Offseason spotlight: South Carolina

February, 19, 2013
2/19/13
2:30
PM ET
Our offseason spotlight continues with South Carolina, which is coming off its second straight 11-win season -- a first in school history:

Spotlight: Wide receiver Shaq Roland, 6-foot-1, 173 pounds, rising sophomore

2012 summary: Roland played in 11 games last fall, catching just five passes for 80 yards and a touchdown. He had a long catch of 30 yards (his lone touchdown) and averaged 16 yards per catch.

The skinny: Heading into last season, Roland was expected to be a big-time contributor for the Gamecocks. He was arguably South Carolina's biggest pickup in its 2012 recruiting class, as he was an ESPN 150 member and the nation's No. 5 wide receiver prospect. But the Gamecocks got a lot more production from other players last fall. Roland arrived with a boatload of hype and pure talent, but he didn't exactly have the best work ethic and had to look up the depth chart during the season. This spring, things are wide open at the wide receiver position, so this is a chance for Roland to really make something of himself before fall camp. With Ace Sanders leaving, Bruce Ellington is the Gamecocks' top returning receiver (40 catches for 600 yards and seven touchdowns). Then, you have Damiere Byrd and Nick Jones, who combined for 26 catches for 563 and three touchdowns. There are a lot of bodies to work with at receiver this spring, but there isn't a ton of experience. If the Gamecocks are going to get their passing game going, the coaches are going to need to find someone to complement Ellington on the field. Roland has all the skill to be that guy -- and he could probably be even more -- but he has to improve his work ethic. Roland was named Mr. Football in the state of South Carolina during his senior year, and could be a real monster in South Carolina's offense if things click for him. He has the height that Ellington doesn't have and while he isn't the speed demon Byrd is, he's more of a complete receiver. This offseason will go a long way for Roland, as far has his development and his importance to this team.

Past spotlights:

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