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Who are South Carolina's best five returning players on defense for the start of fall practice?

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Who are South Carolina's best five returning players on defense for the start of fall practice?


July 08, 2019, | GCF Staff Report

Who are the best returning players on South Carolina's team?

DT Javon Kinlaw 

South Carolina's best player on offense or defense, was Kinlaw's play last season, which was boosted by huge games against Vanderbilt  and Akron.

Kinlaw, who chose to return for his senior season, was graded as South Carolina's best run defender  and pass rusher last year, despite playing on the interior of the defensive line.

CB Israel Mukuamu

The freshman saw his playing time rise as the season progressed last year. In the final four games of the season to edge especially. Mukuamu out Jaycee Horn as the team's highest graded freshman.

The lengthy freshman's  was second only to Horn among Carolina's defensive backs. After a strong spring practice performance, Mukuamu looks to be a sure starter at cornerback this season.

DT Kobe Smith 

One of Carolina's underappreciated defenders, was what Smith did last season as a backup to Kinlaw and part-time starter alongside him against certain offenses.

Smith proved to be solid against the run (78.3) and a solid tackler (78.5), according to PFF's grades.

DE Kingsley Enagbare 

Enagbare will be counted on as a key defensive end for the Gamecocks this season.  Liked what he did as a freshman last year when he played more of an interior role.

Enagbare's score was boosted by a huge game against Akron when he had five quarterback pressures, including a sack, to earn a grade of 91.5 in the regular season finale.

CB Jaycee Horn 

South Carolina's top defensive back performer by this writer's eyes, Horn was a Day 1 starter for the Gamecocks last season but was slowed by injuries late in the year. Horn has the chance to be the Gamecocks' best player in 2019.

Horn stood out in Carolina's secondary in 2018  and led the team in pass breakups with eight.



• BUCK D.J. Wonnum's 2018 season was derailed by an ankle injury, but he's certainly in the conversation as Carolina's best defensive player when healthy. Wonnum will likely vie for top honors this season if he can stay healthy.

Edited by FeatheredCock

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