Five Gamecocks earn spots on All-SEC coaches’ squad

Five members of the University of South Carolina football team earned spots on the 2013 preseason All-SEC squads as selected by the league’s 14 coaches, it was announced today.

Junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and junior all-purpose back Bruce Ellington earned spots on the first team, while tight end Rory “Busta” Anderson, offensive guard A.J. Cann and defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles were second-team selections. Ellington was also honored as a third-team pick as a return specialist.

Clowney, a 6-6, 274-pounder from Rock Hill, S.C., was a unanimous All-America selection as a sophomore last season. The SEC’s Defensive Player of the Year finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting after recording 54 tackles, including a school-record 23.5 tackles for loss and a school-record 13.0 quarterback sacks. Clowney, the reigning Hendricks Award winner as the nation’s top defensive end, is a unanimous preseason first-team All-American heading into the 2013 campaign.

Ellington, a 5-9, 196-pound junior from Moncks Corner, S.C., led the team with 600 receiving yards last season on 40 catches with seven touchdowns. He has been the Gamecocks’ top kickoff returner each of the last two years. In 2012, he returned 18 kickoffs for a net average of 22.6 yards. After not having a kickoff return in the first four games, his first return came against Missouri when he went 50 yards to set up an eventual Gamecock touchdown.

Anderson is a 6-5, 242-pounder from Powder Springs, Ga. Anderson saw action in all 13 games last year and caught 14 passes for 271 yards. In his first two seasons, he has averaged 20.9 yards per catch and scored eight touchdowns on 22 career receptions.

Cann is the most experienced offensive lineman on the Carolina team with 25 starts over the past two seasons, the most among any returning player on the Gamecocks’ roster. The 6-4, 314-pounder from Bamberg, S.C., was presented with the Everyday Hustle Award for the offense at the 2013 Garnet & Black Spring Game. He was a third-team All-SEC selection by Phil Steele last year.

Quarles is a 6-4, 298-pound defensive tackle from Hodges, S.C. He has logged 10 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in his first two seasons for the Garnet & Black while making 17 career starts. His father, Buddy, also played for the Gamecocks.

The Gamecocks will open the 2013 season on Thurs., August 29, when they host the North Carolina Tar Heels at Williams-Brice Stadium. Game time is set for 6 p.m. EDT, and the contest will be televised nationally on ESPN.

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