May 31, 2007

The Boys of Summer: Defensive ends

Analysis and commentary by Keith Allsep.

Perhaps the position that has been most tranformed since the end of the 2006 season is the defensive end position, where South Carolina brought in three players in January, and will welcome two more prospects this summer. The Gamecocks also return freshman All-American Eric Norwood, who tied for the team lead in sacks with seven from a year ago. In today's column we take a look at what this group of players must do to live up to the already high expectations for the fall.

When defensive line coach Brad Lawing was hired last spring, he publicly stated his primary goal was to change the DNA of the defensive front. Mission accomplished. The Gamecocks have gone from perhaps the most undersized defensive front to one of the most physically talented in the SEC in less than a calendar year. The key is going to be just how fast young talent will develop if the South Carolina defense is to make major strides this season.

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