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Thousands of Gamecock fans head to Jacksonville to cheer on South Carolina in the Gator Bowl

The 2022 Gator Bowl has brought thousands of South Carolina fans to Jacksonville from all across the U.S. On the eve of the big game, they're celebrating together.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Thousands of Carolina fans have traveled miles to cheer on the Gamecocks ahead of the 2022 Gator Bowl. Fans have been in Jacksonville Beach celebrating all day.

"Gamecocks have come in and taken over Jacksonville this week," USC Alumi Association President West Hickman shared. "I knew that we would travel well to Jacksonville and we have proven that. We’ve got tens of thousands of gamecocks here in town this weekend."

He's been working alongside people like Jacksonville Alumni Association President Justin Nichols to welcome people to the River City.

"We got people coming out of Chicago, Tampa, Charleston, Orlando and Columbia themselves and everybody's coming right down here to us," Nichols smiled. "It’s so great to be able to host everyone right here."

And everyone really has shown out.

"Our first thought when we saw everyone, we were like ‘Oh my gosh," USC Cheerleader Vanessa Cooper told me. "Like our fan base definitely showed out for this game!"

From cheerleaders to alumni to Cocky and beyond, thousands of fans from all ages are in Jacksonville for the Gator Bowl.

"Keep the faith cuz we’re gonna win," Henry Jolly told me.

"I’m gonna start crying," Cooper shared. "I can't even explain the feeling like just to represent and have Carolina on your chest is just absolutely such a blessing."

That feeling can be summed up in just three words.

"Awesome, mind-blowing and Gamecocks!" Aubrey Battles said.

That energy is contagious in Jacksonville and it will continue during the lead up to the game. On Friday,  there’s a tailgate at Metropolitan Park starting at 11:30 a.m. and another pep rally starting at 2:30 p.m.

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