COLUMBIA, S.C. — Darius English had a list of goals going into his senior season, but being an All-SEC player wasn’t on it.
The South Carolina defensive end set goals he said were “pretty simple,” such as giving every play full effort. It just worked out that his simple goals led to postseason honors as a second-team all-conference pick by The Associated Press.
“It was an honor,” English said. “It means a lot to be awarded for my accomplishments on the field. I thank my teammates because they are a big reason why I got it. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without them.”
English posted 9 sacks this season, putting him in a tie for third in the SEC and tied for fifth on the single-season list in South Carolina history.
Coach Will Muschamp said the key to English’s success comes back to the way he practices each day.
“He practices hard,” Muschamp said. “He goes out and practices the right way. Coming out of spring because of his hip injury, I had no idea that he would even contribute other than maybe situational pass rushing. He has been good in a lot of situations this year for us. But I go back to practice would be the most important thing that I’ve seen this guy do every day.”
Muschamp also credited linebackers coach Mike Peterson for his work with English.
“Mike Peterson has done a really good job narrowing down pass rush-wise, some of the things (English) does,” Muschamp said. “(English) is a guy that does a nice job with his hands in pass rush. He keeps his feet moving. He’s got a good takeoff. All those things that I think we’ve done, he has done a very good job of narrowing down and doing instead of a lot of things okay, doing very few things really well. That’s what I’ve seen as much as anything.”
On Tuesday, English said he has not starting planning out where and how he will pursue the NFL. He’s focused on South Carolina’s game against South Florida in the Birmingham Bowl on Dec. 29, but he’s hopeful the next level will be a possibility.
“Hopefully, I have a chance,” he said. “I will give it a shot and hopefully things go well.”