August 17, 2007

New blood on defense

When the South Carolina Gamecocks take the field for their Sept. 1st season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette, most key contributors from their 2006 team that went 8-5 will be on the field. Technically, 10 of 11 starters are back on defense and seven offensive players also return. However, Steve Spurrier and his assistant coaches are also going to have a large group of talented newcomers at their disposal, and some may find themselves in the starting lineup sooner rather than later.

Defensively, the defensive line will be most affected by the arrival of the talented class of 2007. Travian Robertson, Ladi Ajiboye, Clifton Geathers and junior college transfer Jonathan Williams all enrolled at Carolina in January, and all four are going to see action this season. They were joined this summer by the Palmetto State's No. 1 prospect overall from last year in Cliff Matthews.

The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Robertson, a former four-star prospect from Laurinburg (N.C.), is currently running with the first team defensive line opposite Eric Norwood and looks poised to make a big impact in his first year. He's as physically ready as a true freshman can be for the battles he'll face in the SEC.

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