The Associated Press announced its all-SEC teams on Monday, and three Gamecocks made the grade. Tight end Hayden Hurst was a first-team honoree, while defensive end Dante Sawyer and linebacker Skai Moore both landed on the second team.
Hurst, who will likely depart for the NFL after this season, was the Gamecocks’ second-leading receiver with 41 receptions for 518 yards and two touchdowns. A versatile playmaker, he also had seven carries for 36 yards and a rushing score. Hurst holds single-season program records for most receptions and receiving yards by a tight end, and joined Danny Smith and Jared Cook as the third tight end to eclipse 1,000 career yards. Hurst also had a stint in professional baseball, in case you weren’t aware.
Moore, who returned for a fifth year with the Gamecocks after neck surgery sidelined him for a season, has been a rock for South Carolina throughout his career. He led the Gamecocks in tackles for all four of his seasons, tallying 88 in 2017, and also snagged his 15th interception to tie a school record. To say he’ll be missed is an understatement.
Sawyer played an active role in the visible improvement of South Carolina’s defensive line. He notched five tackles for loss, three sacks, three passes defensed, and forced an impressive five fumbles.