The All-Time South Carolina NFL Team
Sterling Sharpe, Deebo Samuel and more
The South Carolina Gamecocks have been playing football for 115 years but have yet to produce a Pro Football Hall of Famer.
South Carolina State has produced four Hall of Famers. South Carolina, zero.
But that’s not to say the Gamecocks have not produced Hall of Fame-worthy players. Two immediately come to mind – wide receiver Sterling Sharpe and edge rusher John Abraham – and a third is building a Canton-worthy resume of his own – cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
Let’s start with Sharpe. He played only seven seasons before suffering a career-ending neck injury. But what a seven seasons he gave the Green Bay Packers. Sharpe was voted to five Pro Bowls and led the NFL in receiving three times. Keep in mind this stretch coincided with the prime of Jerry Rice’s career. Sharpe posted back-to-back 100-catch seasons in 1992-93 and led the league with 18 touchdown receptions in 1994 in his final season.
Sharpe is a senior finalist for the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023.
Abraham played 15 seasons and collected 133 ½ sacks. He went to five Pro Bowls – his first as a 23-year-old with the New York Jets after a 13-sack season in 2001 and his last as a 35-year-old with the Arizona Cardinals after an 11 ½-sack season in 2013. Abraham also went to a Pro Bowl with the Atlanta Falcons in 2010 after a 13-sack season. He had a career-best 16 ½ season in 2008 that was not rewarded with a Pro Bowl invitation.
Abraham is in his fourth year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame but has yet to reach the finals.
Gilmore has played 10 seasons and has gone to the Pro Bowl in half of them. He was voted first-team all-pro in 2018, helping the New England Patriots win the Super Bowl. The following season Gilmore led the league with six interceptions and was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year. He has 27 career interceptions and has gone to the Pro Bowl each of his last four seasons.
Those three players head up South Carolina’s all-time NFL team. In addition, Gilmore is one of seven players still active in the NFL on the squad.
Here is that team:
QB—Anthony Wright, 6 seasons, 19 starts, 20 TD passes
HB—George Rogers, 2 Pro Bowls, NFL rushing leader in 1981, Super Bowl ring
FB—Stanley Pritchett, 9 seasons, 162 receptions, 13 touchdowns
WR—Sterling Sharpe, 5 Pro Bowls, 3-time NFL receiving champion (1989-92-93)
*-WR—Deebo Samuel, Pro Bowl, NFL-leading 18.2 yards per catch in 2021
*-TE—Jared Cook, 2 Pro Bowls, 553 receptions, 45 touchdowns
T—Travelle Wharton, 9 seasons, 111 starts
*-T—Brandon Shell, 6 seasons, 61 starts
G—Steve Courson, 8 seasons, 74 starts, 2 Super Bowl rings
G—Jamar Nesbit, 11 seasons, 90 starts
C—Lemuel Jean-Pierre, 5 seasons, 11 starts, Super Bowl ring
DE—John Abraham, 5 Pro Bowls, 15 seasons, 133 ½ sacks
*-DE—Jadeveon Clowney, 3 Pro Bowls, 8 seasons, 41 sacks
DT—Shaun Smith, 9 seasons, 43 starts
DT—Langston Moore, 5 seasons, 9 starts
OLB—Tom Addison, 4 Pro Bowls, 8 seasons, 16 interceptions, 15 sacks
MLB—Jasper Brinkley, 6 seasons, 100-tackle season in2017
OLB—Gerald Dixon, 9 seasons, 23 sacks, 8 takewaways
*-CB—Stephon Gilmore, 5 Pro Bowls, 10 seasons, 27 interceptions
CB—Bobby Bryant, 2 Pro Bowls, 12 seasons, 51 interceptions
S—Darian Stewart, Pro Bowl, 10 seasons, 17 takeaways
S—Brad Edwards, 9 seasons, 18 interceptions
*-K—Ryan Succop, 13 seasons, 289 field goals, 1,313 points
P—Max Runager, 11 seasons, 661 punts, Super Bowl ring
*-KR—Pharoh Cooper, Pro Bowl, 2017 NFL kickoff return leader (27.4 yard average)
ST—Patrick DiMarco, Pro Bowl, 8 seasons, coverage ace for Atlanta, Buffalo
Coach—Dan Reeves, 190 victories, four conference championships