South Carolina Football: Former Gamecock star will now wear one on his helmet

South Carolina Football

Former South Carolina football standout Stephon Gilmore will now play for the Dallas Cowboys. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

With NFL free agency in full gear and the league year officially beginning Wednesday, the hot stove is lit. Players are moving at a staggering pace, even through trade. South Carolina football has seen several alums change teams this offseason, but the highest profile mover might be 2019’s NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore.

Gilmore will join the Dallas Cowboys after being dealt by the Indianapolis Colts. In a deal that seems incredibly one-sided the Cowboys only gave up a fifth-round pick to get the star corner. Many in the NFL community view the move as the type of transaction that could set up the Cowboys to contend for a Super Bowl. That’s what type of impact Stephon Gilmore can have.

Gilmore’s South Carolina legacy is an impressive one. Part of the 2009 recruiting class with Alshon Jeffery, Devonte Holloman, and DJ Swearinger, Gilmore was instrumental in setting up the Gamecocks for their best run in school history. That 2009 class was sophomores for the 2010 SEC East champions, and they were juniors for the 2011 11-2 season. Perhaps even more importantly, their commitments made other players (like 2010’s Marcus Lattimore and 2011’s Jadeveon Clowney) view South Carolina as a destination.

Gilmore’s production on the field was good. He was a Freshman All-American and All-SEC player in 2009 as a true freshman. He went through some tough times during his sophomore campaign but was really good again as a junior in 2011 when he was named an All-American before being drafted in the top-10 of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Now heading into his 12th year in the league, Gilmore has won a Super Bowl, played in another, won Defensive Player of the Year, been to five Pro Bowls, made two first-team All-Pro teams, and led the NFL in interceptions. Gilmore will now pair with fellow Pro Bowl corner Trevon Diggs