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Dec. 9, 2009

University of South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and cornerback Stephon Gilmore have been named to the first-team Freshman All-America squad by both Phil Steele Publications and, it was announced today.

In addition to its Freshman All-America squad, Steele also released his All-SEC teams. Senior linebacker Eric Norwood was a first team selection, while Jeffery, junior defensive end Cliff Matthews and junior safety Chris Culliver earned third team recognition. Steele also lists Gilmore, sophomore quarterback Stephen Garcia, junior tight end Weslye Saunders and junior placekicker Spencer Lanning on his fourth-team All-SEC squad.

While naming Jeffery and Gilmore to its first-team Freshman All-America squad, cited defensive end Devin Taylor for third team honors, while offensive guard T.J. Johnson earned honorable mention accolades. The website dedicated to college football says this about Jeffery: “A big, physical receiver, who uses his body well, Jeffery stopped looking like a first-year player by mid-October. One of the SEC’s most dangerous pass-catchers by the end of the regular season, he caught just three balls in September, yet now has 45 grabs for 735 yards and six touchdowns.” They note this about Gilmore: “The rare true freshman to start at cornerback in the SEC, Gilmore possesses the ideal blend of size and athleticism to blossom into a lockdown defender he had 52 tackles, five tackles for loss, two sacks, and nine passes defended, which don’t even begin to she light on just how good he’ll be over the next three years.”

Norwood, who earlier this week was named to the first-team All-SEC squad by the Associated Press and by the league’s 12 coaches, was the only Gamecock selected to’s first-team All-SEC squad, as selected by writer Chris Low.