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The walk-on who changed the SEC

Carlton Heard hardly fits the profile as one of college football's movers and shakers.

A redshirt senior receiver at South Carolina, Heard was barely 5-foot-9 when he graduated from high school. He started his college career as a walk-on at Gardner-Webb, a tiny FCS school in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, and had never played a down of football at the FBS level this time a year ago. He's still looking for his first career catch with the Gamecocks.

And yet, it's hard to find a player who shaped the college football landscape more dramatically — and with one play, no less — than Heard did last season with his blocked punt in the final seconds to send South Carolina to an improbable 23-20 overtime victory at Florida.

If Heard doesn't race through the middle of the Gators' line to block a punt with 39 seconds to play last season, college football might look completely different than it does right now.

For one, it's a real long shot that Steve Spurrier would have returned to the Gamecocks coming off his first losing season since 1987 and with no bowl game to re-energize him. Similarly, had Florida held on to win that game, Will Muschamp may still be the Gators' head coach.

"No doubt, I've thought about it," Muschamp said earlier this month. "If he hadn't blocked it, I think we probably would have survived."

Click here to read the rest of Heard's incredible story.

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