True freshman quarterback LaNorris Sellers made an impressive collegiate debut on Saturday against Furman. In his limited time on the field, the Palmetto State native threw for 86 yards and two touchdowns with no incompletions or interceptions.
Sellers' arm strength, which was noted by his teammates throughout spring and summer practices, was on full display for Gamecock fans as they got a taste of what may come from one of the team's most notable recruits during the Shane Beamer era.
"Definitely. It's his confidence. I love it," redshirt junior linebacker Debo Williams said of Sellers' playing style after the game.
But Sellers was not the only fresh face to make big plays in his Williams-Brice Stadium debut.
Sellers' two touchdown passes were both caught by fellow true freshmen. The first was a 50-yard strike that found the hands of wide receiver Tyshawn Russell at the back of the end zone, and the second was a seven-yard toss to wide receiver Nyck Harbor, who led the 2023 recruiting class as a consensus five-star prospect.
"(On the first touchdown), I wasn't supposed to do that," Sellers said. "I was supposed to stick to one side, and that's it. But I felt like I had time, so I just came back with a touchdown, and it worked."
Sellers arrived on South Carolina's campus in the spring before the other new recruits joined the team in the summer. With the additional time on campus, Sellers said that he has been able to see his fellow freshmen grow their confidence coming out of fall camp.
"I'm assuming (the other freshmen) were nervous, but they played a little bit more before I got in," Sellers said. "I've seen them slowly gaining confidence, and then when I got in the game, they just looked towards me and I'm like, 'Alright, here we go.'"
Head coach Shane Beamer turned the offense over to Sellers for two drives in the second half and said he looked "pretty dang good" on both.
"He's a tough kid. I mean, running the ball, he's a load to bring down," Beamer said. "(It) was pretty dang impressive."
On the defensive side of the ball, freshman defensive tackle Xzavier McLeod came away with the Gamecocks' only interception of the game on a tipped pass.
Redshirt junior linebacker Debo Williams said that the game was valuable for getting the team's freshmen valuable experience and prepare them to play amid the onslaught of recent injuries on both sides of the ball.
"It's the 'next man up' mentality," Williams said. "Everybody has to be ready, so I'm glad (the freshmen) got their first experience today."