November 6, 2007

Tuesday Notebook: Lecorn is 'coachable'

Are you surprised at the success of Dion Lecorn at wide receiver this season?

If you are, you're not much different from South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier.

"Maybe he's got a little bit more talent than we thought," Spurrier said Tuesday during his weekly press conference. "He can catch it and go. He doesn't catch it and fall down. He comes out of his break and makes some yards. He's a good player. He likes to play. And he's a good blocker downfield. Finally, we've got a receiver who can really block downfield."

Lecorn had a team-high eight catches for 109 yards and one touchdown in last Saturday's loss to Arkansas. His touchdown grab came with 4:29 left in the third quarter on a 22-yard pass from QB Blake Mitchell.

"He proved he could play," Spurrier said. "He had an excellent game. He's catching everything and running good routes."

Lecorn's success as a true freshman begs the question - why has he been able to flourish the past few weeks while more highly regarded wide receiver prospects have tried and failed to become regular contributors?

Coachability is the key, Spurrier says.

"I don't know exactly what he's done, but he tries to do what we ask him to do," Spurrier said. "He's coachable. Some guys, you tell them, and tell them, and tell them, and they still don't do it. They just don't do it. But you tell him something, he tries to do it. Coachable, I guess, is the reason he's advanced."

Lecorn came close, however, to redshirting. He entered the lineup for the first time against Mississippi State and now has 19 receptions for 209 yards and two touchdowns. Despite playing sparingly in the first four games, Lecorn is the fifth most productive receiver on the Gamecocks.

"At one point, we were going to redshirt him.," Spurrier said. "I think it was after the LSU game. Sometimes, it takes a while to find out who can play. I don't know why. It always has. You'd think in preseason, we'd be smart enough to know who your best players are, but sometimes it takes the real games to figure it all out."

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