South Carolina Football’s GOAT Series: Top-12 defensive ends/EDGE players of all-time

Ranking the top-12 defensive ends/EDGE players in South Carolina football history

South Carolina football's Jadeveon Clowney with a sack against Missouri in 2012. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina football's Jadeveon Clowney with a sack against Missouri in 2012. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports /
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South Carolina Football’s No. 2 EDGE Player of All-Time:
Eric Norwood

Unlike names like John Abraham, Melvin Ingram, and Jadeveon Clowney, Eric Norwood (2006-2009) was not a freak. He was short as a pass rusher (listed at 6’0″ tall), and was not very well put-together as an athlete. But, man, could he play ball anyway.

A defensive end turned outside linebacker, Norwood became an impact player on the EDGE as soon as he stepped on campus. His seven sacks as a first-year player are tied for the most ever by a Gamecock freshman, and his 30 tackles were impressive for a defensive end who didn’t start a single game. He was named a Freshman All-American in 2006 but was just getting started. After moving to a hybrid end/outside linebacker role as a sophomore, Norwood’s game was unlocked.

Norwood brought down 19.5 ball carriers behind the line of scrimmage and had five more sacks in 2007 and brought down 9 quarterbacks in 2008. He also became the first player in NCAA history to have two fumble recoveries for touchdowns in the same game when South Carolina beat top-10 Kentucky. He had a strong senior year, as well, as he was named an All-American and became one of just a handful of three-time All-SEC performers at Carolina. He had a brief NFL career.