More of the national media's heavyweights are beginning to chime in - if South Carolina football is ever going to be a major player, this is the year.
The latest example came on Tuesday.
All-American wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is one of five players on the cover of Sports Illustrated's upcoming college football preview (week of Aug. 22). As has been the norm for the magazine in recent years, each of the five players rotates through the center of the cover with a headline specific to them, which will be released in regional markets.
Jeffery's center cover has him standing between Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and Alabama running back Trent Richardson (the other two players on the covers are Nebraska defensive tackle Jared Crick and Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones.) The headline reads: "South Carolina," with a sub-headline of: "Best Gamecocks Team Ever."
It is only the second time in the history of the weekly magazine that a USC athlete, in uniform, has appeared on the cover. Former basketball standout John Roche made the cover of the Jan. 4, 1971, edition of the magazine with the headline reading: "Challenge from the South: Hard-Driving John Roche."
The Gamecocks are ranked seventh in the magazine's preseason poll, which has Alabama at No. 1. USC is ranked 12th in the preseason USA Today/coaches poll, and the first Associated Press poll will be released on Saturday.
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