COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The smile on Devan Downey's face never left Thursday night as he stood in The Zone at Williams-Brice Stadium.
The joyful emotion that filled the former Gamecocks guard was one that he shared with the crowd that made their way to the stadium to hear him and seven other inductees speak during the University of South Carolina's Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
"I broke down in tears," Downey said as he recalled getting the phone call about being selected to the prestigious class. "Probably the first time I cried in years."
Downey joined defensive back Sheldon Brown, sprinter Miki Barber, softball catcher Karen Sanchelli Johns, pitchers Greg Ward and David Marchbanks, and soccer head coach Mark Berson. Gamecocks wide receiver Kenny McKinley was also inducted posthumously for his contributions to the USC football program.
"One of the things we realize, and I'm sure Kenny would realize, is that records are made to be broken," McKinley's father Ken McKinley said. "He broke Sterling Sharpe's record. He did some great things but to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, that's something that will be here forever. So, as long as we come to the University of South Carolina, I think there will be some history here where we can all watch our son in some form."
Fans, teammates, coaches and previous Hall of Fame inductees made their way to the stadium to meet and greet the Class of 2015. While they all had their chance to recollect some of their greatest moments with one another, having the opportunity to reflect on those moments with one another made the night that much more special for all in attendance.
"When I come here," Berson said, "I get to see so many people in our sport and our department and other sports that have made such an impact on the university. It's great fun."
The newest USC Hall of Fame inductees will also be honored at halftime of the Gamecocks' hope opener when they face Kentucky at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday.