April 23, 2007

New look defensive line in '07

Analysis and commentary by Keith Allsep.

In 2006, the South Carolina Gamecocks fielded the smallest defensive line in the SEC. Defensive front coach Brad Lawing stated it was the smallest group of players he had coached since he was a high school assistant coach in the early 1980's. That will certainly not be the case this year, as the Carolina defensive line should be one of the most improved units in the SEC. Today, we will take a post-spring look at the play of the defensive line during spring practice and take a look to the fall, when this group will be bolstered by the return of Marque Hall and the arrival of pass rushing extraordinaire Cliff Matthews.

With the arrival of four newcomers on the defensive front in time for spring practice, Lawing had a busy winter and spring, getting these players up to speed with how the game is played at the collegiate level. Three of the four will be true freshmen this season, while defensive tackle Jonathan Williams, a transfer from Delta Junior College in Mississippi, is a member of the junior class, joining Hall and Nathan Pepper. The 6-foot-3, 273-pound Augusta native played both end and tackle during the spring and showed the ability to make plays behind the line of scrimmage throughout the drils.

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