Josh Kendall

What is ’The Cock of the Walk’ and why does South Carolina have it on a T-shirt?

Which South Carolina running backs have stood out so far in fall camp?

South Carolina football coach Bobby Bentley talks about the Gamecocks' four running backs - Ty'Son Williams, Rico Dowdle, A.J. Turner and Mon Denson - and picks two who have separated themselves as top performers this preseason.
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South Carolina football coach Bobby Bentley talks about the Gamecocks' four running backs - Ty'Son Williams, Rico Dowdle, A.J. Turner and Mon Denson - and picks two who have separated themselves as top performers this preseason.

South Carolina running backs coach Bobby Bentley had never heard the expression “the cock of the walk” before he went to a catfish restaurant by that name. Now, he can’t stop using it.

“I asked the manager, and he said it means that we’re the best,” Bentley said.

Dictionary.com says the phrase means “the leader in a group, especially one with a conceited, domineering manner,” but simply “the best” sounded good to Bentley, who made it into a rallying cry for the Gamecocks running backs.

They put the phrase on a T-shirt. They start every meeting with a “cock of the walk” run.

“Which is a violent run,” Bentley explained. “That’s all it is, an angry, violent run where you are dominating your space.”

The highlights can be from a South Carolina player in practice or a game or an NFL player Bentley wants his players to emulate, he said.

The phrase dates to the mid-1800s, and Bentley is hoping his group can live up to it this year. South Carolina has finished 12th and 13th in the SEC in rushing the past two seasons.

“We talk about the cock of the walk. Well, if you’re not running the ball, how can you be the cock of the walk? How can you be dominant?”

The University of South Carolina football team practices in preparation for the Sept. 1 season opener.

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