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South Carolina Gamecocks football 2014 roster preview: No. 28, Jonathan Walton

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Sophomore linebacker looks to become an integral part of the defense.

Jonathan Walton
sophomore linebacker
6'0'' / 228 lbs
Daphne, AL

Recruitment:
consensus three-star recruit, nation's 52nd-best inside linebacker

Other major offers:
Auburn, Minnesota, Mississippi St., Penn St., Tennessee

College Career:
As a true freshman last year, Walton notched eight tackles, mostly on special teams. He also saw the field at linebacker in mop-up duty.

2014 Outlook:
Walton is likely to see meaningful playing time this year, and after his strong spring, he might be the guy to watch as a potential breakout star on defense. He is currently listed as Skai Moore's backup at outside linebacker in the Gamecocks' 4-2-5 defense. With all of its talent at linebacker and a thin roster at defensive end, though, the Gamecocks are planning to run a lot of the 3-4 this season, maybe even more 3-4 than 4-2-5. When the Gamecocks run the 3-4, Walton may have more chances to see the field, although the current plan when using that alignment is to keep the Spur on the field and to replace the missing defensive end with either Bryson Allen-Williams or Larenz Bryant as the additional linebacker. The additional linebacker will be referred to as BOB and will be used heavily for rushing the passer, something Allen-Williams in particular is known to excel at.

Trivia:
Walton was the first player from his small high school (Bayside Academy in Daphne, AL) to sign to play major college football.