Dickerson expecting to make big impact at USC

Former Georgia Military standout linebacker Josh Dickerson is one of six January enrollees the Gamecocks welcomed in for the spring semester recently, and GamecockAnthem.com caught up with the athletic defender for an in-depth interview before he arrived on campus. Read inside as Dickerson discusses what he feels he can bring to the USC defense, his goals for next season and much, much more.

Question: Take me back through the recruiting process. I know you had several different schools to choose from, but in the end what was it that really stood out to you about South Carolina and made you decide to become a Gamecock?

Answer: It just felt like a great situation for me. I like the depth chart, and I loved the fans when I came up there. It's a good atmosphere for me.

Question: Obviously Jasper and Casper Brinkley had great careers at South Carolina after taking the same route as you through Georgia Military. Did their success at USC play any part in your decision to become a Gamecock?

Answer: Yeah, most definitely. A lot of people went to Georgia Military and went on to be successful at South Carolina. That definitely played a part in my recruitment. I talked to Jasper a couple of times when I went on my visit. I hung out with him, and he just told me how much he liked it there.

Question: Do you have a favorite memory from the recruiting process?

Answer: Probably the (South Carolina - Wofford) game that I went to on my official visit. All the fans were talking to me and stuff like that. I can't wait to play in that stadium next year.

Question: The Gamecocks are losing several linebackers after this year, including two of their top tacklers in Jasper Brinkley and Marvin Sapp. What have the USC coaches told you about the possibility to come in and make an early impact?

Answer: They expect me to come in there and probably start at either the WILL or MIKE linebacker position. I don't plan to disappoint them.

Question: So you could play either the WILL or the MIKE position. Could you possibly play both, and do you have a preference between the two?

Answer: I could play either position. When they get me in there, they'll see which one they like me better at. I don't really have a preference. I've been playing outside linebacker the most, but I played MIKE in high school and a little bit at GMC. It doesn't matter to me which one I play really.

Question: You were clearly a standout on defense during your time at Georgia Military. But for those that might not have seen you play much yet, how would you describe yourself as a player on the gridiron? What type of player can Gamecock fans expect to see when you take the field next season?

Answer: When I come in, I'm hoping to be All-SEC. I can bring a lot of speed and aggressiveness to the defense. I feel like I can do a lot of things, like cover and hit. When the game is on the line, I like to be the player that makes the big play. Big time players are going to make the big plays.

Question: What will be the hardest part of the transition for you in making the jump to SEC football? What areas of your game are you still working to improve?

Answer: I probably need to work on not being too aggressive sometimes. I'd say I'll probably have to adjust to the speed of the SEC too.

Question: What is your accurate height and weight right now?

Answer: I'm about 217 (pounds) and 6-2.

Question: Is there a certain player on the college or pro level that you model your game after on the football field?

Answer: Probably Ray Lewis. I love Ray Lewis. I just like his intensity, his speed, and how he helps to motivate is team every game on and off the field.

Question: Is it going to be fun playing again with your good friend Tony Straughter at USC?

Answer: It most definitely is. It's going to be fun having somebody there that I know. I know how he plays, and he knows how I play.

Question: I talked with Coach Bert Williams at GMC, and he said that you two really have a good chemistry when playing together on defense. Can you talk about that?

Answer: Tony is more outspoken. I don't talk as much. He can just get us fired up. He knows how I blitz, and I know how he blitzes. I know how he plays stuff and vice versa. It helps out a lot. We've always got each other's back out there.

Question: What would you describe as Tony's best quality as a football player?

Answer: I would say his intensity and his discipline on the field.

Question: The Gamecocks recently picked up two offensive line commitments from GMC as well in Steven Singleton and Kevious Watkins. What type players do you expect them to be at South Carolina?

Answer: They'll be a great asset for us at South Carolina. Me and Rokevious and me and Singleton used to go at it every day in practice. They'd make me better, and I'd make them better. I think they'll do very good.

Question: Have you gotten to know any of the current Gamecock players?

Answer: I've talked to a few of them. I know one of the commitments from Camden County, DeAngelo Smith. I know him pretty good.

Question: Has anyone told you what to expect when you join the team in the offseason strength and conditioning program? I hear those workouts can be pretty intense.

Answer: Yeah, they told me about those. I know I'm going to have to step up. I've been trying to work out a little bit at home, but I know it's not gonna be like the workouts there. Hopefully I'll be ready for them.

Question: Looking back, do you feel that your time at GMC helped you mature at all on and off the football field?

Answer: Most definitely. With the cadet corps, you couldn't miss classes or anything like that. It taught me to go to class every day and how to get up early. We woke up at 5:30 to get ready for the day. Some of the stuff I had trouble with in high school I won't have trouble with anymore. It helped transition me and taught me a lot.

Question: Do you know what jersey number you'll be wearing at South Carolina?

Answer: I don't know yet, but I either want 44 or 45 if possible. I already know somebody has 45 though. Numbers aren't a big deal to me

Question: Looking ahead to the Gamecocks' 2009 season, is there one game that really stands out to you that you're looking forward to playing?

Answer: Oh yeah, the Florida game. They're one of the top teams in the nation. For our team to rise to the occasion and accomplish what we want to, we'll have to beat them.

Question: Steve Spurrier has a vision to help lead South Carolina to its first ever SEC Championship, and some believe the Gamecocks are getting closer to being able to accomplish that. How excited are you about coming into a situation like that where you can accomplish something that's never been done before?

Answer: I'm really excited. I definitely think that we will be able to accomplish that in the two years I'm there. It would be real exciting to win the first SEC Championship at South Carolina.

Question: I know the Gamecocks didn't close this past season as well as they were hoping for. What do you think needs to happen for South Carolina to get over the hump as a program and win an SEC title?

Answer: I think we just need to get some more offensive players in there. The defense is already pretty good.

Question: The Gamecocks have a real good defensive coordinator in Ellis Johnson. What are your impressions of him, and are you looking forward to playing for him?

Answer: Yeah, he called me a little while ago and told me how excited he is about us getting up there. Hopefully he can make me a better person and a better player on and off the field. I'm excited to play for him.

Question: Lastly, is there a message you'd like to pass on to Gamecock Nation as you‘re set to begin your USC career?

Answer: I'm ready to come in and make a big impact. Hopefully we'll win an SEC Championship and be one of the top defenses in the nation again. Just tell them I love the Gamecocks!

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