South Carolina Football: 90 days until kickoff, a look at number 90 TJ Sanders

South Carolina football defensive lineman TJ Sanders could be the best player in a loaded defensive tackle rotation this fall.
South Carolina football defensive tackle TJ Sanders
South Carolina football defensive tackle TJ Sanders / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA

South Carolina football is 90 days from starting their 2024 season on August 31st, and the man wearing #90 for the Gamecocks is one of the most important players on the roster.

Redshirt junior defensive lineman TJ Sanders flirted a bit with the NFL this offseason, but the big man elected to return to Columbia to be part of what seems to be a really good defensive tackle rotation for coach Travian Robertson.

Sanders led the Gamecocks in both sacks and tackles for loss in 2023 despite being in a timeshare with several other players. The same situation will be in place for USC this fall as Sanders is joined in the defensive tackle room by experienced returners like Tonka Hemingway, Boogie Huntley, and Nick Barrett and transfer portal additions Deandre Jules (Pittsburgh Panthers) and Monkell Goodwine (Alabama Crimson Tide).

If Sanders and his d-line teammates can keep each other fresh this season, it could be a very productive season for the unit.

While primarily a defensive tackle, Sanders can also kick outside to end in certain situations, especially if Carolina is utilizing their 3-3-5 defensive set. His size (6'5" and just under 300 pounds) and athleticism provide him the flexibility to do whatever the team needs up front on the defensive line.

His production from last year, his versatility as a player, and his still partially untapped potential made TJ Sanders a clear choice to make On3's list of top-100 players in college football (slotting in at #51 among all players).

If he delivers top-100 production this fall, that will mean good things for the Gamecock defensive front. He likely will get most of his snaps inside, but along with fellow athletic tackle Tonka Hemingway, he will play some defensive end, as well.

If the Gamecocks are in for a bounce-back 2024, it likely will be, in part, thanks to a big year from TJ Sanders.

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