South Carolina football didn’t have a great year on the field this season, but several Gamecocks put together really nice individual seasons.
On Monday, the Associated Press released their All-SEC teams, and two South Carolina football players were honored as wide receiver Xavier Legette and linebacker Debo Williams both were chosen as second-team selected.
Xavier Legette put together one of the best-ever wide receiver seasons in Gamecock history, compiling 1255 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns on 71 catches. Legette led the country in 40-yard receptions and set a South Carolina football record with three 175-yard receiving performances.
Legette was also named to the second-team as an all-purpose contributor. Legette had a pretty good season as a kick returner and was a good gunner on punt coverage. Legette received some first-team votes at wide receiver, as well.
Debo Williams led the SEC in solo tackles this season (67) and was 3rd in total stops (113). He managed to rack up the tackles despite a rough stretch early in the season in which he had 5 tackles or fewer in 3 of 4 games. He made up for it with 7 games of double-digit tackles, including 14 stops against both North Carolina and Jacksonville State.
Williams is one of the hardest-hitters in the SEC, and his ability to attack downhill allowed him to adapt well to the 3-3-5 defense that his South Carolina football team began utilizing later in the season.
Legette is out of collegiate eligibility and will be taken early in the 2024 NFL Draft. He has been projected as high as the 1st round, and it seems unlikely that he will fall past the 2nd. He hopes to improve his draft stock with a solid showing at this year’s Senior Bowl.
Williams can return to the Gamecocks next season but is currently assessing whether or not it would be worthwhile for him to pursue and NFL career. As he probably would be a late pick or an undrafted free agent, it seems most likely that #0 will be back in garnet and black in 2024.
Several other Gamecocks (quarterback Spencer Rattler, running back Mario Anderson, defensive tackle TJ Sanders, cornerback Marcellas Dial, safety Jalon Kilgore, safety Nick Emmanwori, and kicker Mitch Jeter) all had arguments to make the AP’s All-SEC teams, but, ultimately, they fell short.
No South Carolina football players won the individual awards as LSU’s Jayden Daniels (Offensive Player of the Year), Mississippi State’s Nathaniel Watson (Defensive Player of the Year), Alabama’s Caleb Downs (Newcomer of the Year), and Missouri’s Eli Drinkwitz (Coach of the Year) won the honors, instead.