Ladies and Gentlemen... presenting 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:
Dante Sawyer | DJ Wonnum | Daniel Fennell | Taylor Stallworth | Keir Thomas | Ulric Jones | Javon Kinlaw | Kobe Smith | Shameik Blackshear | Aaron Sterling | Brad Johnson | Aaron Thompson
Sophomore / 6’6” / 340 / Goose Creek, SC / Jones County CC via Goose Creek
The case of Javon Kinlaw is a curious one. As a Army All-American coming out of high school, Kinlaw opted not to graduate high school but instead received his GED and took the accelerated track at Jones County Community College in Mississippi.
After spending a year at JCCC and showing out for the football team, Kinlaw was finally able to enroll at South Carolina in May. Kinlaw is obviously a mammoth prospect with offensive tackle size as opposed to a defensive end, something that will give him a unique edge in fall camp.
We’re not sure how likely it is Kinlaw will play end at his size, but either way he can fill a couple of gaps by just standing still. Hopefully Kinlaw can help energize this front four which has been long dormant since 2013.
Select highlight: Kinlaw gets held pretty bad here but still comes in and gets the sack. Probably not a great idea to block him one-on-one.
After being held by the left guard, South Carolina commitment Javon Kinlaw (90) gets a piece of the sack. https://t.co/R9cS2mM1cI— Hale McGranahan (@Hale_SECcountry) September 9, 2016
2016 Stats: 26 tackles, 4 TFL, 4.5 sacks (JUCO)
Recruitment: Four-star; offers from Alabama, Southern Cal, Louisville, Tennessee, Maryland and South Carolina. Committed to the Gamecocks on Feb. 1, 2017.
Next Up: Kobe Smith, a sophomore who looks to earn more playing time after playing sparingly in 2016.