Dec. 6, 2007
Four University of South Carolina players were named to the 2007 All-SEC first or second team, as announced by the Associated Press. Kenny McKinley earned first-team recognition, while Eric Norwood, Captain Munnerlyn and Emanuel Cook were second-team selections. In addition, punter/placekicker Ryan Succop earned honor mention accolades.
McKinley, a 6-0, 177-pounder from Mableton, Ga., set a school record with 77 receptions for a team-leading 968 yards and nine touchdowns. The junior wide receiver led the SEC in receptions (77) and receptions per game (6.42) and was second in receiving yards per game (80.7). He led the Gamecocks in receptions in 10 of the 12 games and in receiving yards in nine of the 12 contests, including four 100-yard receiving games. His best game of the season was a 14-catch, 151-yard performance against Tennessee.
Norwood, a sophomore defensive end, was a big play performer for the Gamecock defense. The six-foot, 258-pound sophomore from Acworth, Ga. was second on the squad with 69 tackles, including a school-record 19.5 tackles for loss, which ranked third in the SEC and tied for seventh in the nation. He also tied for second in the SEC with three fumble recoveries. He logged 6.0 sacks, which ranked ninth in the conference. He was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week and the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski and the Master Coaches National Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts against Kentucky when he tied an NCAA record by returning two fumbles for touchdowns in a 38-23 win over the 8th-ranked Wildcats.
Munnerlyn, a 5-9, 180-pounder was considered the best cover cornerback for the nation’s fifth-ranked pass defense. The sophomore from Mobile, Ala. tied for the team lead with three interceptions and was credited with 47 tackles, including 40 solo stops while playing in 11 of the 12 games. He had his best game against Tennessee when he logged a team-best and career-high 11 tackles, including two tackles for loss, and intercepted a pass.
Cook, a 5-11, 211-pound strong safety was the Gamecocks’ top tackler in 2007. The sophomore from Riviera Beach, Fla. led the team with 92 tackles, including 77 solo stops in 11 contests. He logged 8.0 tackles for loss including 4.0 quarterback sacks. He also tied for the team lead with three interceptions and helped the Gamecocks’ pass defense rank fifth in the nation. He ranked sixth in the SEC by averaging 8.4 tackles per game, including a career-high 11 stops against both LSU and Vanderbilt.
Succop, a 6-2, 214-pound junior handled both the placekicking and punting duties for the Gamecocks in 2007. He was 13-for-17 in field goal attempts with three of his four misses coming from at least 47 yards out. He kicked three field goals in the 16-12 win at Georgia, earning SEC Special Teams Player of the Week honors The Hickory, N.C. product averaged 41.6 yards per punt, fifth in the SEC and 37th in the country, with a long of 58.
The Gamecocks finished the 2007 season with a 6-6 record, 3-5 in the SEC.