Who plays on defense?

The majority of the class of 2012 arrived on campus over the weekend. Look inside as Gamecock Anthem takes a look at each freshman defensive player and tackles the task of making a way-too-early prediction of who plays and who redshirts.

DE Darius English

English struggled to put on weight during his high school career due to the fact he also played basketball, but quickly jumped up to 226 pounds in the months before he enrolled at USC. English is very much in the mold of a Devin Taylor, and while there are many signs that point to Taylor taking s redshirt, I've just got a feeling that he finds his way onto the field. Lorenzo Ward is looking for a pure pass rusher to allow him to put Jadeveon Clowney inside on passing downs and English could be just the guy
Gut feeling: Plays

LBs Kaiwan Lewis and TJ Holloman

Lewis and Holloman both have the body types to potentially play early, but there's just not a whole lot of room for a new linebacker to step in and play. The Gamecocks currently have four seniors to play two linebacker spots and a redshirt freshman in Cedric Cooper who's probably being groomed to be a starter in 2013. There is the thought process that you may would want one of them to play just to get some experience as each is likely to be called upon in 2013, but it seems most likely that both will take a redshirt.
Gut feeling: Both redshirt

SPUR Jordan Diggs

Diggs won't be the best athlete on the football field, but he's still a heck of a football player. He has a knack for getting to passes you'd never think he could and a knack for sticking his nose in there on run plays. DeVonte Holloman should play plenty of snaps as the starter at SPUR but there always needs to be a backup and the Gamecocks need to be able to get Holloman his rest in blowouts. Sharrod Golightly is slated to miss the first three games of the season meaning that Diggs could be the No. 2 SPUR from day one. And he may not give up that position.
Gut feeling: Plays

S TJ Gurley

Gurley's on-field attitude reminds me a little of current Gamecock DJ Swearinger and I'd expect him to start out at Swearinger's free safety position. Gurley isn't huge but seems to fly around and has excellent instincts to the football. He's a hitter who, like Swearinger, likes to lay the lumber. I'm actually inclined to go out on a limb and say that Gurley will play. He's a confident kid who's willing to throw his body around -- those guys usually assert themselves earlier in practice and can also be vital to special teams. Gurley is the type player Joe Robinson is going to want on his unit. Still, Swearinger is going to play most of every game and Sheldon Royster should begin coming into his own this season. I stand by my prediction that Gurley is better than expected but barring injuries he should be able to take a redshirt.
Gut feeling: Redshirt

S Kyle Fleetwood

It seems likely that Fleetwood will start out at the boundary safety position. He already has the size to play the position and has solid athleticism as well. It seems possible that one of the two true safeties could play, especially if there are injuries, but it seems most likely that Fleetwood takes a redshirt.
Gut feeling: Redshirt

CB Chaz Elder

Elder was Lorenzo Ward's top target at cornerback and it seems likely that at least one of the cornerbacks from the class will play. Elder already has the size to step right in and play and should be given every opportunity to show that he's ready. Elder also could potentially be a special teams guy.
Gut feeling: Plays

CB Rico McWilliams

McWilliams is seldom mentioned as one of the top prospects in this class but he had 20+ offers and could have a bright future in a Gamecock uniform. McWilliams has the potential to be a pure cover corner and will likely start out at field corner spot. Still, McWilliams probably needs to add weight and could benefit from a year in the weight room.
Gut feeling: Redshirts

K Nick St. Germain

St. Germain has a huge leg and was recruited to play. Quite simply, most of the time you use a scholarship on a kicker, it's to play them. Even if St. Germain doesn't win the place kicking job, he's likely to be the kickoff specialist.
Gut feeling: Plays

Who plays on Offense?

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