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South Carolina has made a name for itself over the past decade as "Defensive Back University."
Names like Dunta Robinson, Sheldon Brown and Jonathan Joseph have all had successful careers in the NFL with recent draftee Stephon Gilmore heading to the Bills in the Top 10 of the 2012 NFL draft.
This past season was no different as the Gamecocks had the second best pass defense in the country behind national champion Alabama. South Carolina only allowed 131.69 yards per game on average. It's an impressive number in a conference expected to see an increase in quarterback play this season.
As mentioned in an earlier slide, the 19 interceptions by the Gamecocks were some of the best in the country. They've continued to reload new players year in and year out and been able to continue the strong secondary play.
This year, they'll return experienced players D.J. Swearinger, DeVonte Holloman, Victor Hampton and Akeem Auguste in four of the five defensive back positions for the Gamecocks. The strong safety position is expected to be manned by talented sophomore Brison Williams.
These players all add value in different aspects. Players like Holloman and Swearinger are big-hitters who are good in run support while Hampton and Auguste have the ability to be lock-down corners for the Gamecocks.
The cohesiveness of this unit will be key for the Gamecocks' defense success. They'll face tough opposition in quarterbacks like Aaron Murray, Tyler Wilson, Tajh Boyd and Tyler Bray. These guys can put up big numbers in a heartbeat.
It's crucial for USC's secondary to build on last season's numbers to ensure that this defense is one of the best in the country.