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Oct. 17, 2011

D.J. Swearinger was named co-SEC Defensive Player of the Week and Bruce Ellington was named co-SEC Freshman of the Week, the SEC announced on Monday.

Swearinger, a 5-10, 208-pound junior free safety from Greenwood, S.C., logged a game- and career-high12 tackles (five solo and seven assisted) in South Carolina’s 14-12 win at Mississippi State. He also sealed the win, intercepting a pass at the Carolina 12-yard line with just 1:45 remaining in the contest. The Gamecock defense limited State to 296 yards, 131 on the ground and 165 through the air.

Ellington, a 5-9, 197-pound redshirt freshman from Moncks Corner, S.C., did a little bit of everything to help the Gamecocks pull out the win at Mississippi State. He caught four passes for 32 yards, was used in the “Wildcat” formation where he rushed four times for 25 yards and completed 2-of-3 passes for 24 yards. He also returned one kickoff for 17 yards.

On the game-winning drive in the contest’s final minutes, Ellington returned the kickoff 17 yards, rushed twice out of the Wildcat for 14 yards, completed a pass for eight more and caught a pass for eight yards.

Ellington became a rare athlete to be honored by the SEC as the Freshman of the Week in two different sports. He also earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors on January 10, 2011 after leading the Gamecock basketball team to an overtime win over Vanderbilt.