Straughter and Dickerson are "dynamic" tandem
GamecockAnthem.com spoke with GMC head coach Bert Williams this week, and he believes the Gamecocks have landed two difference makers on defense with the additions of Tony Straughter and Josh Dickerson.
"They've been great players for us and certainly have been team leaders on and off the field," said Williams. "They've clearly been very dynamic on the field. Pretty much everybody that's recruited them could tell you they are excellent ball players. They run exceptionally well, they're very physical, and they're instinctive. They have a nose for the ball."
Echoing the sentiments of both Straughter and Dickerson in previous interviews, Williams said that the two play well together and have a strong chemistry on the field.
"We've got a great group of linebackers, and they play exceptionally well together. Tony and Josh really have a chemistry when they're out there together."
When asked specifically to comment on what strengths Straughter brings to the gridiron, Williams replied that the 6'1", 215 pound 'backer possesses excellent speed and provides leadership and enthusiasm on the field.
"He has exceptional speed and explosiveness. He really can motor. He also brings a lot of intensity to the game. He's a very high energy, emotional guy. He gets everybody fired up."
According to Williams, the 6'2", 220 pound Dickerson brings a more physical brand of play to the field to go along with his athleticism and natural football instincts.
"Josh is a little bit bigger, and he's extremely physical. Not that Tony isn't physical, Josh just brings a little more 'umph' when he makes the tackle. He also runs exceptionally well. He's very smart on the field and is one of the more instinctive guys we've had at linebacker."
Williams also noted that Dickerson has developed the reputation for stepping up in the clutch and making timely plays during his career at GMC.
"He has a knack for making big plays, whether it be blocking a kick and returning it, batting a ball at a crucial situation, or making a sack in a crucial situation. He just steps forward in critical times and excels when the pressure is on."
As good as Straughter and Dickerson have been on the field at GMC, Williams is equally as proud of them for the qualities and maturity that they've displayed away from the gridiron.
"They're both fine young men. They're conscientious about what they're doing, not just on the football field but in the class room and around their peers," he said. "They've both been great young men to have in the program. They've done things the right way and have learned the lessons we try to teach our guys here very well. They've demonstrated that consistently since they've been here. They will be missed, and not just because they're very good players. They're good young men."
Straughter and Dickerson are both on track to graduate in December and enroll at USC for the spring semester to begin the next stage of their college careers. With current USC linebackers Jasper Brinkley, Marvin Sapp, and Dustin Lindsey all exhausting their eligibility after this fall, the JUCO tandem will have a great opportunity to contribute on the Gamecock defense next season and become the latest GMC products to excel at South Carolina.
Both Straughter and Dickerson have three years to play two, eligibility-wise.
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