Gamecock Seniors Showcase Skills at Post-Season All-Star Games
Seven Gamecock seniors are taking part in post-season football all-star games over the next few weeks as they showcase their talents for NFL coaches and scouts.
Offensive lineman Dylan Wonnum and wide receiver Josh Vann were invited to the 2023 Tunnel To Towers Hula Bowl, which was held in Orlando, Fla. on Jan. 14. Both Wonnum and Vann graduated from Tucker (Ga.) High School in 2018 before attending South Carolina.
Wonnum started 10 games for the Gamecocks in 2022, nine at right tackle and one at left tackle, and made 40 starts in his career. He is looking to advance to the next level, where his brother, former Gamecock standout D.J. Wonnum, is a member of the Minnesota Vikings.
Vann appeared in 57 games during his Gamecock career, tying for third on the all-time list, including 20 starts. He logged 108 career receptions, 16th on the school’s all-time list, for 1,352 yards. He was recognized with the Overcoming Adversity Award at the team’s senior banquet.
Offensive lineman Eric Douglas and defensive back Devonni Reed are in Orlando this week for the Tropical Bowl, which will take place on Saturday, Jan. 21 at Camping World Stadium. Both former Gamecocks will play for the Black team, coached by Jim Collins. The game will be available on a PPV basis.
Douglas, who spent six seasons on the Carolina campus, was regular on the SEC Academic Honor Roll. The Charlotte, N.C. native started all 13 games at center in 2022 and made 36-consecutive starts to end his career. He appeared in 57 games overall, tying for the third-highest total in school history. He was selected as one of the five Rex Enright team captains following the season.
Reed spent just one season at South Carolina as a graduate transfer from Central Michigan. He played in 10 contests including seven starts for the Gamecocks, collecting 39 tackles. He was recognized as the Nutrition Award recipient at the team’s senior banquet.
Offensive lineman Jovaughn Gwyn is set to travel to Pasadena, Calif. for the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. That contest will be held at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 28, and will be televised on the NFL Network. Gwyn was a fifth-year senior who was named to the Coaches’ Second-Team All-SEC squad and was a fourth-team All-SEC selection according to Phil Steele. A two-time Rex Enright team captain, he was presented with the Outstanding Student-Athlete Award, the Strength & Conditioning Award and the Most Outstanding Senior Award at the team banquet following the season. The Charlotte, N.C. product made 47-consecutive starts, tying Brandon Shell for second on the school’s all-time list behind only T.J. Johnson.
Defensive lineman Zacch Pickens and defensive back Darius Rush have accepted invitations to participate in the Reese’s Senior Bowl on Saturday, Feb. 4. The NFL Network will televise that annual all-star game from Mobile, Ala.
Pickens started all 12 regular-season games in 2022 and made 32 career starts for the Gamecocks. The Anderson, S.C. native tallied 42 tackles with 4.0 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, three pass breakups and three quarterback hurries in 2022. One of five permanent team captains, Pickens was presented with the Most Outstanding Senior Award, the Joe Morrison Award as the MVP of the defense and the Steve Wadiak Team MVP Award at the senior banquet.
Rush started nine games in 2022 and made 21 career starts. A native of Kingstree, S.C., Rush was credited with 38 tackles, including a pair of tackles for loss, intercepted two passes and logged seven pass breakups as a redshirt senior in 2022.
Under second-year head coach Shane Beamer and boasting the nation’s top-ranked special teams units, South Carolina finished the 2022 season with an 8-5 record overall and 4-4 in the Southeastern Conference, placing third in the SEC’s Eastern Division. The Gamecocks were ranked No. 23 in the final polls by both the Associated Press and AFCA Coaches.