In the offseason, USC Gamecocks senior DeVonte Holloman was switched to the spur position after playing the last three years at the safety position.
At the spur, the defensive player is a hybrid linebacker/safety who has the pass-coverage skills of a safety, but the run-stopping abilities of a linebacker.
Current New York Jets safety Antonio Allen played the position last season and racked up 88 tackles with three interceptions.
Holloman, at 6’2”, 241 pounds, fits perfectly at his new position with his linebacker size and his history of playing safety his first three years at South Carolina.
With Holloman at spur, he will have the ability to roam the field and fill gaps in run-stop and pass coverage. More room to roam will equal more tackles and opportunities to make plays in the air, and South Carolina needs Holloman to be the X-Factor on defense this season..
The 2012 South Carolina defense is already spearheaded by super sophomore JaDeveon Clowney and senior Devin Taylor, both defensive ends.
Although productive, Holloman has yet to achieve a breakout season after being surrounded by talent such as Melvin Ingram, fellow South Pointe High School alum and teammate Stephon Gilmore and, of course, Antonio Allen.
This season, he has the opportunity to pick up more tackles in run support. With his frame, he appears to be fit to be more of an NFL-ready linebacker and his speed and hitting ability will only make matters much easier for him in the open field.
If Holloman can perform at a high level playing the spur, the Gamecocks will be even more of a team to beat in the SEC.
Adding in all his positive factors such height, weight, strength, speed and skills, Holloman is going to create various problems for offensive coordinators and offenses alike in the SEC. It is vital he executes his play precisely; he has all the intangibles to have an outstanding campaign.
A 100-plus tackle season for Holloman is going to be needed for the Gamecocks to dominate the run support. The linebacker unit is experienced, but lacking star power from the year before.
No one is talking much about Holloman this preseason, and that should help ease his way into focusing on the important task upon his hands.