South Carolina Football is currently enjoying its most successful run in school history, but will senior tight end Rory “Busta” Anderson help continue that success in 2014?
Anderson has played in 38 games and started 13 during his South Carolina career, but he could losing his starting job in 2014. Busta’s production decreased in 2013 AND he suffered an injury scare in spring practice. That combined with Jerell Adams breathing down his neck could see Anderson on the bench this fall.
Now before anyone goes crazy because I’m suggesting a senior tight end averaging nearly 19 yards per catch in his career will be benched, listen to this.
Anderson’s freshman season saw him snag three touchdowns with just EIGHT total receptions. He averaged almost 24 yards per catch playing backup to Justice Cunningham.
His sophomore season saw both his touchdown count (5) and number of receptions (14) rise, and the Gamecocks thought big things were in store for the Powder Springs, GA native.
Anderson’s numbers dipped in 2013, however. He failed to register a single touchdown catch despite being a red zone favorite, and Adams impressed for the Gamecocks.
Adams caught two touchdown passes in 2013, and he also came up big in the historic comeback win against Missouri. Adams didn’t necessarily play better than Anderson last season, but the senior’s injury scare in spring practice may be the difference maker in this competition.
Anderson injured his triceps in April, and there were mixed reports on how long he would be out. It was initially thought to be a few months, but there was worry it could be for an entire year. Head coach Steve Spurrier then made it seem like Busta would be back on the field by the fall, but there’s no way to tell yet.
Even if he came back, Anderson may very well be a step behind where he was in 2013. And with his production falling off a bit last year, another step back could prove enough to boot Anderson from the starting lineup.
The good news is that Adams would be able to step up just fine for the Gamecocks at the tight end position if need be.