Hale McGranahan/SEC Country
Junior defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw (left) has lost nearly 40 pounds since arriving at South Carolina last summer.

Junior DT ready to shine for South Carolina; Gamecocks QB’s place among SEC elite

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‘Attack the offseason’

Weighing in at a svelte 302 pounds, South Carolina Gamecocks defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw is ready for his second season in Columbia.

“That’s just a me and [Will] Muschamp thing,” Kinlaw said of his offseason training regimen. “That’s what he wanted, me to attack the offseason program and I feel like it’s been in my mind, so I felt like I had to do it, and I feel like I’ve done a good job with the lifting and conditioning part.”

The 6-foot-6 defensive tackle has impressed South Carolina defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson with his on-field production and work ethic.

“He’s a talented, talented dude and the sky’s the limit for him; it really is,” Robinson said.

Kinlaw had 17 total tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble and 2 fumble recoveries in 2017.

Among the best

ESPN’s Peter Burns ranked South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley as the No. 4 signal caller in the SEC on Tuesday.

Burns put Bentley just below Georgia’s Jake Fromm and above Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa.

The junior quarterback has thrown for 4,214 yards, 27 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in 20 games as South Carolina’s starter.

Me too

Don’t overlook linebacker Ernest Jones when predicting South Carolina’s freshman contributors for 2018, implores The Big Spur’s John Whittle.

“You have certain sizes and certain builds, and the game has changed so much; it’s so much of a space game,” South Carolina linebackers coach Coleman Hutzler said. “We needed to go out and get two guys who had length, size and physicality and all the things that you check the boxes you’re looking for in a linebacker. Both he and Rosendo [Louis] have that.”

According to the 247Sports composite, Jones was the No. 62 outside linebacker for 2018. He picked South Carolina over offers from Auburn, Duke, Florida and more.

‘My visit was great’

Four-star wide receiver and 2020 prospect Mike Wyman left Columbia with positive vibes after checking out one of the Gamecocks’ spring practices.

“My visit was great. Watching the wideouts practice is what stood out to me the most,” he said. “The strength trainer did some demonstrations on fitness by positions.”

The Dudley High School (Greensboro, N.C.) standout is rated as the No. 21 wide receiver for 2020, per the 247Sports composite.

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Moving on

Redshirt junior offensive lineman Trey Derouen is no longer on the Gamecocks roster, according to GamecocksOnline.com.

Derouen signed with the Gamecocks out of Parkview High School (Lilburn, Ga.) in 2015. He was rated as a 3-star prospect, per the 247Sports composite.

The 6-3 lineman saw the field in just one game at South Carolina. He was named to the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll in 2017.

Toeing rubber

Class of 2018 right-handed pitcher Taj Bradley of Stone Mountain, Ga., committed to South Carolina’s baseball team on Monday.

A onetime Hillsborough Community College (Tampa, Fla.) commit, Bradley’s fastball reportedly hits the low-to-mid 90s, according to SportsTalkSC’s Phil Kornblut.

Walking off

The No. 17 South Carolina Gamecocks softball team (22-3) beat Texas, 1-0, in eight innings on Tuesday night, thanks to senior infielder Krystan White’s first career walk-off home run.

The Gamecocks open SEC play on Friday with Game 1 of a three-game set at Ole Miss.

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