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The Final Cockdown: #11, T.J. Holloman

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With Skai Moore on the sidelines in 2016, T.J. Holloman could become the lynchpin of the Gamecocks’ defense.

South Carolina v Auburn Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

T.J. Holloman

RS Senior

6-2 / 230

Linebacker

Stone Mountain, Ga. (St. Pius X)

Recruitment:

Three-star recruit offered by Illinois, Louisville and North Carolina State.

College Career:

After redshirting his freshman season, Holloman has appeared all but two games of his college career with sixteen starts. In 2013, he found himself as a third-team Freshman All-American after recording 44 tackles (5.0 TFLs) and three picks. He followed that up with a 33-tackle season in 2014 (2.5 TFLs), including a career-high seven in the game against Clemson. Despite not playing the first two games last season, Holloman was named a permanent team captain, placed third on the team in tackles (63, 2.5 TFL), and notched two interceptions alongside three fumble recoveries (which was tops in the SEC and good for 7th in the country). He set a record for solo tackles against the Citadel before breaking that record the following week against the Clemson Tigers. Holloman's also a standout in the classroom, making the league's all-academic team multiple times.

2016 Outlook:

Holloman is currently listed as a co-starter at both the WILL and MIKE positions alongside Larenz Bryant and Jonathan Walton, with Bryson Allen-Williams in the SAM position. The Gamecocks are going to shuffle schemes a lot this season, but look to see that corps of experience to make up the meat of the Gamecocks front seven. With Skai Moore watching from the sidelines this year, Holloman is surely going to be required to take a step up in a big way as a leader both on and off the field. He has the physical skills to excel, and he is not short on work-ethic. We’re certainly hoping that T.J. leads the charge for a much-improved Carolina defense this season.