South Carolina Gamecocks 2015 Position Preview: Defensive Tackle

3 of 6

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Dante Sawyer

Many thought that Dante Sawyer was the other missing piece of the puzzle on the defensive line when he signed with the Gamecocks. He was supposed to come in and start opposite of Marquavius Lewis and make football a living nightmare for the opposing team. However, Dante Sawyer showed up to school weighing 291 pounds and was moved inside to defensive tackle.

This was not necessarily a shock as most felt that Sawyer would eventually be moved inside to create a nightmare due to his athleticism. The problem is no one thought it would be this soon (maybe the coaches knew).

Sawyer was a highly rated recruit coming out of high school and a very hot commodity. He was a 4-star rated weakside defensive end according to the 247Sports Composite. He had offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, and many others. Ultimately, the Gamecocks beat out Auburn for his services.

Last season at East Mississippi C.C., Sawyer had 21 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and forced 2 fumbles. This season, the staff hopes that he picks up the defense quickly so that they can use his athleticism to their advantage and create a better pass rush.

It’s not guaranteed that he will hang on to his starting spot as Taylor Stallworth is nipping at his heels after returning from an injury that had him sidelined for part of the spring. Kelsey Griffin is still in the mix as well.

Next: Phillip Dukes