COLUMBIA, S.C. — Korey Banks has spent the past week breaking into his first week of practices at South Carolina.
He also has been breaking in a new nickname, given to him at the start of camp by junior offensive lineman Cory Helms, who bellowed it out after a strong touchdown run from the freshman wide receiver during Monday’s practice.
“I call him my son — or Cory Jr.,” Helms said. “That was a pretty good play, though. He stuck his head in and scored. That’s why I was proud of my son.”
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Banks has benefited from injuries to projected top wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Bryan Edwards, both of whom were wearing yellow jerseys and off to the side Monday.
So the Tyrone, Ga., native was running with the first-team offense during the open portion of practice, continuing to make an impression in the process.
“He is doing everything well,” senior quarterback Perry Orth said. “He is learning the playbook. He’s catching passes. He’s making plays with the ball. He’s just doing what we expected him to do when we saw him running routes this summer.
“He’s a great athlete and we expect him to play.”
Banks, who caught 61 passes for 813 yards and six touchdowns in his senior season at Sandy Creek High School, is one of four freshman wide receivers on the roster this season. It’s a position in dire need of added talent and so far the young influx of it has made an impression.
“A lot of the young guys, the four freshman receivers that we brought in — Bryan, Korey, (Randrecous Davis) and then (Chavis) Dawkins as well — they all can make plays in space and they all catch the ball well and move well,” Orth said. “That shows a really good job by our coaching staff to bring those guys in.”
Mike Wilson covers South Carolina athletics for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on the Gamecocks.