Gamecocks Spring 2010 Position Report: Defensive Backs

ncaaf_southcarolinagamecocksThe Gamecocks look to have a very good secondary in 2010 thanks to good recruiting and solid coaching from Lorenzo Ward as he has the unit in great shape yet one area that must improve is interceptions.


Depth is not an issue, which is a blessing, and a welcomed sight is players pushing each other to get better.  As noted, the one area that has to get better to make the defense one step better is getting turnovers, especially INTs.  In 2009, the team leader for INTs was Eric Norwood with two and that sounds great but remind you he was a linebacker.  You kind of want the secondary to have the team leaders in this category, hence the focus this spring to have the secondary get aggressive and play catch more often on the opposing quarterback.


The Gamecocks are blessed with a deep unit and this makes this position very strong now and going into next year.  The big name out of the group is Stephon Gilmore, who is arguably the best athlete on the team.  He is a lock to be the starting boundary corner and behind him you have junior Brandon Davis doing good things.  Also don’t forget sophomore Jay Spearman.  Seems Davis and Spearman may battle it out for the #2 slot in the depth chart.  A surprise name that seems to be doing some good things this spring is walk-on Marty Markett, one may see him get a few looks in for playing time as he is most likely the fastest kid on the team (former track guy and Sherman’s roommate).  But again this is Gilmore’s spot; he was named Freshman All-American and Freshman All-SEC last season.  He was 5th on the team in tackles, 1 INT, 8 pass breakups, 2 FF and 2 FR’s.  I expect Gilmore on the field a lot in 2010.


At the other corner, which Carolina calls the Field Corner, you have Chris Culliver moving over to handle this position after being the free safety in 2009.  Have not seen him this Spring as he recovers from shoulder surgery but make no mistake he can play this position.  But what is happening is CC Whitlock is pushing for some PT at this spot.  Could see both of these guys playing musical chairs early on in the season until one truly proves they can be a “lock down corner.”  Another name that you may hear at this spot is redshirt freshman Jimmy Legree who is a good athlete but for some reason has not performed up to expectations.  Seems this may be another learning year for him with the occasional spot/clean-up duty.  Future expectations are high for him so don’t think I am knocking this kid.


There is one freshman coming in that could make things interesting but it would be really wise for Coach Ward to redshirt him in 2010 – Sharrod Golightly.  He is out of Atlanta and was a strong Vanderbilt lean until the closing days of recruiting.  He had 113 tackles, 3 sacks and 2 INTs his senior year.  Good kid with a bright future; redshirt is best here.


Two other names on the roster but really non-factors – Jared Shaw, walk-on who transferred from Newberry College, and Addison Williams, who has a lingering back issue which will force him to not compete in 2010.


Depth like said before is really not an issue at either DB spot as you can tell.  Seems the two deep roster at this position is really strong.  USC is know as “DB U.” and it seems the tradition is being kept alive by Gilmore, Culliver, Whitlock and the promising futures of some of the young guys mentioned earlier.  I feel strongly that USC will be known as one of the best secondary’s in the SEC in 2010 just need to get those INT numbers up.


Other Spring Position Reports:

Gamecocks Spring Position Report: Quarterbacks

Gamecocks Spring 2010 Position Report: Offensive Line

About flounder

Two-time grad of THE University of South Carolina.