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Dec. 28, 2006

Memphis, Tenn. – A total of seven South Carolina players were recognized with Southeastern Conference honors at the Liberty Bowl Awards Luncheon Wednesday. Linebacker Jasper Brinkley was presented with a first-team all-SEC certificate, while teammates Sidney Rice, Fred Bennett, Andy Boyd and Ryan Succop were also honored with various all-SEC recognition. Freshmen Rodney Paulk and Emanuel Cook were both presented with all-freshman team certificates.

“It was exciting to be acknowledged in front of everyone for what I did,” Paulk said. “Still I feel like I can do a whole lot better than what I did this year. Coach Nix gave me the opportunity to start as a true freshman and put me in a position to be an all-SEC candidate. I’m happy for that and want to make the fans and coaches proud.”

Paulk said that while all-freshman recognition was a goal for him going into the season, it was not his primary focus.

“My main goal was to get in and get playing time. To have this happen, it’s a big accomplishment and I’m happy for it and my family is happy for it. I thank the coaches for this.”

Paulk said the bowl experience has been very enjoyable for he and his teammates and that he plans on making bowl trips a regular part of his time at Carolina.

“I’m going to savor each year because nothing comes easy and we can’t take anything for granted,” Paulk said. We’ll hopefully do well and win this bowl game, then we’re going to go out and keep working in the offseason and make it so we are playing in bowl games year after year here at South Carolina.”