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November 15, 2012

Let’s Hear it for the Boys!

The last home game of 2012 is here, and that means it’s time to take a moment to appreciate all the hard work and dedication of our senior athletes have given to the program during their time at South Carolina. We fans follow these guys as they’re recruited and cheer for them weekly as they lay it all on the line to win games and establish a path for themselves to something greater. We wish them well before kickoff of the last home game and hope we see them play on Sundays in years to come.

{photo credit via}
This is a special group of seniors. They chose to come to Carolina before we had a 3 game winning streak against that school in the Upstate. There wasn’t an SEC East division banner hanging in the end zone, and we weren’t yet regulars on the Sunday night BCS countdown shows. They’re special because they wanted to do something that had never been done before. As fans we should appreciate them because they helped lay a foundation we hope current and future players will continue to build on to take the Gamecock football program to even greater heights.

I thought it might be fun to take a quick walk down memory lane (thanks to You Tube) at some of my favorite moments from a select few of our special seniors as we look forward to recognizing them this Saturday before the Wofford kickoff. If you’re lucky enough to be in Columbia this week, I challenge you to be in your seats early enough to applaud this group at the last home game of their Gamecock careers.

Justice Cunningham: Tight End from Pageland, South Carolina
Where were you watching the first game of this season vs. Vanderbilt? I was sitting about 20 rows from the field soaking wet from a deluge of rain and was pretty nervous about what felt like a slow start by our Gamecocks. Connor Shaw was hurt. We were struggling to move the ball. Then, Justice Cunningham made the play of the game by taking a HUGE hit and holding on to the ball. There was still a lot of football to be played, but somehow I knew that play had changed things. This team wasn’t going to give up. Justice wouldn’t let them.

DJ Swearinger: Free Safety from Greenwood, South Carolina
DJ Swearinger has been referred to as the heart and soul of the South Carolina defense- which is really saying something if you’re familiar with our defensive players. DJ leaves it all on the field. He’s plays fearless football, and has shown a knack for being in the right place at the right time to make a dramatic play to help the Gamecocks stay in a position to win. It’s difficult to choose just one DJ Swearinger highlight, but I’ve chosen this one against Mississippi State last year in Starkville. South Carolina had lost Marcus Lattimore to a season-ending knee injury. Our offense was sputtering, but had just taken the lead on an incredible Alshon Jeffery end zone catch. Mississippi State was driving and had a chance to win the game, but DJ Swearinger was there- and he wasn’t having any of that!

Obviously, there are highlight videos galore of all of our senior athletes. In the interest of time it isn’t possible to do more, but here is a list of seniors expected to be recognized this Saturday. Well done, gentlemen! Thank you for all of your hard work!

Akeem Auguste- Cornerback
Jacob Baker- Tailback
Kaleb Broome- Guard
Justice Cunningham- Tight End
Aldrick Fordham- Defensive End
DeVonte Holloman- Spur
Walker Inabinet- Long Snapper
Damario Jeffrey- Linebacker
Byron Jerideau- Defensive Line
TJ Johnson- Center
Blair Lowery- Tailback
Kyle Madden- Fullback
Kenny Miles- Tailback
DL Moore- Wide Receiver
Quin Smith- Linebacker
Seth Strickland- Quarterback
DJ Swearinger- Free Safety
Devin Taylor- Defensive End
David Wilkins- Corner
Shaq Wilson- Linebacker
Adam Yates- Place Kicker

Post written by Gamecock Girl regular contributor Jessica Faulkenberry.

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