COLUMBIA, S.C. – Zack Bailey couldn’t care less about Myles Garrett and his All-American credentials.
“He’s a football player,” Bailey said sharply when asked about Garrett, who’s touted by some as the No. 1 pick in next year’s NFL Draft.
“I’m a football player, too,” Bailey said. “I go every day and try to get better.”
Bailey meant no disrespect to Garrett, a 2015 finalist for the Lombardi and Hendricks Awards.
“No matter who we’re playing, we go out there with our heads high and try to beat their ass,” Bailey said.
South Carolina’s offensive line will have its hands full with Garrett, the preseason No. 2 overall college football player in the country, according to Pro Football Focus.
“He has the length and explosion of a top edge rusher and it’s showed on the field as he posted the nation’s second-best pass rush grade in 2014 while ranking fourth-best in 2015. He made big strides as a run defenders as a sophomore and there’s still more room to grow as he continues to fill out his long frame to add strength. Garrett has combined for 22 sacks, 20 QB hits, and 69 hurries on 651 rushes in his first two years and he enters 2016 as the nation’s best pass rusher with even more potential to tap into.”
Though Garrett only has 3 sacks this season, his Pro Football Focus pass rushing grade of 89.8 is the best in the country. The site is already making a case to put him into Heisman consideration.
“Everybody across the country knows he’s probably the biggest effort defensive end right now,” said D.J. Park. “That’s what got him where he is now.”
With so much attention on Garrett, that’s allowed for the other three defensive ends on Texas A&M’s depth chart to combine for 4 sacks.
“We know they come off the ball. They always come hard, they always run hard and they know what they’re doing,” Park said.