USC WR Tori Gurley had 31 receptions for 440 yards and two touchdowns as a freshman just a year ago. Gurley was named a starter for the season-opener at NC State. In that game, what could have been the first touchdown reception of his career was called back and became an omen for the start of his college career. Gurley became synonymous for having big plays called back. On several occasions, the Rock Hill native had touchdowns taken away from him in his freshman campaign and, once again, had one called back against Georgia.
With so many setbacks, it would be easy to see frustration set in on the wide out, but instead, he has taken a different approach.
Gurley is a starter again this season, after losing his spot to Alshon Jeffery last year, and is making an impact. Yes, he only has five receptions for 26 yards but is impact has been felt more as a blocker.
” I made a promise to the team that I was going to become a better football player in doing the little things or whatever it takes to win,” said Gurley. “So we’re all taking the responsibility and doing the little things to help us become successful.”
Last Saturday, the USC running game dominated Georgia, and part of the running game’s success was attributed to Tori Gurley by head coach Steve Spurrier following the game. As the Head Ball Coach left his post-game press conference, he took the time to stop and acknowledge Gurley’s efforts off-mike.
Earlier this week, TE Weslye Saunders was dismissed from the team, after a tumultuous off-season that extended into fall camp and the start of the season. His absense will be felt but Gurley says his team must look forward saying, “We’re going to miss Wes but, you know, we have to move on.
” We have guys that are going to step up in the tight end role and just continue to work hard and be successful. I just pray that Weslye does everything he’s supposed to do and just wish him the best.”
In the past, there have appeared to be several “me first” individuals on the Gamecock football team. Spurrier has often spoken of changing the culture at USC. Gurley’s unselfish attitude and play seems to point to a change in the program. Of course it is far too early to tell but it seems the 2010 football team is off to a very good start.
Gurley and his teammates turn their attention to Furman this Saturday night.