Semper Fi: Alan Knott and D.J. Park

South Carolina-bound offensive linemen Alan Knott and D.J. Park are dreading their first practice against All-America defensive end Jadeveon Clowney after seeing his brutal Outback Bowl hit.

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Jadeveon Clowney's punishing hit on Michigan running back Vincent Smith in the Outback Bowl is already the stuff of legend. It certainly left an impression of two of Clowney's future South Carolina teammates playing in the Semper Fi Bowl, Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek offensive lineman Alan Knott and Dillon (S.C.) offensive lineman D.J. Park.

"Oh basically I was just speechless there because I have never seen a hit like that in my life ever," Knott said. "It was crazy."

"Man. Wow. It was just like a wow moment," Park added. "Just unbelievable. It's just Clowney."

Needless to say, Park and Knott are already dreading that first snap next fall when they line up opposite the All-America defensive end.

"It's going to be a rough practice probably," Knott admitted.

But with a core nucleus returning for next season anchored by Clowney, Park isn't shy about talking about the lofty heights South Carolina could reach next season.

"It is really exciting to know in my freshman year we have a team that has the potential to go to the national championship," Park said.

"From having maybe a seven, eight-win season and then now on the regular 11 wins or more every year is just totally exciting. I can't wait to get out there," Knott said.

Both have shown promise during the week, though Park has struggled with the transition from tackle to guard and dealing with the limitations it brings.

"The biggest adjustment is not having all that space to work with," said Park, who hopes to contribute as a true freshman. "I'm used to being able to kick back. In there, you just got to stand up and take it straight up."

Knott will also have to make that move, as offensive line coach Shawn Elliott plans to use him at guard.

"I'll probably be on the interior somewhere, center, guard, somewhere like that," Knott said. "I'll probably redshirt my first year, get acclimated to the environment, get bigger. I definitely need to get bigger.

"I'm weighing about 270 right now, a slim 270. They want me playing at around 290-295."

With Knott, Park, and Dillon (S.C.) offensive lineman Bryce King together all week, the future teammates have had plenty of time to know one another.

"Both those guys we're pretty close knit now, just having this week to bond and hang out," Knott said.

Dan Greenspan writes about the Pac-12 for Fox Sports Next. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan.


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