For the first time since his first year in Columbia, South Carolina head football coach Shane Beamer has a bonafide offseason quarterback battle on his hands.
With Spencer Rattler declaring for the NFL Draft, Luke Doty focused more on developing at wide receiver, and Tanner Bailey giving up football and transferring to Auburn as a regular member of the student body, redshirt freshman LaNorris Sellers enters winter workouts as the elder statesmen of an incredibly young quarterback room.
“We’ve told LaNorris he’s going to take the first rep (of the spring),” Beamer told GamecockCentral in an exclusive interview. “Luke’s going to do both, but focus on receiver in the springtime. LaNorris will take the first rep of spring practice because he’s been here the longest. And then after that, let them battle it out. That’s what we told those guys when we were bringing them in.”
Beamer and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains used the offseason to add depth and competition to the position.
Ashford spent the first two years of his career at Oregon before transferring to Auburn where he started in 2022 and served as a primary backup in 2023. Beville originally signed with Pitt before transferring to Oklahoma and then ultimately coming back to his home state.
Freshman early enrollee Dante Reno arrived last month after competing in the Under Armour All-America game.
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Sellers is certainly the consensus fan favorite to earn the starting job after wowing Gamecock Nation in his three brief appearances last season, but Beamer has made it clear that the starter will be determined by who performs best.
“Nobody has anointed anybody anything,” he continued. “It’s going to be a competition and get these guys a ton of equal reps and see where we are after 15 spring practices.”
Last season, Sellers completed all four of his passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns adding five carries for 51 yards and a score.
Ashford, A fifth-year player, has appeared in 22 career games, completing 137-of-277 passes for 1,758 yards with nine touchdowns and nine interceptions while rushing 199 times for 927 yards and 12 TDs.
In his one year as a college starter, Ashford was 123-of-250 passing for 1,613 yards and seven touchdowns with seven interceptions. He also rushed for 709 yards and seven scores.
Davis has played in 16 career games, making one start, and has completed 37-of-62 passes for 339 yards with one touchdown and two picks.
Reno was ranked the No. 34 quarterback in the 2024 class by the On3 Industry Ranking, a weighted average of the four major media ranking services.
“But those guys have been fantastic,” Beamer continued. “LaNorris is trying to take on a leadership role right now. Robby Ashford has fit in great already. Davis Beville has fit in great already. Just their energy level, their buy-in, their leadership skills. It’s – you can see why they’re quarterbacks, already. They’ve shown that already in a short period of time here.”
The Gamecocks kick off spring practice on March 19 with the Garnet and Black spring game set for April 20 at Williams-Brice Stadium.