South Carolina football: In-depth look at Gamecocks edge defenders –

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Mike Peterson is entering his third season as the defensive ends and outside linebackers coach of the South Carolina football team.

The former NFL linebacker has a variety of players to work with at the ‘Buck’ spot, which is a mixture of the two positions, defensive end and outside linebacker.

On Thursday, Peterson shared the latest on several of South Carolina’s top edge defenders.

Bryson Allen-Williams

“He’s an older guy, but I pick on him like he’s one of the younger guys and I told him why. You’re the older guy, so I’m going to make you stand up at the board and draw things up. I’m going to call on you during meetings, just to keep you sharp and mentally in tune with what’s going on and he’s been great about that.”

Shameik Blackshear

“I would call him my project kid. He’s trying to find what he does really, really well in this system and he’s changed his life. You hear him talk about it, you see it out on the field. … He’s taking care of everything away from ball and it’s showing up in practice. He’s having a good spring for us.”

Daniel Fennell

“He’s probably been the most consistent guy all spring. You can put him at [strongside linebacker]. You can put him at the Buck position. You can put him at the end position and he goes in and does exactly what you ask him to do. Having that confidence and feeling that I can put him at any position and he can go out and get the job done, that’s a comforting feeling.”

Brad Johnson

“It’s been a big jump. I’m really proud of that kid. Last year, I kind of rode him. I was on him a lot early on in the season. He didn’t play early and I told him why. He wasn’t ready to play early, in my opinion. He was a guy who had all the tangibles. He can run. He can hit. He’s strong, explosive, but on this level, the techniques and all those little things that you tend to take for granted, they show up on a game, so he’s been working. He’s been working hard at it. He’s been working hard in the offseason and it’s showing up here in spring ball.”

Aaron Sterling

“He’s an undersized guy. You look at him and you wonder, how does he get it done? Similar to myself when I played, he finds a way to get it done, so that’s why I like him. He’s having a good spring.”

D.J. Wonnum

“He’s a guy who’s learning how to become a leader. He’s one of those guys who leads by example, so everyday I’m getting on him about, not only doing your job, but bringing somebody along with you. He’s adapted to it and he’s doing a great job at it.”

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