South Carolina Gamecocks in the NFL

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The University of South Carolina was founded in 1801 as the South Carolina College to unite the locals in the aftermath of the American Revolution. Their football program got its start nearly 100 years later in 1892, and although it was a very slow start (they only played a handful of games for the first several years and went without a coach for their first three seasons), they picked up steam at the turn of the century.

The Gamecocks football program brought home the 1969 ACC Championship and the 2010 SEC East Championship, and won an impressive handful of bowl games, including three Outback Bowls (2001, 2002, and 2013), the 2006 Liberty bowl, two Capital One Bowls (2012 and 2014) and the Duck Commander Independence Bowl (also in 2014). They recently enjoyed back-to-back-to-back 11-win seasons under coach Steve Spurrier (2011 to 2013) and are looking for a good season in 2017.

There have been many former Gamecocks who have appeared in the NFL, including the 1980 Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers, who was drafted No. 1 overall in 1981 by the New Orleans Saints. Rogers went on to win the Big Game with the Washington Redskins in 1988 and was selected to the Pro Bowl twice.

Let’s take a look to see what former Gamecocks are currently playing in the NFL.

Carolina Made

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The Houston Texans currently have the most former South Carolina players on their roster, including Jadeveon Clowney, Bruce Ellington, and Johnathan Joseph. The Carolina Panthers have two: Captain Munnerlyn and Damiere Byrd. And the Bills do as well: Patrick DiMarco is on the active roster, while Marquavius Lewis is on the practice squad.

Several other teams feature former Gamecocks. Melvin Ingram, for example, is on the Los Angeles Chargers, and Pharoh Cooper is on the Rams. A.J. Cann plays for the Jags, and Stephon Gilmore takes the field for the Patriots.

Former Gamecocks in the NFL range in age as well, with the youngest born in 1995 and the oldest making their world debut in 1984.

Let’s focus on a few standout South Carolina players. Jadeveon Clowney entered the NFL when he was drafted No. 1 overall in the 2014 draft by the Houston Texans, where he still plays for their defense today. Clowney had a stellar high school career and his large size and speed certainly fared him well at South Carolina. He received quite a few accolades in college, including the 2012 Consensus All-America and the Ted Hendricks Award, and there was plenty of pre-draft hype, with experts agreeing that he was something special.

😳😳😳

A post shared by Jadeveon Clowney (@clowney__90) on

Since entering the NFL, Clowney has been selected to go to one Pro Bowl (so far) in 2016, and while he’s been plagued with a bit of an injury bug, he’s still an important part of the Texans defense (and he even rumbled a Tom Brady interception back for a score earlier in the 2017 season).

Another former Gamecock, cornerback Stephon Gilmore was drafted in 2012 10th overall by the Buffalo Bills, where he played for five seasons before heading to the New England Patriots. Gilmore was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2016 and has nabbed 15 interceptions over his career so far.

Whatever it takes #Patsnation #Craft #Work

A post shared by Stephon Gilmore (@bumpnrungilmore) on

Wideout Pharoh Cooper, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 2016, is another former Gamecock the school should be proud of, especially when he returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown in mid-October 2017.

Either way it goes…. I'm blessed .!!

A post shared by Pharoh Cooper (@kingtutt_chdown) on

Go Cocks Go!

So you’re a South Carolina fan, or you really enjoy watching former Gamecocks make huge plays for your favorite NFL teams? Well, you’re in luck. Not only does Fanatics carry a huge assortment of Gamecocks gear, but they also have plenty of authentic NFL swag so that you can take in the games in style.

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The Evolution of the Los Angeles Rams Logo

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The Los Angeles Rams originated in 1936 in Cleveland, Ohio,  as a member of the American Football League. They played there until businessman Dan Reeves – who purchased the team in 1941 – moved them to Los Angeles for the 1946 season. The Rams would play in Los Angeles for nearly 50 years until they moved to St. Louis in 1995. Last winter, it was announced the Rams would head back to Los Angeles after 20 seasons in St. Louis.

The Rams’ name was chosen in 1937 when the team joined the NFL. Principal owner Homer Marshman and General Manager Damon “Buzz” Wetzel picked the name because Wetzel’s favorite team was the Fordham Rams and Marshman liked the sound of the name.

Dominant Seasons

The Rams’ first Super Bowl appearance came in 1979 during their first stint in Los Angeles. The regular season wasn’t very impressive for the Rams, who had a 9-7 record; however, they still managed to win their division. In the first round, the Rams defeated the heavily favored Dallas Cowboys 21-19. The Rams then shut out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9-0 in the NFC championship game. In the Super Bowl, the Rams faced the Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite leading at halftime, the Rams lost 31-19. In 1999, the Rams had their best regular season to date, finishing with a 13-3 record. In the playoffs, they beat the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers to advance to the Super Bowl to face the Tennessee Titans. The Rams would win Super Bowl XXXIV by a score of 23-16.

Before the 2016 season, HBO selected the Los Angeles Rams to be a part of their “Hard Knocks” series. HBO brought a camera crew to the Rams’ training camp and preseason games. The show interviewed players and coaches about the ins and outs of being a part of a professional football organization.

Historical Players

After their win in the Super Bowl XXXIV, the Rams’ high-powered offense was given the nickname “The Greatest Show on Turf” thanks, in large part, to three key players: Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce, and Kurt Warner.

Running back Marshall Faulk was one of the best to take the field. He played seven seasons with the Rams from 1999 to 2005. He was named the Offensive Player of the Year from 1999 to 2001 and was the NFL Most Valuable Player in 2000 and 2001. The Rams quarterback during their glory years was Kurt Warner. He made the Pro Bowl three times and was a First Team All-Pro twice. In 1999, Warner won the NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP and led the NFL in many passing categories, including completion percentage, touchdowns, and passer rating. Warner’s go-to receiver was Isaac Bruce, the franchise’s all-time leading receiver. Bruce caught 942 passes for 14,109 yards and 84 touchdowns. He played 14 seasons for the Rams and was selected to the Pro Bowl four times.

A current star for the Rams is running back Todd Gurley II, the Rams’ first-round pick in the 2015 draft. In his first season, Gurley was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year and selected to the Pro Bowl.

Logo Evolution

Evolution of the Los Angeles Rams logo over time

The Rams’ helmet logo history dates back to 1948 when halfback Fred Gehrke painted a set of ram horns on the side of a helmet. Gehrke would actually be inducted to the Hall of Fame, not for how he played on the field, but for being the one to paint the rams horns on the helmet. The Rams were actually the first NFL team to have a logo on their helmets.

1946–1950: The first logo is a stylized, blue and white ram head. It only lasts five seasons.

1951–1969: The Rams update their logo by giving the ram’s head more fierce facial features and gold horns.

1970–1982: The Rams keep the same logo, but it now faces right instead of left and is entirely white.

1983–1988: The Rams switch to their first helmet logo. It is a right-facing silhouette of the Ram’s blue helmet with yellow horns wrapped around the side.

1989–1994: The Rams modernize the helmet logo for their 1989 season. They change the logo to look like the helmets worn on the field with an updated shape and a more elaborate face mask.

2016: The logo used by the Los Angeles Rams today is a modernized version of the charging ram’s head. The dark blue head with gold horns made the trip to Los Angeles from St. Louis when the team relocated last summer.

The season isn’t over yet! There’s still time to stock up on your Rams gear over at Fanatics.com. We’ve got you covered from head to foot … literally.

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