The emergence of playmakers is one of the most exciting aspects of watching football in the SEC. I can only imagine the exhilarating feeling that must overcome these young men when they, for the first time, bust open a big run or sack the opposing quarterback - announcing to the conference that there is somebody new to worry about.
At least I thought that was cool. Until they had the audacity to be born in 1990.
For the Gamecocks, one of their potential superstars is a true freshman who burst open for 113 yards and a touchdown against the Florida Atlantic Owls sacrificial lambs, earning himself SEC Freshman of the Week honors.
Who is this guy?
He's South Carolina tailback Jarvis Giles, born January 15, 1990. And he's only one year removed from a big senior season at Gaither High School (Fla.). Giles came to Columbia in January and actually rushed for over 100 yards in the Chicken Bowl spring game. Giles gained the majority of his yards on two carries, each for over 35 yards, in the first and third quarters, respectively, that got the Gamecocks out of third-and-long situations.
Besides being an effective weapon that Spurrier has shown he will use to get South Carolina out of a jam, Giles, also, is one of these long-haired people. Every time I see guys like Giles, I wonder why tacklers don't grab their hair, jerk them to the ground, and tell them that they need some conditioner.
I would not call Giles a scat back - mostly because I am not yet convinced that this term is the type I ought to be using in public - but he has the speed to run around the outside. In a two-back set, or running some reverses with Giles, the combination of a between-the-tackles back like Brian Maddox, Garcia's Matt Jones-like mobility, and Giles' open-field speed create real problems for the Rebels. When we talk about over-pursuing, THIS IS THE GUY THAT WILL BURN US. So, as a minor suggestion from a football amateur to those who intend to tackle opposing players, please wrap his 183-pound-ass up like Christmas. Because, seriously, Jonathan Cornell, when he runs through you on his way to a 15-yard gain, I am going to buy a Delorean, go back to 1984, train myself from birth to be a successful football player with deceptive speed, walk on to the Rebels, play in this game, tackle Jarvis Giles like you're supposed to, and tell him he is a weak-sauce simply because he was born in the 1990's.
You see, most people are offended when they are called, "chickens." Not, apparently, these people.
So, who is this guy? He is a guy we should tackle. If we tackle him, he will be, effectively, nobody.