year senior Xavier Legette has been amazing through the first third of the season. In fact, the South Carolina football record book is being rewritten weekly as Legette has lived up to his almost limitless athletic potential this September.

Legette began the season by catching 9 passes for 178 yards, a record for the most yards in a Gamecock season opener. It also was more yardage than he had tallied in any full season of his career (he had 167 yards in all of 2022). After one week, he had more receiving yards than any other player in college football other than players who also participated in “week 0.”

He added another 118 yards in week 2 to claim the title for the most receiving yards in garnet and black through the first two weeks of a season. He extended that again as his 368 yards through the air were the most ever for any Gamecock.

The record-setting pace was sure to stop in week 4, however, as Alshon Jeffery (who, coincidentally, had his jersey retired on Saturday) had 498 yards through four games in 2010. Wrong. Xavier Legette had other plans.

On a night in which #17 became the only Gamecock to ever catch multiple 75-yard touchdowns in the same game, Legette blew past Jeffery’s 2010 pace with a 189-yard performance. The new career high moved him to 556 yards on the year, 12 more than Washington’s Rome Odunze.

Legette now leads all of college football in receiving yards (556) and catches for 40+ yards (7).

Next week, he has the opportunity to face a below-average secondary when the Gamecocks travel to Knoxville, Tennessee to take on the Tennessee Volunteers. With another strong game next Saturday, Xavier Legette will have Jeffery’s single-season receiving record in his sights.

Related Story. South Carolina Football: Ranking the top wide receivers in Gamecock history. light