How Gamecocks' defense stacks up
July, 4, 2013
By Travis Haney | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Don KellyWho else will step up on South Carolina's defense besides Jadeveon Clowney?I was talking this week with South Carolina Gamecocks defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward, and we both laughed about two-thirds of the way through a 15-minute conversation.
Why? Because I hadn't brought up Jadeveon Clowney to that point.
Imagine that, right? The defensive player on the tip of everyone's tongues, and we were talking about everyone else. The reason: It takes more than one player on an 11-man unit to be successful in the SEC, even if that one player is a potential Heisman finalist and an essential lock to go No. 1 overall in April's NFL draft.
I was curious to talk broadly with Ward about a group that, Clowney notwithstanding, will look different after the Gamecocks lost five players to the draft in the past two years. That includes two 2012 first-rounders in lineman Melvin Ingram and corner Stephon Gilmore and a 2013 second-rounder in hard-hitting safety D.J. Swearinger.
Ward was extremely upbeat about the players filling those roles as well as the younger prospects who will play rotationally.
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