After redshirting his freshman year (a fairly commonplace practice amongst Power 5 offensive linemen), Park began his career buried deep on the depth chart. After seeing action in just one of his first five games, he played the remaining seven on the schedule, with most of his playing time coming on special teams. Last year saw a continued progression, as Park competed in 10 contests, again, primarily on special teams.
Highly touted recruits normally don't take this long to fit into a system or grow into their own. However, DJ Park has taken his time to blossom in Columbia. Whether that's a situational issue, a coaching issue, or a personal performance issue is unclear, but it is clear that DJ at least appears to be working his tail off. At the Spring Game, he earned one of four 'Everyday Effort' awards given to outstanding effort, and has likely earned his spot as the starter at right tackle over Blake Camper. Furthermore, the fact that he's capable at both the guard and the tackle slots means he can move around the line to spot-fill in the event of injury or adapt to different defensive schemes and offensive formations. The Gamecocks come into the season with so many question marks over their heads, and the offensive line is a huge one. Let's hope that DJ puts on a show this fall.