South Carolina: Sunday Practice Recap-Defense

South Carolina: Sunday Practice Recap-Defense

South Carolina had a busy day on Sunday. Head coach Steve Spurrier held his first press conference before the season opener against Texas A&M Thursday, August 28, and the team hit the Bluff Road “Proving Grounds” again that afternoon.

The depth chart released on Sunday is certainly not set-in-stone.

Linebackers coach Kirk Botkin said the competition between T.J. Holloman and Kaiwan Lewis is still neck-and-neck, with Holloman building up a slight edge.

“He has just brought a little more of a physical presence,” said Botkin.

Holloman is slated at the top of the depth chart for the moment. The sophomore played in all 13 games last season, making three starts and notching 44 tackles with 28 solo stops.

“He’s always been really good in pass coverage and has some great ball skills. He’s just been a little bit more physical in his play and a little more consistent. Against spread teams, we like (Holloman) a little better. Kaiwan does a good job too. It’s just a slight lead right now.”

Lewis is a junior that played in 12 games and made 10 starts last season. The New Jersey-native notched 54 tackles and is listed behind Holloman in the MLB position.

While inconsistency looms above, both Dixon brothers have been pretty constant in their time on the field.

“Both of them have been consistent,” said defensive line coach Deke Adams. “They’ve done a great job. They’ll both be starters on Thursday, depending on which way we go and what package we’re jumping in.”

Gerald and Gerald Jr. are half-brothers and sons of former Gamecock Gerald Dixon, Sr.

The legacy lives on in these two, and even head coach Steve Spurrier noted in Sunday’s press conference the rarity of the occasion.

“I don’t know if that’s ever happened here before,” stated the Old Ball Coach.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had two brothers starting the defensive line the way we do now, or even two offensive linemen, as far as that goes. But, they are both good players, and they both have earned their way to be starters there.”

Starting at defensive end, Gerald Dixon is a fourth-year sophomore who is looking to replace starters like Jadeveon Clowney and Chaz Sutton. Last season, the Rock Hill, S.C.-native played in all 13 games, making one start and notching 17 tackles.

His brother Gerald Dixon, Jr. also hails from the Palmetto State, but the two went to different high schools. Dixon graduated from South Pointe, while Dixon, Jr. was at Northwestern.

Dixon, Jr. stands a junior defensive tackle who played in 12 games, making one start last season and was credited with 18 tackles.

To take a look at the entire defense on the Depth Chart click here.

GamecockPride.com will keep you updated on the season opener against Texas A&M.

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