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Gamecocks Quarterback: Sold On Sellers

LaNorris Sellers was named the starting quarterback for the Gamecocks and there are many reasons to get excited about him in 2024.

While speaking at a Gamecock Club event in Florence, SC, Shane Beamer named LaNorris Sellers the Gamecocks starting quarterback. Beamer was careful to include that Sellers needs to continue working hard and stay on the trajectory he has been on since he stepped onto campus in 2023. However, this announcement was not the breaking news some outlets have presented it as. Those close to the South Carolina program have known that Sellers would be in control in 2024. Many coaches, media, and fans called it as early as last Spring. The question was not if Sellers would claim the starting role but why Gamecock fans should be confident with the young signal caller leading this team. 

Moving On Up

Sellers is the largest starting quarterback to ever play for the Gamecocks. At 6’3” and 240 pounds, his size is comparable to former Arkansas quarterback K.J. Jefferson. Like Jefferson, Sellers can make plays with his feet. He possesses better natural speed than Jefferson. Additionally, Sellers has shown the ability to be accurate in throwing the football at all three levels, albeit in a small sample size. His true dual-threat ability makes him a significant threat to any defense he faces. To continue the Jefferson comparison, a few key pieces of Jefferson’s best season in Fayetteville are now in Columbia with Sellers. 

Offensive Coordinator Dowell Loggains was on the offensive staff for the Razorbacks in 2022 when Jefferson threw for over 2,600 yards, 24 touchdowns, and only five interceptions. He added 640 yards on the ground with nine rushing touchdowns. Jefferson’s partner in the backfield, Rocket Sanders, who rushed for over 1,400 yards, and averaged six-and-a-half yards per carry, found the end zone ten times on the ground and twice catching the football, is also in Columbia. From a measurables and skills perspective, Sellers has a better upside than Jefferson. The Gamecocks coaching staff agrees. They had an opportunity to add Jefferson to the roster via the transfer portal in the Winter but elected to stick with Sellers. Beamer said he would not lie to quarterbacks and promise them a starting job if they transferred to South Carolina. Translation: “If you come here, you must beat out Sellers.”

Behind the Rec Specs

Sellers rocks a pair of recreational eyeglasses, or “Rec Specs,” underneath his helmet. Glasses often come with a stereotype of academic prioritization. Within a few seconds of listening to Sellers, anyone can tell he is a highly intelligent individual. He was the 2023 recipient of the South Carolina Football Hall of Fame Bridge Builder Excellence Award, which recognizes the top high school football player in the state based on athletic, academic, and community impact. Coaches speak highly of his character and noted his ability to capture the locker room and take on a leadership role even as a freshman in 2023. 

Perhaps Sellers’ greatest asset heading into his first season as a starter is his quiet confidence. It could be based on his past success, winning numerous awards for success on the field and leading his high school team to a state title in his senior campaign. It could be due to the talent and personalities around him. But it appears likely that Sellers is just wired this way. In his first media appearances as a freshman, he sat back in his chair and answered questions with detail and accuracy. He is calm in every public appearance, and his coaches and teammates testify that he is the same behind closed doors. In a season where the Gamecocks will play on the road at Kentucky, Alabama, Oklahoma, Vanderbilt, and Clemson, the first-year quarterback will benefit from being hardwired as a cool, calm killer on the field. 

Shawn and Spencer

Two influences will impact Sellers’ success as the Gamecocks quarterback in 2024. But they will influence the young player in different ways. First, Spencer Rattler, recently drafted into the NFL by the New Orleans Saints, played in front of Sellers all of 2023. Rattler had years of experience and played in multiple offenses. Sellers got the opportunity to learn how to lead the team and play the game the right way. Rattler, a former number-one quarterback recruit, possessed more talent than any Gamecock quarterback before him. When adversity struck, Rattler remained a consistent leader. Sellers is already better because of how he learned from the example set by Rattler.

Moving to the offensive scheme in 2024, Shawn Elliott has returned to Columbia as the running game coordinator. Elliott was on staff during the greatest stretch in program history under Steve Spurrier. He played a similar role in offensive game planning during that time. The offensive plan for the Gamecocks will incorporate many of the same elements that Arkansas used with Jefferson and Sanders in 2022. The running game will use both the running backs and the quarterbacks. Elliott’s scheme is an inside zone scheme derived from his time playing and coaching at Appalachian State. In six of the seven seasons that Elliott was the head coach at Georgia State, the quarterback was in the top three in rushing on the team. In four of seven, the quarterback was in the top two leading rushers, and twice, the quarterback led the team in rushing. 

Sellers is smart, poised, and confident. He will play with a balance of running and passing. Although quarterback may seem unknown for the Gamecocks in 2024, onlookers should prepare for a dual-threat breakout star in Columbia.



LaNorris Sellers was named the starting quarterback for the Gamecocks and there are many reasons to get excited about him in 2024.
Photo courtesy: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports


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