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July 20, 2010

The University of South Carolina had five players named to the SEC Coaches’ Preseason All-SEC Team, as announced by the conference office today. Cliff Matthews and Stephon Gilmore earned spots on the first team, while Alshon Jeffery, Ladi Ajiboye and Chris Culliver earned second team accolades.

Matthews, a 6-4, 260-pound senior defensive end from Cheraw, S.C., was a second-team All-SEC pick in 2009. One of the squad’s captains, Matthews is listed on the preseason Lott Trophy, Nagurski and Lombardi watch lists. He recorded 47 tackles including 35 solo stops in 2009, with 10.0 tackles for loss and 7.0 sacks.

Gilmore, a 6-1, 188-pound sophomore from Rock Hill, S.C. earned Freshman All-America honors last season after starting every game at cornerback. He logged 56 tackles a year ago and broke up eight passes to go along with his one interception.

Jeffery, a 6-4, 237-pound sophomore wide receiver from St. Matthews, S.C., was also a Freshman All-American in 2009. He led the squad with 46 catches for 763 yards and was the only freshman in the SEC to rank in the league’s top 10 in both yards per game and catches per game.

Ajiboye, a 6-2, 278-pound defensive tackle from Riverdale, Ga., is considered the Gamecocks’ top interior defensive lineman. He logged 45 tackles a season ago, including 4.0 tackles for loss. He has started 32 games over the past three seasons.

Culliver, a 6-1, 197-pound senior from Garner, N.C., earned second-team All-SEC honors as a safety in 2009. He is slated to move to cornerback for his senior campaign for the Garnet & Black. He has logged 122 tackles over the last two seasons while starting 24 contests.

The All-SEC first-team squad had 10 seniors and 16 underclassmen, including 12 juniors and four sophomores. The second-team had 17 seniors, 10 juniors and two sophomores.

This marks the seventh straight year of the SEC Coaches Pre-Season All-SEC Team. The team is announced each year in advance of the SEC Football Media Days. This year, the event will be held Wednesday through Friday at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala.