South Carolina football: Gamecocks agree to terms with Clayton White

South Carolina football has hired its new DC.

South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer has named Clayton White his defensive coordinator, meaning his new staff in Columbia is nearly complete. White has been the defensive coordinator and secondary coach with Western Kentucky for the last four seasons.

Coach Beamer gave his thoughts on the new hire shortly after it was made official.

“I’ve had my eye on Clayton for a long time. He was a great player in college and had some time in the NFL. He’s been part of good programs and has a high level of success, most recently at Western Kentucky. He’s from North Carolina and has a lot of ties to the region. He had some opportunities to go elsewhere, but he wants to be at South Carolina and we’re happy to have him.”

White has been a Frank Broyles Award nominee in three of the past four seasons, an honor given to the nation’s top assistant coach.

Last year, the Hilltoppers’ defense ranked in the top 30 nationally in yards allowed, including an eighth place finish against the pass (177 ypg). The year prior, Western Kentucky produced a top 25 defensive unit, and surrendered just 20.1 points per contest.

White runs a 4-2-5 style defensive scheme, one that the South Carolina program is very familiar with. During its best stretch in program history, Ellis Johnson helped elevate the Gamecocks’ defensive performance with this exact scheme, which implements four down linemen, just two backers, and five defensive backs. Often times, one of the defensive backs plays in a hybrid type role, and must be able to defend the pass while also stepping into the box to stop the run.

Shane Beamer was on staff at Carolina with Johnson when the Gamecocks made the schematic change.

Prior to his stint at Western Kentucky, White spent time at NC State and Connecticut, where he coached in a special teams capacity. He also coached defensive backs at Stanford between ’07-’09, including NFL star Richard Sherman.

South Carolina’s defense ranked 105th in the nation in total yards (451 ypg) last year, finishing 97th against the pass and 95th defending the run. White will look to drastically improve those numbers as South Carolina prepares for its 2021 season.