Ladies and Gentlemen... presenting The Final Cockdown’s defensive line week! A position group much maligned since Jadeveon Clowney’s departure in 2013, we’re going to take a deep dive on the front four looking to lead a resurgence for the Gamecock pass rush. Here’s a preview of what’s to come the next week or so:
#5 Keir Thomas
Sophomore / 6’2” / 262 / Miami, FL / Miami Central
Going in to his sophomore year, Keir Thomas had to change positions from DE to DT to add some much needed depth to the position. Last year, Keir saw a pretty good amount of playing time after early enrolling in 2016, playing in every game and making two starts. Having two sacks last year, the Miami native will probably be used as a 3rd down DT.
His life probably isn't very easy to be playing the 3 technique at 260 pounds, but hopefully against teams who run the spread, Keir will have better luck. Hopefully Thomas will be able to get his sack number closer to five than two and boost the team’s sack number from last year. He will most likely play outside and inside this year, and be a solid contributor for the Gamecocks.
2016 Stats: 24 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks
Recruitment: 3-star recruit had offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida State, Arkansas, etc. before committing to the Gamecocks on Christmas 2015 and enrolling in January 2016.
Next Up: Ulric Jones, the listed starter at one of the DT’s heading into fall camp.