Top 10: #7 - DeVonte Holloman

For South Carolina to reach its goals in the 2012 season, 10 players have to step up and have a big year. We begin the top 10 today and will conclude with the #1 player prior to the opening game against Vanderbilt. Today we take a look at the #7 player, DeVonte Holloman.

#8 - DeVonte Holloman

If there is a player on the defensive side of the ball that has bigger shoes to fill than Victor Hampton, it would be DeVonte Holloman. Holloman replaces Antonio Allen who led South Carolina with 88 tackles last season. Allen also tied for the team lead with three interceptions, two defensive touchdowns, and three fumble recoveries, and was second on the team with four forced fumbles. If not for Melvin Ingram's incredible season, Allen would have been the story of the year for Carolina. Holloman hopes to have an even stronger season this year than Allen did last year.

"I'm going to be a little more physical, but I just want to be just as productive as he was, if not maybe more," Holloman said.

With Allen in New York, Holloman moves into that hybrid Spur position for the Gamecock defense. With Darian Stewart and Allen both in the NFL as former Spur position players, Holloman should be the next one to enter the NFL following his senior season.

"Everybody wants to make it to the next level," Holloman said. "My mindset is no different than anybody else."

Holloman entered the 2011 season as Allen's back-up, but with Allen's tremendous start to the season and his ability to play at a high level without rest, Holloman was moved back to the safety position following the Georgia win. Holloman remained there the rest of the season, where he recorded 51 tackles and one interception. At 6'2, 242 pounds Holloman is considerably bigger than Allen's 202 pounds last season. For most players that would allow them to be more physical, but they would struggle in coverage. After spending his entire career in the secondary Holloman won't have that problem. It's the running game that could give him the most problems.

"I'm still comfortable," Holloman said. "I played DB all three years here so the covering part is, I don't want to say the easy part, but something I've been doing. It's more about getting down on the run and things like that that's different for me."

New defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward has promised that there will be a lot of blitzing from the Gamecocks this season. That means Holloman could spend a great deal of time up near the line of scrimmage and getting after the quarterback.

"I love blitzing, so hopefully a lot," Holloman said. "Get close to the ball and make some plays."

Holloman does not need to have the remarkable statistics Allen had last season in order for the defense to be effective, but he's planning on it. Holloman should be able to do a lot of blitzing to get to the quarterback, as well as given the freedom to roam a bit in zone coverage to try and make plays. Expect Holloman to have a tremendous senior campaign and see his stock rise in next year's NFL draft.

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories