South Carolina Gamecocks 2015 Position Preview: Defensive Tackle

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Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Phillip Dukes

Phillip Dukes came to South Carolina as a part of the class of 2011. Rated a 4-star recruit in the 247Sports Composite, Dukes was a very hot commodity. He chose South Carolina over offers from Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, and Georgia and was ranked the number 13 defensive tackle in the class.

Dukes has been one of the more productive players that the Gamecocks return at the defensive tackle position. He logged 14 tackles in the 2013-14 season. The high that season was 4 tackles against Georgia. During the 2014-15 season, Dukes logged 20 tackles.

Coming out of high school, expectations were high for Phillip Dukes. This season, co-defensive coordinators Lorenzo Ward and Jon Hoke will look to rotate through bodies to create an advantage on the defensive line. For now, Dukes is listed as the back up to Gerald Dixon Jr., according to Ward. However, from a sheer talent and depth perspective, Dukes will have to keep up and improve his production from seasons past to hold on to that spot.

Gamecock nation will hold on to hope that this once highly sought after recruit can live up to his potential and make his senior year a special one by helping to turn around the poor performance of the line last season into a stand out group this season.

Next: Taylor Stallworth