Dec. 7, 2004
Columbia, S.C. – Ko Simpson, South Carolina’s free safety who led the Southeastern Conference with six interceptions, has been named Freshman of the Year in the SEC by the Associated Press. In addition, junior wide receiver Troy Williamson was named first-team All-SEC after leading the conference in receiving yards per game and touchdown receptions. Jabari Levey, a junior offensive tackle received honorable mention accolades.
Simpson, a true freshman from Rock Hill, S.C., had a league-leading six interceptions, to go along with his 61 total tackles (second best on the Gamecock squad) and a team-best six pass break ups. Simpson returned an interception 57 yards for a touchdown vs. Georgia and also returned a fumble 57 yards for a touchdown vs. Arkansas.
“This is a great honor and it’s something I’d like to thank my teammates and coaches for,” said Simpson. “I had the opportunity to come to school in January, go through spring practice and get a head start on things. That was a big plus. I didn’t think I would be able to have this kind of success in my first season, but the coaches put me in a position to make some plays and I guess I did that.”
Williamson, whose hometown is Jackson, S.C., turned in a stellar season with 43 receptions for 835 yards (75.9 per game average) and seven touchdowns. Williamson had touchdown receptions of 65, 56, 55, 73, 33, 19, and 14 yards. His 19-yard TD reception vs. Kentucky late in the fourth quarter proved to be the game-winner, as did his 14-yard TD catch late in the game vs. Arkansas.
Levey started all 11 games at left tackle. He is from Moncks Corner, S.C.