Jan. 9, 2013
The University of South Carolina football team, fresh off its 11-2 season and second-straight top-10 finish, will send seven of its senior standouts to post-season all-star games.
Three players will head to the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. on January 19. The NFL Network will telecast that contest, which kicks off at 4 p.m. ET from Tropicana Field.
Representing the East squad are center T.J. Johnson and defensive end Devin Taylor. Johnson started every game over the past four seasons – a school record 53 consecutive starts. The 6-6, 319-pound team captain from Aynor, S.C., was a second-team All-SEC selection by the league’s coaches. Taylor, a 6-8, 267-pounder from Beaufort, S.C., logged 45 tackles, including 8.5 tackles for loss in 2012. He finished his Carolina career with 35.5 tackles for loss and 18.5 sacks, ranking among the school’s all-time top-10 in both categories.
Playing for the West squad will be linebacker DeVonte Holloman. The 6-2, 241-pounder from Charlotte, N.C., played the Spur position for the Gamecocks in 2012. He logged 57 tackles with 8.0 tackles for loss, forced a pair of fumbles, and tied for the team lead with three interceptions.
Two players have been selected to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, which will be played on January 19 at The Home Depot Center on the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, Calif. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Representing the Gamecocks are placekicker Adam Yates and defensive tackle Byron Jerideau. Yates, a 6-1, 196-pounder from Sparks, Md., connected on 11-of-17 field goals during the season, with a long of 51 yards. He led the team in scoring with 82 points and had 33 touchbacks on his 62 kickoffs. Jerideau, a 6-1, 316-pounder from Green Pond, S.C., logged 40 tackles, including 5.5 tackles for loss. He was credited with 2.5 sacks.
Linebacker Shaq Wilson will play for the “Stars” team in the inaugural Raycom College Football All-Star Classic, also on January 19. The 3 p.m. ET contest will be played at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., and will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network. Wilson, a 5-11, 224-pound team captain from Jacksonville, Fla., paced the Gamecocks in tackles in 2012 with 86, including 4.5 tackles for loss and a pair of sacks. He also had two interceptions, forced two fumbles and recovered one fumble.
Safety D.J. Swearinger will participate in the Senior Bowl on January 26 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. The 4 p.m. ET kick will be televised on the NFL Network. Swearinger, a second-team All-SEC selection, was second on the squad with 79 tackles. The senior captain had a pair of interceptions, forced two fumbles and recovered two fumbles. The six-foot, 210-pounder from Greenwood, S.C., also was credited with seven pass breakups.