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.

😳😳😳

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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

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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 .!!

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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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March Madness Final Four Fandom Visualized through Sales

Another year of March Madness has held the attention of the sporting world for weeks now. This weekend, as we turn to April, it narrows further and the end of this marathon tournament will come into view. The Final Four are ready to battle this Saturday. South Carolina and Gonzaga will face off first, followed by Oregon and North Carolina. The winners will face one another on Monday, April 3, for the National Championship. For students, alumni, and basketball fans of all stripes, it’s one of the best sports times of the year. Here at Fanatics, we’ve compiled the data and crunched the numbers to get an idea of where loyalty for the remaining four teams lies around the country by measuring which school was the top seller in merchandise sales by state.

Check out a map of our results below:

It comes as no surprise that each school carried their home state. But given that each team is close in proximity to one of the other remaining teams, there are some sharp dividing lines. The possibility of an all-west coast or all-Carolina championship must be tantalizing to fans on either side of the country.

The UNC Tarheels, one of basketball’s legendary programs and led by Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams, is seeking their sixth national championship and their third under Williams. They, unsurprisingly, would seem to have the edge among national fans. They carried 25 total states, including the vast majority of states east of the Mississippi. The 1 seed out of the South region, they are the favorites for many around the country.

One of the surprises of the tournament, the 7 seeded South Carolina Gamecocks took their home state, neighbors Georgia and Florida, as well as Maryland and Rhode Island. They are in their first Final Four in program history. From last week to this week, sales for South Carolina merchandise is up over 600% as fans have bought into the belief that this Cinderella run can end in the ultimate prize under the leadership of coach Frank Martin.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs were the top seller in 11 states, good for second in total states carried. They took their home state of Washington as well as the big sky states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. Despite being a 1 seed in the tournament and entering the weekend with still only one loss on the season, Gonzaga the biggest jump in merchandise sales from last week to this one with sales up over 800% as Bulldogs fans hope longtime coach Mark Few can lead the team to glory in their first Final Four appearance.

The Oregon Ducks, the 3 seed out of the Midwest region, handily beat their region’s top seeded team, the perennially dangerous Kansas Jayhawks, to advance to their first Final Four since 1939 and second overall. They carried their home state and neighboring giant California, as well as Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Arkansas, and, miles and miles away, the states of Maine and Hawaii.

Whoever you’re rooting for, remember that Fanatics has you covered with all of the top Final Four gear you’ll find online.

 

Best Places to Watch The Final Four

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The Gonzaga Bulldogs, North Carolina Tar Heels, South Carolina Gamecocks, and the Oregon Ducks stand alone in the Final Four of the 2017 NCAA March Madness Tournament. With each school looking to punch their ticket to the big dance, college basketball fans around the country are about to be treated to some exciting matchups.

In fact, in the teams’ home cities – Charlotte, North Carolina; Columbia, South Carolina; Eugene, Oregon; and Spokane, Washington – ardent supporters are ready to gather with fellow students, faculty, staff, and alumni to cheer on their teams from afar. Here are just a few of the places the most excited fans will be this weekend to wear their colors with pride, cheer on their teams, and consume delicious bites and brews.

Charlotte, North Carolina – University of North Carolina

Picasso’s Sports Cafe

DUCK FUKE 🐑🏀

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Plenty of happy Tar Heels fans have made Picasso’s their preferred watering hole, and with a killer wings and tots combo, who can blame them?

Priorities!! #Chicken and #Algebra

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Draught

If you want some fantastic food options, like a pork belly taco, at a place that’s been excited about March Madness since there were 64 teams, Draught in Charlotte should be right up your alley.

Spokane, Washington – Gonzaga University

EPIC at Northern Quest Resort & Casino

Home for the next 3 days… 🏀🍀🎲🍺🙏#staycation

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While it’s connected to the Northern Quest Resort & Casino, EPIC offers ginormous video displays and several different types of foods to satiate any fan, such as Kobe meatloaf and a burger named Gut Buster.

Jack & Dan’s Bar and Grill

@ anyone who thought Gonzaga wouldn't even beat Northwestern 💃🏼🏀🎉 #BetterEliteThanSweet #tbt

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Locals love Jack and Dan’s, and you’ll find an incredible Bloody Mary to enjoy during the game. You may need the whole first half to finish one!

Columbia, South Carolina – University of South Carolina

Tin Roof

Gamecocks flock to the Tin Roof for good times with great friends and delectable offerings, such as brisket cheddar mac & cheese.

GAMECOCKS ARE FINAL FOUR BOUND!! ❤️🐔🏀

A post shared by meagan early cockfield (@meagancockfield) on

Yesterdays Restaurant & Tavern

Happy Pi(e) day! Have you tried our Apple Pie? #3.14

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It’s not all about the main course when selecting a place to watch the game – sometimes it should be about the dessert. Yesterdays boasts an amazing apple pie that looks like it should have won a blue ribbon prize at a state fair.

And now they only say Congratulations 🏀🐔 #eliteeight #gococks

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Eugene, Oregon – University of Oregon

The Bier Stein

Here’s a place that offers more than just wings for game time; they even have offerings for those with different diets. Yes, that includes some delicious-looking vegan nachos.

Bill & Tim’s Barbeque & Tap House

If you’re looking to stock up your house for a watch party, you’ll want to grab your food from Bill & Tim’s Barbeque & Tap House. They offer up some excellent barbeque for the discerning carnivore.

Awesome #bbq lunch in #Eugene #Oregon. #tourlife #promolife #travel

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Bite-Sized Buckets

Whether you’re getting barbeque or comfort food, there are plenty of options to select from when it comes to planning your game day. What doesn’t need a second thought? Determining where to buy that next jersey or sports accessory for your school. Fanatics is the best place for officially licensed NCAA Men’s College Basketball merchandise.

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